I apologize in advance, but this posting will likely be quite brief as I only have about 14 free minutes to write this. The reason why I’m so rushed? Because we’re all swamped here at BbWorld 2010 in Orlando.
Obviously the question that everyone here first asks me is, “So Matt, what do you think about the acquisition?" But what’s most interesting about this question is the different backgrounds of those who ask it. For instance, I’ve had several long-time Wimba customers ask me this question and it seems they ask it out of genuine curiosity and excitement because they’ve seen Wimba/HorizonLive/Horizon Wimba go through many iterations in the past. I’ve had several customers former ANGEL – and now Blackboard Learn – customers ask me this question and it seems they ask it out of genuine excitement and curiosity because they saw ANGEL go through a similar process last year and were mostly pleased with how smoothly everything went. And I’ve also had several customers show concern about the changes out of concern because we’ve developed such deep relationships and they want to ensure these relationships remain strong. This has floored me! Allow me to explain.
I’m not much of a hugger. I prefer a handshake or a wave, but for some reason hugs just don’t sit well with me. I’m not exactly sure why, but I’m just wired to stay away from physical contact. So the fact that I’ve had countless customers in the last 24 hours run up to me and hug me and thank me – and the entire Wimba team – has been more gratifying than I can begin to explain in the remaining 6 minutes I have to finish this post. I always suspected we made a meaningful impact on our customers, but never could a suspicion be more confirmed than this one has since I arrived. Our customers have come out of the woodwork to show their support and to thank us for all the work and care we’ve demonstrated. So for that, I can’t thank them enough.
However, I do want to add that what’s been even more gratifying is that I’ve seen a similar number of hugs happening at the Elluminate booth as well. I had a hunch for a long time that Elluminate’s customers were just as happy and loyal as ours, and that hunch too has been confirmed. I’ve seen Elluminate’s blue-clad staff receive hug and after hug after hug.
The reason I’m pointing out all of this hugging and complimenting – along with the positive comments we’ve heard from so many former ANGEL folks – is that the future keeps getting brighter and brighter. Blackboard Learn President Ray Henderson and the rest of the Blackboard Collaborate transition team is going out of its way to ensure that this customer devotion remains priority #1 . And for that, I want to hug Ray myself – and encourage all of our customers to do so too. Watch out, Ray, hugs (well, handshakes in my case) are closer than they appear!