The US-based LCMS vendor OutStart has merged with Hot Lava Software, a company producing applications for mobile phone subscribers. The newly combined companies will conduct business as OutStart. Massood Zarrabian continues as CEO and president of OutStart, while Bob Sanregret, CEO of Hot Lava Software, becomes vice president of the OutStart Hot Lava Mobile business unit.

OutStart intends to use Hot Lava’s patent-pending technology to develop, deliver and track mobile content for product training, assessments, surveys, job aids and checklists. OutStart plans to incorporate Hot Lava Mobile capabilities in its social business software and learning systems as well as offer Hot Lava Mobile as a stand-alone solution.

“From executives to yak herders, mobile devices are in the hands of billions of people around the globe,” said Bob Sanregret, CEO of Hot Lava Software. “Merging with OutStart provides Hot Lava with additional resources and a link to OutStart customers who will enable us to better take advantage of the incredible potential that ‘mobile’ offers.”

Comment: Could OutStart have been prompted into this merger because of the technological advances being made by its main rival, the Italy-based Giunti Labs?

At a conference in Malta at the end of this month, Giunti Labs is revealing its latest advances in personalised learning. It is collaborating with Sun, combining its systems with Sun’s virtual worlds and collaboration platforms to deliver the content that users need, just in time, where they are and to the media they have – be it paper, web, iPhones, Blackberrys and so on.

Giunti Labs’ Fabrizio Cardinali believes that: “Western societies need to re-invent their leadership to survive the global competition coming from emerging economies. We need to develop an open and interoperable ecosystem to deliver new generation personal performance support and information access to our citizens, learners and trainees. This will help them develop new skills and competencies rapidly.”

Presumably this includes yak herders – but maybe Giunti Labs faces an uphill battle for their custom, now that OutStart has got there first.