NASHVILLE, Tennessee, March 3, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Vital Source Technologies, Inc., Ingram Content Group's global leader in building, enhancing and delivering e-learning content, today announced that it has acquired the assets of CourseSmart, a leading provider of digital textbooks in the higher education market.
"We are pleased to make another investment in higher education and technology with the acquisition of CourseSmart," said John Ingram, Chairman and CEO, Ingram Content Group. "By integrating the strengths of CourseSmart with Vital Source, we are creating an extensive global sales channel for publishers and bringing the best in digital learning technology and accessibility to the higher education community. We are strengthening our services in the higher education market and reinforcing our commitment to helping publishers, institutions, educators and students navigate the evolving landscape of digital learning and succeed by providing them with content in any format."
CourseSmart's strengths in inventory, instructor sampling and analytics will be integrated with Vital Source's reader platform and global, scalable distribution network. By combining the two organizations, Vital Source will offer the world's largest digital content catalog and provide better digital content solutions for the higher education community.
"CourseSmart was founded by member publishers to improve the distribution of digital learning materials in higher education," said Will Ethridge, Chairman of CourseSmart. "Since its founding, CourseSmart's innovative services have led the company to become a leading higher education platform for institutions, professors and students to discover, adopt and purchase course materials. By becoming one company, CourseSmart and Vital Source will be able to further accelerate the adoption of digital learning materials to these audiences, while providing more effective distribution and customer relationships for authors and publishers as well."
CourseSmart was founded in 2007 by Macmillan, Cengage Learning, John Wiley & Sons, McGraw-Hill Education and Pearson with a simple goal of providing instructors a better textbook evaluation service. The company has since expanded to become a leader in providing digital learning content to the higher education community. CourseSmart has millions of users around the world and offers access to over 90 percent of core higher education titles as e-textbooks along with the largest catalog of e-resources and digital course materials.
"We have worked with Vital Source and CourseSmart, and both companies have added value to our digital learning environment, supporting our unique, competency-based learning model," said Dr. Robert Mendenhall, President, Western Governors University. "We are encouraged by Ingram's increased investment in higher education, and we expect the combination of CourseSmart and Vital Source to expand the availability and distribution of digital course materials and curriculums to institutions."
The company will offer a best-in-class digital content platform and will be committed to pioneering new technologies in areas like accessibility and analytics. It will provide more options for institutions, more inventory for faculty and course designers, and greater scalability for content creators and resellers.
"We have tremendous respect for the work Sean Devine has done in leading CourseSmart," said Shawn Morin, Chief Operating Officer, Ingram Content Group. "We are pleased that he has agreed to help us shepherd the transition process."
Customers of both CourseSmart and Vital Source will not experience any immediate changes to their service. All products and services will be maintained and supported until the full system integration occurs.
Vital Source is the largest, most accessible digital content channel in the world. The VitalSource Bookshelf platform is the most used e-textbook delivery platform in higher education with more than 4 million users across 6,000 campuses around the world. It uses the latest technology to enhance the learning experience through e-textbooks and digital education. Content from more than 500 of the world's top academic publishers is available to VitalSource Bookshelf platform users, including those living with disabilities, on a variety of operating systems and devices. For more information about Vital Source Technologies, visit www.vitalsource.com.
About Ingram Content Group
Ingram Content Group Inc. is a subsidiary of Nashville-based Ingram Industries Inc. Ingram provides books, music and media content to over 39,000 retailers, libraries, schools and distribution partners in 220 countries and territories. More than 30,000 publishers use Ingram's fully integrated physical and digital distribution, logistics, and manufacturing solutions to access global consumer demand, and realize the full business potential of book content. Ingram's operating units are Ingram Book Company, Lightning Source Inc., Vital Source Technologies, Inc., Ingram Periodicals Inc., Ingram International Inc., Ingram Library Services Inc., Spring Arbor Distributors Inc., Ingram Publisher Services Inc., Tennessee Book Company LLC, Coutts Information Services, and ICG Ventures Inc. For more information, visit www.ingramcontent.com
CourseSmart is a leading digital content services company and the only provider of digital course materials able to combine curriculum, content and delivery into a single solution. Founded in 2007, the San Mateo, Calif.–based company provides services to four business segments: online direct retail for students; indirect distribution of course materials to students through bookstores; online faculty textbook evaluation services; and institutional solutions for faculty and students that are integrated within campus technology ecosystems. CourseSmart improves the educational experience by offering all users, including those with print–related disabilities, anytime, anywhere access to the course content they need. With more than 90% of the same core titles offered by major print publishers, the company's eTextbooks can be purchased for up to 60% less than the cost of new print textbooks. For more information about CourseSmart, visit the company's Web site at www.coursesmart.com or www.coursesmart.co.uk.
Gabrielle Zucker, Kwittken + Company
Elizabeth Fielding, The Strategy Group
SOURCE Ingram Content Group