Singapore-based HeyHi is an interactive online educational platform with a mission to power outstanding online classroom learning experiences to schools, learning centres, tuition centres and private tutors around the world. As the company developed it became clear that in order to provide meaningful, engaging educational tools to students regardless of geographical location, HeyHi needed to find a partner who could provide a reliable, scalable video solution and innovation support.
“In light of COVID-19, online educational platforms have become more essential than ever. HeyHi provides flexible and uninterrupted educational services for continued learning; high-quality video and screen sharing services are critical to that. Vonage’s Video APIs can be integrated easily with our web application to deliver enhanced communications among our users,” explains Yueh Mei, Founder/CEO of HeyHi.
Powered by the Vonage Video API, the HeyHi educational platform is meeting and exceeding the needs of teachers and students around the world during this unprecedented crisis.
Providing educational tools wherever, whenever
The HeyHi educational platform launched in December 2019, leveraging the Vonage Video API to provide meaningful connections between educators and students backed by the scalability, reliability and reputation of the leading live video platform. With a rich set of live video features, honed over many years in response to the needs of thousands of customers, HeyHi felt confident that it was making a difference.
“So many children miss out on educational opportunities because of geographical limitations, and as an educator, I find this heartbreaking,” said Mei. “Our solution aims to fix this issue by giving teachers the power to see, speak and interact with their students remotely as if they were in the same room. Little did we know at launch that our tools would become crucial during the COVID-19 pandemic.”
As schools around the globe shifted to remote learning overnight, the HeyHi solution, still in its infancy and not fully implemented, needed to deliver on its promise, and fast. A large school in Vietnam turned to HeyHi to support its teachers and students in this new remote environment, and the small but dedicated HeyHi team worked 10-15 times harder than ever to make it happen.
“Our only thought at the time was that we simply needed to support the tens of thousands of teachers, students and schools suddenly using our product overnight to build engaging lessons and interactions easily,” Mei remembers. “We were thankful for the scalability and reliability of the Vonage API as we grew rapidly to meet demand.”
“With Vonage, we offered a free model for the first six months of the pandemic – a small role that we could play to support students and teachers in challenging circumstances.”
“As a small company, to have a direct line of contact with the Vonage team is a very unique, important part of this partnership. HeyHi and Vonage engineering teams work in close collaboration to solve issues, innovate our solution and not only meet, but exceed, our customers’ expectations.”- Yueh Mei, Founder/CEO of HeyHi
The Ability to Adapt to Customer Needs
In addition to a rapidly growing customer base as the pandemic continued, HeyHi saw growing demand for functionality and features that its platform didn’t yet support. To meet these demands, the HeyHi engineering team worked closely with the Vonage team to adapt and build the tools needed, including a virtual whiteboard. Most existing whiteboard features are not intuitive or natural, requiring the teacher to type or write using an additional device. The purpose-built HeyHi whiteboard tool leverages Vonage APIs to allow teachers to connect to another device, like a tablet or phone, via QR code so that it performs in a way that mimics the in-person experience.
“During the first six months of 2020, we were expanding exponentially and working as quickly as we could to add features that could make the remote classroom experience even more impactful,” said Mei. “Working closely with our Vonage team, we developed a next-generation whiteboard feature, as well as a feature that gives teachers the ability to upload large documents, like worksheet packets, and save them as individual images that can be pulled out and shared as needed.”
Support from a team of experts
The value that Vonage brings goes beyond technology. Vonage product managers and engineers provide HeyHi with expert guidance and support whenever needed – no matter the issue.
“HeyHi and Vonage engineering teams work in close collaboration to solve problems, innovate our solution and not only meet, but exceed, our customers’ expectations,” explains Mei. “As a small company, it is an honour and a privilege to have a direct line of contact with the Vonage team of sales support and engineers and work directly with the source. That connection is a very unique, important element of this partnership and just one reason why we’re so confident that Vonage is the perfect fit for our needs.”
Learn more about how the Vonage Video API can build engaging experiences for your customers.
This article was originally produced by Vonage and can be accessed here.