eDreams Edusoft identified lack of personalized learning as a fundamental problem in the Indian education system. The company’s flagship product, Funtoot, is its solution to this problem. The intelligent and adaptive online tutor helps every child by enabling personalized learning. It is developed on the Microsoft stack of products and technologies, including Silverlight, IIS and ASP.NET because it delivers seamless integration. The solution uses a hybrid public- private cloud strategy, based on Microsoft SQL Server 2008 R2 and Windows Azure. With this hybrid strategy, it also gains scalability, along with a low-cost solution that helps it go-to-market quickly.
eDreams Edusoft, established in the year 2010, is a Bengaluru based education technology company. It partners with many educational and research organizations to develop products that are the first to enter the global market. The company is amongst the top three finalists for NASSCOM Social Innovation Honors 2013.
Students across the globe are unable to realize their true potential because of the homogeneous teaching that leads to a learning deficit. eDreams Edusoft wanted to address this fundamental problem in the Indian education system, by providing a system of personalized learning. “It’s important to match learning instructions to each child’s interests and abilities to create a positive learning experience that helps build an independent, well rounded individual,” explains Rajeev Pathak, Founder and CEO, eDreams Edusoft.
In order to achieve this, the company invented the world’s first intelligent and adaptive personal tutor, Funtoot, for K-12 education. “Every child is different in his/her learning speed and ability,” says Rajeev. “Our vision is to help improve the life of every student globally through student-centric, disruptive technology innovations. Funtoot builds a highly personalized learning experience for each child, as it adapts according to an individual’s caliber, enabling him/her to reach his/her highest potential.”
To develop an intelligent learning platform, eDreams Edusoft chose Artificial Intelligence as the core of Funtoot. The idea was to build a virtual machine, which could closely emulate a human teacher. To achieve this vision, Machine Learning, Natural Language Processing (NLP) and Speech Processing also formed the core of the product.
eDreams Edusoft decided to develop Funtoot completely on the Microsoft stack of technologies and products. “If you have to develop a smart technology which can help every child in a similar manner as a teacher would, then the technology has to be extremely sophisticated and intelligent,” says Suryaprakash Konanuru, CTO, eDreams Edusoft. “We chose Microsoft both for the capabilities of individual products and because it offered a streamlined, end-to-end platform. Moreover, schoolchildren in India are familiar with Microsoft products. We wanted them to remain in their natural routine environment.”
eDreams Edusoft chose Microsoft Silverlight for its rich and vastly improved user interface. Internet Information Services (IIS) 7.0 is the web server, and the business logic is uses ASP.NET. All the algorithms are developed completely on Microsoft Technology components. “We wanted to use the entire Microsoft stack because it offers seamless integration of various layers of the platform, from database to business logic to interface,” says Suryaprakash.
The company decided to implement a hybrid cloud solution based on Microsoft SQL Server 2008 R2 and the Windows Azure platform. Suryaprakash explains, “Originally we wanted to offer Funtoot on a public cloud, which could be accessed through Internet either in school or at home. But in emerging markets such as India, high bandwidth for internet accessibility is still not same as in the West.”
Therefore Funtoot took the decision was to set up a private cloud in schools, using Microsoft SQL Server. At home, kids access Funtoot through the Windows Azure public cloud. Suryaprakash continues, “Kids use Funtoot not only in schools but at home as well. Our hybrid cloud solution helps them to carry forward their work from school to home, and vice versa.”
To offer this continuity, the data in the private cloud is bi-directionally synchronized with that in the public cloud on a daily basis using the SQLSync. This is to ensure that kids can work seamlessly at school and at home.
The solution took two years of research and development. Finally, Funtoot was launched in June 2012. Currently, more than 25,000+ kids across dozens of schools in India are using the product. “In the next four to five years, we plan to have one million kids across 1,500 schools in India using Funtoot,” says Rajeev. “In the future, we hope to take the product to global markets as well.”
eDreams Edusoft’ s product deployment strategy relies on both private and public cloud computing using Microsoft software and cloud services. It benefits from end-to-end development tools that provide a seamless environment for innovation.
“Funtoot has been developed after extensive research. It is personalized to the precise requirement of each individual student,” says Rajeev. “It observes, assesses, identifies, interacts, encourages and tutors each student based on his/her individual characteristics.”
Microsoft tools offer the ability to debug codes and write complex algorithms. The biggest benefit for eDreams Edusoft was the ability to quickly roll out Funtoot with minimal development time. “In a start-up, you need to be able to develop products quickly. You can achieve this only if the underlying development platform has a rich tool set,” explains Rajeev. “We were able to do so because of Microsoft technologies. We could not have implemented Funtoot so quickly if we had gone with another provider.”
Provides a Highly Scalable Platform for Rapid Growth
With Windows Azure, scaling is simple and immediate. The company is pleased that with Microsoft technologies it has a scalable solution at low cost. Suryaprakash says, “With Windows Azure we can scale to what we need. Additionally, the pay-as-you-go pricing helps lower our upfront costs.”
Avoids Product Engineering Tools Costs by 85 Percent
eDreams Edusoft is a part of the Microsoft BizSpark Program from the start. Rajeev says, “As a start-up we had to optimize our cash outflow and the BizSpark Program really helped us. We did not buy any licenses for development purposes; all licenses were free. With very minimal infrastructure costs, we expect to reduce product engineering tools costs by 85 percent.”
With Windows Azure, you can quickly build, deploy and manage applications across a global network of Microsoft-managed data centers. You can build applications using any operating system, language or tool.
For more information, please visit www.windowsazure.com
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For more information about eDreams Edusoft Private Limited products and services, call +91 80 4099 8150 or mail at [email protected] or visit the website at: www.funtoot.com
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