IBM and Thomson expand e-learning partnership

IBM Corp. and Thomson Corp. have agreed to widen their collaboration in electronic learning to offer government agencies and private-sector companies worldwide an extensive menu of products and services, officials from both companies said Monday.

Clients can't find a wide-ranging offering of e-learning products and services today because the e-learning market is very fragmented, officials said. IBM and Thomson hope that their joint offerings will set them apart and attract clients, officials said.

Demand for e-learning is increasing among companies and government agencies because they have found that e-learning can lower training costs and increase its efficacy, the officials said. E-learning refers to the use of IT products and technologies for educational purposes.

Armonk, New York-based IBM and Thomson, in Toronto, have collaborated for years in e-learning, but the agreement intensifies the relationship, officials said.

The non-exclusive agreement, announced Tuesday, calls for the companies to:

-- integrate e-learning products from each other;-- co-market and resell each other's products and services;-- beef-up the e-learning library for IBM products and services;-- and develop new e-learning products and services, such as software-based teaching material and online courses.

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