“During the COVID-19 epidemic, Agora.io’s daily duration of the voice and video calls of all users doubled, reaching 1.56 billion minutes. The peak value of the minutes increased by seven times and ten times in the education industry, remote work industry, respectively. ” Said Zhu Chaohua, the product manager of Agora.io.
Founded in 2014, Agora.io enables developers to add HD interactive broadcast, voice, and video calls into mobile and web apps through SDK. Now the company is committed to empowering online education globally with the technological advantages and seeking more cooperation opportunities. The COVID-19 crisis has accelerated OMO in the education sector; thus, will it promote Agora.io’s overseas footprint? JMDedu writes this article to figure out the answer.
Empowering eight educational scenarios, Agora.io is promoting educational equity
Online education and telecommuting industries have been most affected by the coronavirus. According to the data from iiMedia, during the Spring Festival break, over 18 million Chinese enterprises switched to telecommuting, more than 300 million people were involved. UNESCO also reveals that as of March 4, more than 290 million students worldwide were affected by the school suspension.
The epidemic once again stimulates the growth of online education. Although online classrooms have been relatively mature, they still face major technical challenges in real-time interaction. To empower remote learning globally, Agora.io improves its online education solutions covering four basic teaching modes(1-on-1, small-sized class, large-sized class, and dual-teacher class) and four innovative educational scenarios (gamification, online music teaching, AI interactive classroom, and group learning for large-sized class).
For 1-on-1 teaching mode, Agora.io has fixed the technical problems by SD-RTN™ which is the world’s most widely used and intelligent RTC (Real-time communication) network, introduced by Jin Yeqing, the technical staff at Agora.io.
It allows foreign teachers in North America, the Philippines, and other overseas regions to teach online, addressing the challenges with the cutting edges, including high concurrency, stable messaging mechanism, weak network anti-loss guarantee, and extreme-low latency. It also enables students with poor network connections in China to access more high-quality online resources. Plus, Agora.io introduces dual-teacher into online large-sized class, thus students in third- and fourth-tier regions can listen to the classes taught by excellent teachers from developed areas.
Since Agora.io has built up emergency plans in light of experience to deal with the sudden traffic surges, the company has not made large adjustments amid the outbreak. Still it has just established some temporary virtual teams to mobilize resources for emergency response. “Meanwhile, in terms of terminal performance and adaptation, we optimized the last mile of the real-time network to ensure smooth interaction even in rural areas.” Says Dekui Zhao, the Director of Customer Success in charge of educational business.
Covering 200+ regions, Agora.io has established a global vision since its inception
As one of the top players providing leading voice, video, and live interactive streaming services in the Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) market, Agora.io has taken serving the overseas companies or developers who are going to promote the global business as its mission since the inception.
Agora.io admits that the company will face different challenges when serving educational consumers who are going overseas. “This is mainly related to their development stage and needs. For example, some customers are looking for market fit, while some focus on attracting more users or expanding brand reputation.” Says Virginia Liu, SVP, Marketing, and Ecosystems at Agora.io. She also regards that companies who are expanding their footprint overseas always focus on the attributes of education. “It is difficult to have an in-depth understanding of all aspects of the overseas market.” Says her.
To satisfy the diversified needs, the company has built up more than 250 data centers across the world, as well as technical and service teams based in different cities, including Bangalore, Tokyo, and London. “This kind of layout can better help us develop more local customers and support Chinese companies’ global business. ” Says Jin Yeqing. “Once our engineer flew express to India to support a social media platform to launch a video call function.”
Virginia Liu also suggests that the COVID-19 epidemic has spurred online education in more regions. “Educators in Europe and America focus more on sports and hands-on practice, but less on extracurricular tutoring, so many educational activities are still delivered offline.”
As Edmodo acquired by NetDragon has been selected by the Ministry of Education in the Arab Republic of Egypt to be the designated remote learning platform, Agora.io’s efforts have also been recognized by the official. Cooperating with the Ministry of Education of several Middle Eastern countries and local K-12 educational institutions, the Saudi Arabian education platform Noon Academy supports students to continue their study amid the global crisis. “Through the collaboration with engineers at Agora.io, Noon Academy completely moved its business from the original plan to our platform within a week. This practice ensures the quality of the delivery of online resources, as well as the coverage of local users.” Said Virginia Liu.
Improving RTC edges, Agora.io boosts partners’ growth across all lines of business
As of now, the company’s service covers more than ten industries, including social live broadcast, education, gaming, finance, medical care, and corporate collaboration in more than 200 countries and regions like Southeast Asia, Middle East, North America, Europe, etc. According to the company, more than 40 Billion minutes of live interactive video and voice content streamed monthly on Agora.io’s network in Q1.
Internet traffic is surging thanks to the coronavirus, as millions of people work from home or go to school online during the epidemic, but not limited to these two sectors, the development of RTC has allowed “non-contact” real-time interaction to penetrate all aspects.
Virginia Liu believes that the coronavirus outbreak will generate more diversified virtual real-time interactive scenarios on the consumer side. “Internet + electronic devices + real-time audio and video applications can allow us to enjoy a more colorful online experience, including education, health care, IoT, and many other fields.” Moreover, the coronavirus has forced consumers to change their minds.
On the enterprise side, a new generation of team collaboration applications will occur as an emerging scenario. Although the digitalization of companies has been carried out for many years, the pandemic has directly accelerated this process worldwide. At the current stage, Agora.io is aiming to boost partners’ growth, even revolutionizing the retail sector. “I think that the real-time communication and digitalization will be fast-growing scenarios with huge potentials, and this trend is likely to continue after the epidemic since it does solve existing problems of teleworking in all the industries.” Says Virginia Liu.