SkillSoft Leads Collaborative Effort to Share Web Services for Learning

Web Services in Learning (WSIL) Forum Shares Approaches to Streamline and Enhance Learning Integration

PHOENIX, Feb. 5 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- SkillSoft PLC (Nasdaq: SKIL), a leading provider of e-learning and performance support solutions, is presenting its latest approaches for open learning services today at the Aviation Industry CBT (Computer-Based Training) Committee (AICC) meeting in Phoenix, Arizona. An international association of technology-based training professionals, the AICC develops guidelines for the aviation industry in the development, delivery, and evaluation of CBT and related training technologies.

Since introducing its Open Learning Services Architecture (OLSA) in 2005, SkillSoft has been committed to building an open information environment in which many different types of learning and performance resources are available across all types of information systems. This is a goal shared by the Web Services in Learning (WSIL) forum, an informal group of companies from the learning and performance space that collaborate to share information about how web services and other new Internet technologies can be used to accelerate the implementation of learning and performance solutions, creating an open ecology for the flow of information.

Other WSIL members currently working on new approaches to launching learning resources and to communicating about the use of these resources using secure web services will also be presenting at the AICC meeting.

Web services and service-oriented architectures (SOA) have emerged as the most effective way to integrate systems within the enterprise and across value webs. The initial result is that the many different systems used to support learning and performance, such as learning management systems, performance support systems, portals and collaboration spaces, search engines and social software, can all be brought together to provide a seamless experience that helps people to learn more rapidly and apply what they learn in the context of their job. Beyond this, the web services approach as exemplified by the work being done at WSIL and as implemented in SkillSoft's OLSA is opening the learning industry to a more collaborative approach to business.

"Because of our integration with OLSA, customers using our Enterprise Knowledge Platform can now directly access content services such as mentoring and never need to worry about the time and effort it takes to import and update SkillSoft content in our catalog," says Jay Shaw, CEO of NetDimensions. "We are proud to bring this innovative learning advantage to our mutual customers."

WSIL was formed in 2006 by Steven Forth, vice president of on-line content publishing at the Monitor Group's eMonitor unit. "Our goal was to provide a forum for people to discuss the real technical challenges in adopting new and more open approaches to sharing resources across systems and to extending the learning industry beyond its conventional boundaries to include social software, search and other more flexible approaches to enhancing personal and organizational performance," he comments.

WSIL's stated goal is to identify best practices and develop common approaches that eliminate unnecessary complexity for customers and to provide a forum where open web services can be published, commented on, evaluated and integrations tested. Participants include: major vendors of learning management systems, including NetDimensions, Oracle, Plateau, Saba, SAP and SumTotal; providers of related systems such as Eedo, Giunti Labs, OutStart and Questionmark; leading technology firms IBM and Microsoft; and consulting firms such as BBN, Eduworks and Rustici.

SkillSoft has been a member of WSIL since its first meeting in March 2006 and has actively contributed proposals for new ways to launch and track content and to share and synchronize catalogs across systems.

"We are pleased to contribute our Open Learning Services specifications to WSIL and as a result have received valuable input for future releases. Although only recently released, OLSA has been embraced by our customers and many of our LMS partners as an effective and efficient way to deploy our traditional and more advanced content," said Mark Townsend, SkillSoft's executive vice president of technology. "Through OLSA, customers using any integrated LMS can now access advanced content like our KnowledgeCenters as well as our content-related services including mentoring, off-line play and code judging."

WSIL is currently working on a new approach to launching learning resources and to communicating about use of these resources using secure web services.

About WSIL

Web Services in Learning (WSIL) is an informal group that promotes the adoption of open web services in the learning, performance, knowledge management and human capital development fields. Web services are open in that the descriptions are made publicly available. WSIL members also investigate trends in the Internet and World Wide Web such as social software that have the potential to transform how organizations work together. WSIL meets three times a year, often together with other organizations such as the AICC. WSIL sometimes engages in specification development efforts and then transfers the resulting work to another organization. For more information contact

About SkillSoft

SkillSoft PLC (Nasdaq: SKIL) is a leading provider of e-learning and performance support solutions for global enterprises, government, education and small to medium-sized businesses. SkillSoft enables companies to maximize business performance through a combination of comprehensive e-learning content, online information resources, flexible learning technologies and support services.

Content offerings include business, IT, desktop and compliance courseware collections, as well as complementary content assets such as SkillSim(TM) simulations, KnowledgeCenter(TM) portals and online mentoring services. The Books24x7(R) division offers online access to more than 10,000 unabridged IT and business books in its Referenceware(R) collections, as well as book summaries, executive reports and best practices. Technology offerings include the SkillPort(R) learning management system, Search-and-Learn(R), SkillSoft(R) Dialogue(TM) virtual classroom, SkillView(R) competency management software and the Enterprise Learning Connection Suite(TM), a set of platform-neutral modules that can be used to create learning programs tailored to business needs.

SkillSoft courseware content described herein is for information purposes only and is subject to change without notice. SkillSoft has no obligation or commitment to develop or deliver any future release, upgrade, feature, enhancement or function described in this press release except as specifically set forth in a written agreement.

SkillSoft, the SkillSoft logo, Ahead of the Learning Curve, SkillPort, Search-and-Learn, SkillChoice, Books24x7, Referenceware, ITPro, BusinessPro, OfficeEssentials, GovEssentials, EngineeringPro, FinancePro, AnalystPerspectives, ExecSummaries, ExecBlueprints, Express Guide and Dialogue are trademarks or registered trademarks of SkillSoft PLC in the United States and certain other countries. All other trademarks are the property of their respective owners.

    Donna Keenan                            Steven Forth
    SkillSoft                               WSIL