Skip to navigation Skip to content

Corporate Headquarters

10 East 40th St, Floor 11
New York, NY 10016
+1 646 861 5100 tel
+1 646 861 5200 fax

United Kingdom

Wellington House, East Road
Cambridge, CB1 1BH
U.K.
+44 (0)845 862 1923 tel
+44 (0)845 280 1474 fax

For immediate release

SURFdiensten Partners with Wimba to Provide Enterprise-wide Collaboration Solutions throughout The Netherlands

Over 60 Dutch Universities, Schools for Higher Vocational Education and Research Institutes may now Subscribe to the Wimba Collaboration Suiteā„¢ 6.0

CAMBRIDGE, UK – August 27, 2009 – Wimba® Inc., the education technology company that helps people teach people, today announced an agreement with SURFdiensten, a consortium of Dutch higher education and research institutes, providing consortium members affordable access to the Wimba Collaboration Suite™ 6.0.  Instructors and researchers throughout the Netherlands can now utilize Wimba’s powerful collaboration solutions to enhance their learning communities and enterprise-wide implementations can help universities better manage the business of education.

The Wimba Collaboration Suite 6.0, recently honoured with the 2009 “Best Education Solution” CODiE award by SIIA, combines interactive technologies such as voice, video, podcasting, instant messaging, application sharing, polling and whiteboarding, to empower the institutional members of SURFdiensten with a unique collaborative environment that fosters dynamic interaction between and amongst students, instructors, administrators, and researchers. 

With this agreement participating members, even working with reduced budgets, can facilitate both distance and blended learning; enable collaboration among working groups and committees; and can affordably extend the reach and scope of their academic programs. Two members of SURFdiensten’s e-merge consortium, the University of Delft and Haagse Hogeschool, have already committed to enterprise-wide pilots. The agreement has tremendous potential to enhance the learning experience of many students across the Netherlands, as well as to realise a number of collaborative benefits to teachers, researchers and support staff.

Speaking for SURFdiensten, Pim Slot, Unit Manager Licensing, said, ”The agreement between SURFdiensten – also on behalf of SLBdiensten – and Wimba for the licensing of the Wimba Collaboration Suite for use in Dutch higher and vocational education perfectly fits the product portfolio of both our intermediary organisations.”

“Since the late 1990’s, SURFdiensten and SLBdiensten have been very active in licensing Electronic Learning Environments such as Blackboard. However, in the last couple of years, we wanted to broaden the opportunities for virtual collaboration and communication for schools and universities over the country, not only for educational purposes, but also to meet business and management demands.”

”Being experts in education, we recognised that Wimba could meet those demands with its collaboration products. SURFdiensten is expecting the demand for collaboration technologies to rise. With the special offer we have negotiated with Wimba, we have been able to lower the threshold for institutes to start and make use of the Collaboration Suite as a campus-wide, or enterprise, solution.”

”For over 20 years SURFdiensten has been a visionary organization and its selection of Wimba as a preferred partner illustrates their commitment to improving higher education in the Netherlands,” said Thomas Jepsen, Vice President, EMEA at Wimba., “We are delighted to have been chosen by SURFdiensten as their partner. This agreement opens up the best in collaborative learning technologies to the whole SURF community, and can enable universities not only to enhance their provision at a course level, but more importantly to facilitate mature, embedded collaborative learning systems across campus.”

The Wimba Collaboration Suite 6.0 includes:
•    Wimba Classroom™ – a robust, virtual classroom – now with advanced MP4 functionality.
•    Wimba Pronto™ – an academic instant messaging system – now with a state-of-the-art whiteboard.
•    Wimba Voice™ – for communication skills and audio feedback – now with an integrated gradebook.
•    Wimba Create™ - content authoring software that easily converts Word documents into content for online courses.
 
Next steps:
SURF members interested in taking advantage of this unique agreement, should visit http://www.surfdiensten.nl/

About SURFdiensten
SURFdiensten is the Dutch organization for licenses for higher education and research that facilitates the use of ICT. SURFdiensten offers software, content, ICT services and hardware at unique prices and conditions. It occupies a key position between providers of ICT products and services on the one hand, and the higher education and research community on the other.

SURFdiensten is part of SURF, the collaborative organisation for higher education institutions and research institutes aimed at breakthrough innovations in ICT. SURF provides the foundation for the excellence of higher education and research in the Netherlands.

The joining of forces in SURF has achieved many successes over the past twenty years. Collaboration has resulted in services and products that could not have been achieved by the institutions in isolation. SURF initiatives have an impact through the combination of high-quality knowledge, advantages of scale and a demanding user group.

SURF collaborates with a number of partners abroad, including JISC in the UK, to share knowledge and to profit from advantages of scale. SURF comprises SURFfoundation, SURFnet and SURFdiensten.