iLearning wins 6-year pact to run Web site for NEA

Baltimore-based company expected to announce it today

April 03, 2001|By Stacey Hirsh | Stacey Hirsh,SUN STAFF

iLearning Inc., a Baltimore company that provides technology and content for Web-based training, is expected to announce today that it has won a six-year, multimillion- dollar contract with the National Education Association.

The company's chief executive officer, Allen Tait, said iLearning would create and maintain a Web site for the NEA through which the organization's 2.6 million members can take professional development classes, access classroom support materials and do career planning.

"We think that it is a very important relationship for us," Tait said.

The NEA's members are mostly teachers for kindergarten through the 12th grade. The amount of the contract was not disclosed, but Tait said it "is certainly in the millions of dollars." The money will be paid over the six-year term of the contract.

Milosz Skrzypczak, an analyst with the Yankee Group in Boston who follows the e-learning industry, said the biggest win on a contract like this is that it introduces the company to many potential users. In other words, a contract with an entire school district is much better than one with a single school.

"Assuming that it gives them actual access to a larger customer base, that is the greatest benefit," Skrzypczak said.

Having a contract with a respected organization, such as the NEA, may also validate the company, he said.

Tait agreed that the deal is an important one for iLearning.

It brings the company into a new market, and an endorsement from such a respectable organization "further defines the value of what we have to offer," he said.

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