One of the best ways to develop a picture of any company is with a SWOT analysis -- a look at a company's strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats. Today I'd like to focus on Blackboard (Nasdaq: BBBB), a provider of enterprise software applications and other related services to the education industry, which recently posted net income of $5 million -- or $0.15 per share -- in its first-quarter report.


  • Proprietary intellectual property.
  • Tenured leadership, with extensive experience in education and technology: President and CEO Michael Chasen founded the company in 1997, has wide-ranging experience in educational consulting.
  • Successful acquisition record: Acquired NTI Group, ANGEL Learning, and Saf-T-Net in 2007, 2009, and 2010, respectively.
  • Continued product and service innovation.


  • Aggressive acquisition strategy as opposed to organic growth.
  • Recent share dilution.
  • No patent protection on technology.


  • Opportunity to increase already high retention rates from clients.
  • Opportunity to increase switching costs for clients.
  • Up- and cross-sell opportunities from base clients.
  • Industry consolidation.
  • Growing international clientele.


  • Reduced education budgets.
  • High switching costs for prospective clients.
  • Competition from open-source products.

What parts of Blackboard's SWOT need more detail? Fill in the blanks by using the comments section below.

Tanya Carlson owns shares of Blackboard. Blackboard is a Motley Fool Stock Advisor selection. Blackboard is a Motley Fool Hidden Gems pick. Try any of our Foolish newsletters today, free for 30 days. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.