Educational technology company rSmart launched in 2002 with a focus on helping educators harness the power of software developed by open source communities.
Since then, rSmart has grown its consumer base to more than 100 clients globally, ranging from community colleges to research universities, and has more than 300,000 users. The company enables its clients in the higher education community to adopt and implement open source software in the operation of their institutions. There are two open source software development communities that rSmart is built upon called Sakai and Kuali, which are designed for higher education by the higher education community.
According to Chris Coppola, the CEO of rSmart, Sakai provides learning management software and Kuali provides enterprise resource management software such as financial management, research administration, and student services systems. He said the company, which recently raised more than $10 million in funding, plans to expand its cloud base and platform development reach.
The Sakai community delivers learning management software at an enterprise scale as the communities continue to new software for individuals and institutions to use.
“The purpose of rSmart is to bring all of the benefits of open source, community developed software to colleges and universities,” he said. “We believe open source, community development simply creates better software for higher education. Because this software is purposefully built by higher education for higher education, it produces better product that addresses the specific needs of higher ed and is financially advantageous for colleges and universities. rSmart is the bridge to these benefits, providing key capabilities, cloud delivery, consulting services, and support to deliver these mission-critical apps at enterprise scale.”
The most recent development through the Sakai community is rSmart Academic, a research and collaboration platform helping students and teachers better engage with content, colleagues and other communities.
“rSmart’s learning management solution is unique because it is built on Sakai open source, community developed software,” Coppola said. “The main financial benefit of this is a lower total cost of ownership. In addition, this collaborative, sustainable approach enables rSmart customers to simplify deployment, optimize business processes, and leverage the collective insights of a global education community.”
Some of the company’s higher education clients include Cornell University, Colorado State University, Seton Hall University, and the University of Florida.