I’ve spent some time in Los Angeles this week at Microsoft’s annual Worldwide Partner Conference (WPC) meeting with partners, talking about business opportunities to build on the Microsoft platform to deliver new solutions to the education market and celebrating their successes. This year, Desire2Learn won the 2011 Microsoft Public Sector Education Partner of the Year Award for delivering innovative solutions that directly address customer challenges.

Desire2Learn is recognized as a global eLearning solution provider and I'm excited about the work they are doing across the Microsoft platform. The Desire2Learn environment is a complete web-based suite of easy-to-use tools and functionality built exclusively on Microsoft Windows and SQL Server. Other Microsoft technologies integrated—or soon to be integrated—in their products include: Live@edu, Windows Phone 7, Lync, Office 365, and SharePoint Server.  We see Desire2Learn really delivering a broad range of solutions that connect a range of Microsoft technologies in real ways that schools want to use them in terms of providing flexible connections to learning management applications, providing a very collaborative stack, and building it on affordable and flexible technology that scales with schools.

Earlier, I had the chance to speak with Jeremy Auger, Desire2Learn’s Chief Operating Officer. One of the things we talked about was the way in which they're using the Microsoft platform to build very custom solutions for schools, that they're taking what they've learned and feedback from schools who have used learning management systems before and filling the gaps and responding to customers’ wish lists.