KnowledgePlanet announced that it has acquired Peer3 Software's learning content management system (LCMS) assets. KnowledgePlanet needs to integrate the Peer3 technology with its own learning management system (LMS) capabilities.
On 16 July 2001, KnowledgePlanet, an LMS vendor, announced that it had acquired the now-defunct Peer3's LCMS assets from Peer3's parent, Technology Solutions Company (TSC), for an equity stake in KnowledgePlanet. TSC will keep Peer3's change management strategy and service capabilities.
Peer3 ceased business on 4 June 2001 as the result of a decision made by its parent, TSC. However, its assets still hold considerable interest for e-learning companies such as KnowledgePlanet. With its acquisition of Peer3's "crown jewel" LCMS assets, KnowledgePlanet can now leverage an expanded LMS capability into a stronger position in the e-learning market.
Peer3 was only one of many LCMS vendors struggling for survival. Demand for LCMS is low, and in this category, LCMS is a fairly new offering. KnowledgePlanet's acquisition reflects a trend in which established e-learning vendors buy other vendors to gain more-complete e-learning suites. Other e-learning companies have taken the same tack as KnowledgePlanet and have recently bought content management providers to bolster their market potential — e.g., Centra Software bought Mindlever.com, and Click2Learn.com bought Intelliprep Technologies. This trend makes LCMS vendors particularly vulnerable to takeover, given their relatively weak position in the e-learning market and their struggle to remain financially viable.
KnowledgePlanet must integrate the Peer3 LCMS with its own LMS offering. Given the current trend, Gartner expects that by mid-2002, most of today's LCMS vendors will be bought by larger e-learning vendors or will cease operations due to poor profitability. Enterprises should seek information from KnowledgePlanet, under nondisclosure agreements, regarding its plans for integrating Peer3's technology into its overall product line.
Analytical Source: James Lundy, Integrated Document & Output Management