Asahi Net International Acquires the Sakai Division of rSmart
Asahi Net, together with rSmart, to further Sakai’s mission to advance teaching and learning while rSmart to focus on higher education enterprise resource planning with the Kuali Platform
SCOTTSDALE, Ariz., April 11, 2013 /PRNewswire/ — Asahi Net International and rSmart, providers of technology solutions for higher education, jointly announced today that Asahi Net International has acquired rSmart’s learning management division, which builds solutions on the open source, community developed Sakai platform. Asahi Net International, Inc., a New York-based technology company, along with its parent company ASAHI Net, Inc., a public Japanese Internet service provider, deliver cloud-based learning platforms “manaba” to 190 institutions globally. ASAHI Net and rSmart have been engaged in a strategic partnership since 2011.
Building on this partnership, the acquisition was made to create a smooth transition for rSmart’s learning management solutions over to the capable hands of Asahi Net International where it will receive even greater emphasis by a highly knowledgeable partner, while centralizing rSmart’s focus on higher education ERP solutions built on the Kuali platform. The company’s 45 Sakai CLE customers will remain supported by the same team that has supported them for years, and will experience a seamless transition through the acquisition. Chris Coppola, CEO of rSmart, has also joined the Asahi Net International board of directors to further rSmart and Asahi Net International’s strategic partnership.
ASAHI Net is enthusiastic about the ways in which this acquisition will allow it to grow and expand its learning management solutions, both Sakai and manaba, globally. Upon the completion of the acquisition, the company is now supporting a total of 230 academic institutions with 550,000 students globally. It aims to advance its globalization strategy by contributing its experience, technological capabilities, and global network to the Sakai community, and by further expanding its academic solutions and services. Takashi Takekawa, president and CEO of Asahi Net International, goes on to say, “Asahi Net International is committed to building on this acquisition to serve our customers’ needs more acutely through an increased focus on higher education academic solutions. Asahi Net International and rSmart will join forces to serve the market with the same scope as each company always had independently – delivering high quality, cost effective, expert technology solutions for higher ed that improve teaching, learning, research, and administration.”
“Focusing on the ERP side of our business is a good decision for rSmart. That said, we are passionate about supporting the Sakai open source community and would only consider selling it to a company that shares this passion. We fully trust Asahi Net International as a strong leader and distinguished name in the global higher education community, and feel that this is a gain for the Sakai community,” says Chris Coppola, CEO of rSmart. “We are committed to ensuring that both the Kuali and Sakai platforms thrive, and we believe this acquisition is the best way to ensure their optimum success.”
Upon the acquisition, Asahi Net International joined the Sakai community as a staunch supporter and advocate, just as rSmart has been since the community was formed. The Kuali community will also benefit from this acquisition, albeit more indirectly, as rSmart can now sharpen its focus on higher ed ERP solutions. These solutions include financial, HR, payroll, student services, library, and research administration systems, which are all crucial to the infrastructure that supports colleges and universities. rSmart will continue to build solutions on Kuali open source, community developed software, adding key capabilities, cloud delivery, consulting services, and support.
“rSmart has been instrumental since the very beginning of university-led, community source development. This move enables greater specialization for Asahi Net in the global directions of Sakai and furthers rSmart’s broad engagement in support of Kuali’s eight major administrative system communities,” commented Brad Wheeler, Kuali board chair.
“We’re very pleased to know that the plan between rSmart and Asahi Net International is to focus in on each of their respective missions and continue working in partnership,” says Ian Dolphin, executive director of the Apereo Foundation, the parent body for Sakai. “We are looking forward to seeing significant value delivered by Asahi Net to the Sakai community and users as a whole.”
About Asahi Net International, Inc.
Asahi Net International is a New York-based subsidiary of ASAHI Net, Inc., a public Japanese Internet service provider with 23 years of history. Established in 2011, Asahi Net International provides a cloud-based collaborative learning system “manaba” to educational institutions around the United States and abroad. Its intuitive interface, cost-effectiveness, and scalability with a focused approach to maximizing students’ learning outcomes led customers to implement the system for international education programs, advising programs, teacher training programs, and so on.
Asahi Net International Media Contact:
Tomoka Higuchi McElwain
rSmart empowers colleges and universities to step away from traditional, proprietary enterprise resource planning (ERP) software and embrace community-driven, open source technologies. The company builds upon community developed Kuali software adding key capabilities, cloud delivery, consulting services, and support for enterprise scale delivery. This sustainable approach enables rSmart customers to reduce cost and optimize business processes, freeing them from expensive, overly customized, and difficult to maintain legacy and proprietary software. Learn more: http://www.rsmart.com.
rSmart Media Contact:
Ubiquity Public Relations