Japan-based HugCome, Inc. Uses the Vonage Video API to Provide User-Friendly Remote Educational Services
Established in September 2015 and based in Japan, HugCome develops online educational services and classes, including GLOBAL CROWN, an ESL conversation service for children, alongside online ESL lessons for corporate clients. All GLOBAL CROWN teachers are bilingual Japanese and English speakers who offer one-on-one dedicated classes as well as follow-up classes in Japanese, allowing children to take lessons without worrying about parental support.
ChallengeDevelop a simple, reliable app for multiple devices that can provide remote educational services via video
SolutionVonage Video API
ResultsA unique app with a simple interface that can be operated intuitively and easily, and increase customer satisfaction
HugCome Director Sakito Matsuyama says, "We are focusing on nurturing children's curiosity to cultivate their ability to act and think individually and develop their potential, rather than simply passing on knowledge. We also aspire to enhance their communication skills through educational activities."
When launching the service, HugCome wanted to provide a dedicated, easy-to-use app that would work across iOS and Android to make the service more accessible for people unfamiliar with computers. Choosing the Vonage Video API over an out-of-the-box video service enabled HugCome to integrate video capabilities directly, so students and teachers do not have to download a third-party app to connect. Instead, users can interact with a simple interface that can be operated intuitively and easily throughout the learning process.
Quick, Easy Implementation, While Keeping Costs Low
Often, launching a new communication platform requires a large monetary investment up front, as well as the staff with relevant IT and development skills, this can be a high bar for companies without the necessary capital. The Vonage Video API is the solution to these problems, allowing businesses to quickly and easily set up a communication platform for video conferencing while keeping costs low. In addition, the Vonage API includes an Insights Dashboard as a standard feature that allows HugCome to accurately visualize the status of communication and analytics, without needing to build its own dashboards or analytic capabilities.
Flexible Customization and Natural Connections
The dedicated app that supports the GLOBAL CROWN service was developed at a time when many other online schools were using out of the box video solutions. But this requires additional downloads, moving between systems and screens, and creates a complicated customer experience. HugCome wanted to provide a fully-integrated app for iOS/Android - platforms that are already very familiar to all users - and make it easier for anyone to use their services.
“It was clear that we needed to find a Video API that was advanced, easy to integrate, and had a global reach,” stated Matsuyama. “We discovered that the Vonage API Platform offers the flexible customization required to build intelligent customer experiences, and that Vonage has been adopted by many major global companies. It was the right fit for our solution."
Building video functionality directly into the HugCome app also provides the advantage of including necessary teaching materials directly alongside the video platform for the online lessons. When creating a lesson screen, the teacher can send a signal to the student's app to execute the corresponding action, allowing student and teacher to remain in video contact and not have to exit the app. Through these interactions, the student builds rapport and enjoys English lessons with a teacher they like and respect, encouraging them to learn to love English.
Enhanced Functionality and Enriched Teaching Materials
Over the past year, the number of students switching from in-person ESL conversation classes to virtual options has increased significantly due to the COVID-19 pandemic. As the total number of app users has gone up, HugCome has seen a similar increase in user satisfaction and feedback.
Nayu Takahashi, the leader of the HugCome online school management team, said, "Our users report that installing the app and logging in is simple and stress-free. The interface is easy to understand, allowing users to operate it intuitively and easily. Many people also appreciate the self-study materials and tracking of lesson records."
Virtual learning and remote classes will continue to be crucial in the future, and HugCome is focused on continuously improving app functionality, from the addition of enhanced reading and writing capabilities, to further-enriched teaching materials and SMS authentication to improve convenience for their users.
"From a developer and admin perspective, Vonage APIs are very easy to use. Vonage provides support in multiple languages, including Japanese, in addition to properly researching and answering technical questions, allowing us to solve problems immediately. We look forward to Vonage's continued support as we innovate and iterate our remote learning app in the future," says Matsuyama.