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Ed Tech

Blackboard integrated Kloudless to improve education collaboration and saves $150k in dev costs each year

Solution

To solve the problem, Blackboard used Kloudless to code once and integrate many services. The Blackboard team needed a solution to manage their integrations efficiently and effectively without diverting resources from their core product. After evaluating several options, including building directly from the API providers, they selected Kloudless as their new integrations solution. The clean and intuitive developer experience coupled with the depth of features enabled Blackboard developers to quickly and efficiently develop a proof of concept that brought clarity to their decision.

Blackboard uses the Kloudless File Storage API to integrate Blackboard Learn with cloud storage integrations like Box, Dropbox, Google Drive, OneDrive, and SkyDrive. The “one-and-done” approach allows Blackboard to access multiple applications and in a fraction of the time while drastically reducing the need to consistently monitor their integrations for breaking changes.

Here’s a snapshot of the Kloudless File Explorer.

The open source nature of Kloudless allows Blackboard to take advantage of customizable UIs to scale internationally, prompting users in various languages to select their files and folders in the Kloudless File Explorer user interface.

Blackboard manages integrations on-premises.

Doing so ensures the security of data across integrated services.The flexibility of the Kloudless Enterprise on-premise deployment allows the team to easily scale up the instances they needed while simultaneously ensuring that their sensitive data—students’ personal information—stays safe and secure. The freedom of scaling even allowed them to successfully reach their product’s international expansion goals.

Using a unified API saved Blackboard substantial resources. Months later, Blackboard continues to see meaningful benefits from their investment across the several teams and functions.

Blackboard estimated that maintaining a single in-house integration took up to one-third of a full-time engineer’s time, dedicated solely to troubleshooting integration issues for that one service alone. Since Blackboard’s core competency as a product is not centered around integrations, it didn’t make sense to block the development cycle of the entire product by tasking developers with the challenge of building an integrations solution from scratch. Kloudless allows Blackboard developers to stay on track and focus on what they’re good at: improving and expanding their core educational technology product.

Results

With Kloudless, Blackboard is able to save up to $150,000 and 5,000 hours of developer time a year, while simultaneously ensuring reliable access to the multiple software services they need.

Integrating with multiple services also helped Blackboard catch up in the market. As integrated workflows became more widely adopted, Blackboard saw their competitors expanding their integration offerings to meet user demand. After integrating with Kloudless, they quickly caught up to—and even surpassed—the industry standards by adding five fully functional and stable integrations in mere days after the initial implementation.

With the breadth and depth of integrations supported by Kloudless APIs, Blackboard is considering countless opportunities to enable creative new use cases for their user base to set themselves apart from their competitors.

These results are in line with those experienced by other companies across industries. On average, Kloudless customers deploy applications eight times faster and decrease their maintenance overhead by a factor of four. What’s more, Kloudless customers code once and connect additional services twelve times faster than if they had built the integrations from scratch.

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