Prasoon Nigam, CTO & Co-founder, Stratbeans explains how Stratbeans is leveraging technologies like AI, gamification and AR/VR to digitize education
What are the solutions and services currently in the Stratbeans portfolio?
Stratbeans is a company that drives digital transformation through AI-based online learning. Our platform brings scalability in terms of digital learning solutions for the corporate as well as education sector. With innovative e-learning solutions such as Learning Management Solutions (LMS), Gamification, DIY (Do-it-Yourself), AI-enabled and chatbot based learning, we aim to deliver the absolute best experience, product knowledge and product delight to our customers across channels. We have a full fledged team to create various e-learning content starting from basic animation to 3D, Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality. Being an exclusive partner of Articulate 360, we provide video and interactive learning courseware creation tools to deliver personalized learning experience.
What are the current partnerships and alliances that Stratbeans has and in what all domains?
On top of all products and services in the digital learning space, we are proud to have an exclusive partnership with Articulate (Globally top selling authoring tool for eLearning development) and with that we have best practices in e-learning development on table. Articulate 360 provides a very intuitive and easy-to-use interface for e-learning courses. In order to serve our clients in the education space better, we have recently partnered with Skillsoft that provides courseware for MBA and Technical Schools that helps them to improve the educational experience and contextualize the entire learning process.
What are your roles and responsibilities as the CTO of Stratbeans?
As a Chief Technology Officer, I am leading the technology and product direction, with a capable technology team and advisors. My role is actually beyond just product development. I have a massive experience in Research and Development and product enhancement in sync with current and changing market trends in order to gain bigger market share. Hence, I am closely connected with sales and marketing strategies too.
How are digital technologies helping you manage Stratbeans in the current situation?
Having led Digital Transformation for hundreds of companies, we, as an organization, are extremely agile and working remotely has never been a challenge for our people. To ensure uninterrupted functioning and seamless communication amongst employees as well as clients, we are using smart project management and collaboration tools like Slack, Confluence, and Zoom. These platforms allow our employees to collaborate and do virtual meetings at any time. Moreover, we have always had a flexible ‘Work from Home’ policy since the beginning, therefore, it did not come to us as a cultural shock.
With the impact of COVID19 expected to last for quite some time, what sort of digital models for education would finally emerge and stabilize?
In response to COVID-19, India has been under unprecedented lockdown, which has created a sudden need for schools and colleges to quickly pivot to online classes. However, online education has changed the mode of delivering education from offline to online and students have experienced a whole new type of learning as their learning context changes. We have arrived at an era where online learning is the only way forward. Choosing the appropriate e-learning tools such as learning management system, knowledge management solution, system, and advanced tools such as Articulate 360 which offer elements of gamification, animations, will revolutionize the education system.
What would be the operating procedures of this model for different stakeholders in the education ecosystem and what would be the possible business model?
During the lockdown, we offered free trials for both teachers and students and deep discounted licensing and training programs on Articulate 360. In the light of the current scenario we are providing a “Pay as you go” business model. However, we charge them per student and give access to complete platform for online learning.
What are your key takeaways in terms of the digital transformation of education?
The education sector has already been witnessing high growth and adoption in online education technology, with their digital transformation being accelerated by COVID. Meanwhile,we have seen also in the recent past that larger institutions have seemed to be more receptive to technology adoption in India. However, the COVID-19 pandemic has provided impetus to all institutions irrespective of their size to adopt digital technology and impart education seamlessly.
Stratbeans has been a pioneer in LMS. However now with most organizations undergoing a transformation in their business models itself, how are LMS solutions evolving?
Learning Management Solutions (LMS) are evolving in multi dimensions. We, at Stratbeans, have designed an interactive user-interface for our LMS to help the enterprises enhance their employee experience for business success. With remote working, the current scenario has pushed businesses to scout for faster learning mechanisms for higher productivity. The new interface provides an easy-to-navigate platform leading to heightened interest from the user. We are certain that the users will find it even easier and intuitive to use the solution than before.
In a more digital education model, how would you ensure the security aspect?
We have entered an unexpected and often challenging time where in just over a month the education landscape has completely transformed. But as we have also seen that technology is a powerful tool that can be used to overcome such challenging times, education has been more interactive, engaged and controlled. In order to ensure digital security to protect data and content online, we suggest a cloud model as it gives us leverage to use security provided by cloud infra services worldwide.
How would you differentiate Stratbeans from other digital education platforms?
Stratbeans is a unique platform that helps in the digital transformation process for educational institutions from schools and colleges. Configurability and Scalability are the most sought-after requirements when it comes to selecting a Learning Management System today. Our products come with an advantage of configurability as per the client’s business. As a leading LMS provider, Stratbeans is a one-stop platform that empowers educational institutions to bring efficiency in the teaching process and improve the learning experience of students.
The company provides AI-based assessment platforms for educational institutions for complete automate process right from complete study plan, array of courses to authorized certification ensuring quality learning. This is where our advanced e-learning solutions play a pivotal role. We are helping these institutions with interactive education tools in order to disrupt the ecosystem.
With an education in India being mass spread, how would you ensure its affordability to students from all economic strata especially in the current situation?
The biggest issue that students face in India is the lack of opportunities and resources. While some of them discontinue their studies due to monetary issues, others quit as they cannot find desired courses within their cities. We at Stratbeans help the students to acquire skills of video and multimedia development by enrolling in Articulate e-learning community free of cost. This helps students get exposure to the latest developments in multimedia technologies and open up career opportunities for them in the next big thing of Digital Content. Besides this, we also support students and teachers alike by offering free trials and deep discounted licensing and training programs on Articulate 360. We had also supported one of our client’s initiatives to provide online education to engineering students and optimized price through our cloud management and making sure the quality of education at the same time.
What is your roadmap for digital education in the next 2-3 years?
Since our offerings are based on AI, we plan to continue to invest in this powerful technology to bring advanced e-learning solutions for educational institutions and help them for a smooth and long term learning process. We had successfully transformed the educational institutions with our agile solutions that are affordable. And we are certain to capture the market in a more specific and targeted manner in the years to come. Since inception, we have researched and invested in futuristic learning technologies and our vision is to empower our clients with the required product solution to prepare them for real business challenges across various industries and to grow with the changing environment.
How do you facilitate the interaction and synergy between industry and academia?
A productive interaction between academia and industry, in the present times is a critical requirement. Therefore, to strengthen academia-industry interface, different types of collaboration and interaction initiatives are needed to be implemented, monitored on a regular basis and further scopes of improvements are to be identified and incorporated in the system as well to build a fruitful and successful relationship.
For a successful interaction between industry and academia we are running lots of virtual events to educate on digital learning and its implementation to bring in expected results.