SkillSoft provides cloud-based training courses and software for business and information technology (IT) professionals. It offers about 6,700 courses on business, compliance, safety, and technology. The firm's SkillPort software manages corporate e-learning programs, and its SkillSoft Dialogue portal helps clients create custom learning sessions. SkillSoft also offers online mentoring for some 100 IT certification exams, and its Books24x7 allows customers to search some 25,000 professional reference reports and books online. Though it serves 5,000 customers in more than 60 countries, the company generates most of its revenue in the US. SkillSoft is the main operating subsidiary of Ireland-based Skillsoft Ltd.
Sales and Marketing
The company uses direct sales and telemarketing employees to promote its products; it also distributes through resellers in certain markets. SkillSoft outsources much of its content development to third parties. Customers include Thomson Reuters, HBOS, IBM, and Royal Bank of Scotland.
SkillSoft expands its market penetration by creating new courses and developing easier ways to access its programs and by acquisitions to bring on new product lines. Its customers, which include small to large corporations and government and educational organizations, can integrate its learning programs into their own intranet portals. The company enhanced its Leadership Development Channel in 2011 with the addition of some 200 new videos focused on managerial and leadership skills. The following year SkillSoft added to its Books24x7 product through a partnership with HarperCollins.
Mergers and Acquisitions
In late 2011 the company paid $110 million to buy the e-learning and book business (Rochester, New York-based Element K) from India's NIIT Limited. It also acquired 50 Lessons that year, which provides story-based lessons for developing leadership qualities. In 2012 the company bought Dublin-based ThirdForce plc which operates MindLeaders, a provider of online continuing education, and certification products. – less