Sun Microsystems buys Toronto e-learning firm

Sun Microsystems Inc. liked the product so much it bought the company.

The Palo Alto, Calif.-based software company Tuesday announced it has signed an agreement to acquire Isopia, Inc., an e-learning software firm. Sun would not reveal the financial details of the deal other than to say it was a combination of cash and stock.

Mike Wenger, senior worldwide director of e-learning for Sun’s training arm, Sun Educational Services, says it came across the Toronto-based company while searching for a learning management system provider.

“We were looking for the best learning management system provider both in terms of what product they had and in their development capacity to renew and extend that product and that turned out to be Isopia,” says Wenger.

“It’s really kind of the anchor in our Web world. As we move forward, Learning Management System is going to be an anchor in our ability to develop and deploy global learning solutions.”

Sun’s interest was sparked for two reasons. One, says Wenger, was Isopia’s Integrated Learning Management System is designed, coded and developed with JavaBeans and Java 2 Enterprise Edition, both Sun technologies. The second factor was the human element.

” The employee force is some of the most talented Java developers. These people really understand the learning management system market and the executive is absolutely top-notch,” says Wenger.

Given the affinity for the employees it should come as no surprise layoffs are not expected. Wenger says he expects everyone to remain where they currently work for the foreseeable future. Isopia CEO Omid Hodaie adds the executives have already signed employment offers with Sun while others will be receiving offers.

“Sun is as interested in keeping these skills and individuals as they are the actual intellectual property,” says Hodaie.

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