Securly Announces TechPilot Labs Acquisition

Announcing the Acquisition of TechPilot Labs: Bringing the Online Student Experience Full Circle

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First of all, I’d like to thank you for your interest in this news. I am excited to announce this news and to share where we’ve come from and where we’re headed.

Bharath and I launched Securly in 2012 with a mission to protect students’ digital experiences and keep them safe as they used their school devices in the classroom and at home. We released the K-12 market’s first cloud-based web filter product in 2013. Six years later, we now support over 7 Million students in more than 2,000 districts around the world. The impact we have had as a company in schools and homes across the globe has been incredible, and we are excited to announce the next phase of this journey: our acquisition of TechPilot Labs.

Read more about TechPilot Labs.

Over the past few years, it has become clear that technology’s role in the classroom has transcended districts’ initial fears of online dangers and distractions for young students. Teachers are using school devices to impart crucial lessons and enable valuable research and knowledge-gathering to enhance their students’ classroom experience and empower them beyond traditional learning.

The need is clear for a comprehensive solution that addresses not only the districts’ requirements to manage devices, filter websites and information, and monitor usage for safety, but also engages parents with a view into their child’s learning in the classroom and at home and empowers teachers to effectively manage technology in their classrooms. In the years since we launched, Securly has grown from a focus on web filtering to a more comprehensive solution for online student safety. Now, our mission is expanding to focus more holistically on the overall success of the student, encompassing online protection, emotional safety, and educational empowerment.

When we began searching to incorporate these capabilities into our offerings, we considered building these products and services ourselves versus finding best-of-breed providers already successful in the market. TechPilot Labs fell in the latter category. The work of Jarrett Volzer, Founder and CEO of TechPilot Labs, and his team in building such great mobile device and classroom management products that customers love was very impressive. Even more impressive was how complementary TechPilot Labs’ products were with Securly’s online solutions. Partnering with them is a natural fit.

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Jarrett Volzer, Founder and CEO of TechPilot Labs, and his team are joining the Securly family.

This partnership provides many benefits to our customers, but let me share a few highlights:

  • New products expand Securly’s portfolio and provide districts with one company from which they can acquire all of their device, safety, and parent engagement solutions. Schools and parents benefit from a single app, platform, and dashboard, as well as unified policies across many products and services, that all inform each other and create powerful synergies that the use of multiple vendors and products cannot achieve.
  • Current Securly customers will benefit from an expanded portfolio of solutions from a company they already know and trust.
  • TechPilot Labs customers will benefit from increased investment in development and support of the great products they already know and love, as well as the ability to add Securly products easily into their portfolios.

See the FAQS below for more benefits and answers to any questions you may have. We are also excited to be hosting a live webinar with the TechPilot Labs team on Thursday, March 14. Register for that here.

I am excited to extend a warm welcome to TechPilot Labs customers. You’ve been very successful with the mobile device management and classroom management products the team has built, and we commit to providing you even better product development and support from the global Securly team. Feel free to reach out to me directly if you have any questions or concerns about the path forward.

Finally, I’m pleased to welcome TechPilot Labs employees into the Securly family. Jarrett and his team are hard working and dedicated education technology experts who believe in our mission of a positive student digital experience. Together, we will provide a much broader solution to education technology management from a single vendor wholly dedicated to making education safer and more effective.

Vinay Mahadik
CEO and Co-Founder
Securly

Answers to Frequently Asked Questions About the Acquisition

Why did Securly acquire TechPilot Labs?

In short, the mobile device management (MDM) and classroom Chromebook management solutions from TechPilot Labs are perfectly complementary to the filtering, student safety and parent engagement products developed by Securly. The combined offering provides an end-to-end solution for managing devices that keep students productive, for monitoring content to keep kids safe and for engaging parents to drive improved educational outcomes.

As a result of this acquisition, K-12 educational institutions benefit in the following ways:

  • New products expand Securly’s portfolio and provide districts with one company from which they can acquire all of their device, safety, and parent engagement solutions. Schools and parents benefit from a single app, platform, and dashboard, as well as unified policies across many products and services, that all inform each other and create powerful synergies that the use of multiple vendors and products cannot achieve.
  • Current Securly customers benefit from an expanded portfolio of solutions from a company they already know and trust.
  • TechPilot Labs customers benefit from increased investment in development and support of the great products they already know and love, and now have the ability to add Securly products easily into their portfolios.

What does TechPilot Labs do?

TechPilot Labs serves the K-12 market, offering critical mobile device management (MDM) tools as well as Chromebooks classroom management solutions. They serve hundreds of schools and districts, primarily in the US, but in 10 additional countries. TechPilot Labs has built a great team that built compelling products offering a value-focused solution for device and classroom management in schools.

What is the history of TechPilot Labs?

TechPilot Labs began with a simple idea: managing mobile devices in schools should be simple, and should allow teachers to have a level of control in the classroom while giving the IT department the management they need.

The founder of TechPilot Labs was seeking such a product while working as a technology consultant for a district that was about to implement mobile devices. The existing market was comprised mostly of Mobile Device Management (MDM) systems that were designed for use by IT professionals at large enterprise organizations, filled with features that were not needed by schools, lacking a user-friendly interface and also missing classroom management features for teachers. These products were not the right fit for schools, so the idea for TechPilot Labs was born.

TechPilot Labs products are built based on the needs of teachers and IT staff. Since the first product was launched in 2012, the company has engaged educators and IT departments to gather feedback and expand the product line.

What happens if I’m a customer of both TechPilot Labs and Securly?

Right now, there’s no change. For your Securly products, continue to work with your Securly customer success manager. For TechPilot Labs products, continue to also work with the existing support team. Over the next several months, we will work on a well-constructed integration plan for the combined product offerings and support services.

Is this a merger or an acquisition?

Securly is acquiring TechPilot Labs in a friendly combination of two great companies. All of TechPilot Labs’ employees, products and customers are joining the Securly family.

What are the terms of the transaction?

It’s a natural question, and we appreciate your interest. The transaction is between two privately-held companies, however, so we are not disclosing the terms.

How does this acquisition benefit Securly customers?

Securly customers now have one single source for their device and classroom management needs. With the addition of a robust MDM solution along with a cutting edge classroom management set of tools for teachers to facilitate instruction, Securly’s portfolio has expanded significantly overnight.

Will any of Securly products be replaced or discontinued?

No, that’s why this combination is so powerful: all of TechPilot Labs products are complementary to Securly’s solutions. For more specific information on Securly and TechPilot Labs’ classroom products, please see below.

What is the roadmap for the combined Securly and Tech Pilot Labs products?

The simple answer is that over time, Securly and TechPilot Labs will be integrated to deliver on the promise of providing educational institutions with one place to manage the digital student experience.

Both Securly and TechPilot Labs have classroom management products for Chromebooks. How do they work together?

Securly does offer a free Classroom product which is different in functionality from the ChromeTools product from TechPilot Labs. Securly’s current Classroom users will see no disruption. We will introduce an enhanced version of the ChromeTools product in the feature that integrates the best of both solutions and then offer a migration program to get all our customers on this new version when ready.

What is the pricing for TechPilot Labs products?

The three TechPilot Labs products are competitively priced to other leading products in each of these categories. Your Securly account executive is your best contact for pricing information.

How does TechPilot Labs mobile device management solution work with Apple’s classroom product?

TechPilot fully supports Apple Classroom by pushing out class rosters from Apple School Manager to teacher and student devices. This deep integration with Apple’s platforms allows teachers to use Apple Classroom immediately, without the need to manually create classes. TechPilot also provides tools for classroom management of Apple devices with additional capabilities, such as the ability to create student iPad screen layouts that only contain a limited set of available apps.

Is Tech Pilot Labs a preferred vendor of MDM for Apple devices?

TechPilot is one of a small group of MDM vendors officially recognized by Apple on their education website. With support for the latest Apple for education capabilities immediately upon release of each Apple OS update, it’s no wonder Apple includes TechPilot in their list.

How does TechPilot Labs’ Chromebook classroom management solution work with Google Classroom?

The ChromeTools solution links with a district’s Google domain to automatically sync teachers, students, and Google Classroom Classes. This makes getting up and running with ChromeTools easy and fast. Within minutes, teachers can log in with their existing school-issued Google credentials and begin managing their existing Google Classroom classes.

What products does TechPilot Labs bring to Securly?

ChromeTools (for classroom management of Chromebooks)
Deeply integrated with Google Classroom, the solution empowers teachers to easily manage all Chromebooks in the classroom. Teachers can keep students focused and on-task by taking charge, opening tabs and sites, viewing student screens, freezing student devices (i.e. “heads up!”), viewing student browsing history, enforcing blacklists and more.

SchoolMDM (for management of mobile devices, primarily Apple)
Enables teachers and admins to manage all Apple devices in use, whether at school or at home. IT admins quickly deploy devices, manage app distribution, handle teacher app requests, secure devices, and configure networks. Teachers distribute content and use classroom management tools to freeze student screens, lock students to an app or web site, clear student passcodes and more. Parents also have control of student devices during non-schools hours, enforcing a curfew, restricting browsing and other capabilities.

FindMyChromebooks (for finding lost devices)
Provides a variety of tools that allow administrators of Chromebook fleets to find and recover lost or stolen devices, whether inside their facility or out.

Is TechPilot Labs compliant with FERPA and COPPA?

Yes, the company is certified by iKeepSafe for COPPA, FERPA, and CSPC (California) compliance.

Where can I get more information on TechPilot Labs’ products?

At this time, please visit the TechPilot Labs website at techpilotlabs.com to get more information and then reach out to sales@securly.com to schedule a custom demonstration.

What if my question wasn’t answered?

Please join us on this live webcast where we will share more information and answer live questions. Or, simply contact us through any of the means listed here.

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