As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to grow, the total number of confirmed infections is nearing a quarter of a million people globally. Governments and other organizations have implemented emergency measures to help limit the rapid spread of the disease, including closing schools, businesses, and cancelling events, and telling anyone who can work from home to do so.
It has created an immediate increase in the demand for remote working technologies. While many businesses have been using some form of remote capabilities for years, as their workforces have become increasingly mobile, for most school systems, this is a dramatic shift from the norm as the try to continue to provide quality education using distance learning.
With a nationwide school closure in place, the Italian Ministry of Education called on the technology community to help schools implement digital learning solutions. The ability for students and teachers to connect and collaborate via video, voice, and chat is critical to continuing the education process and making sure students remain intellectually stimulated.
WeSchool is among those that stepped up to take an active role in ensuring continued engagement between educators and students. WeSchool is a classroom collaboration provider that has been working to digitize Italy’s schools and bring them into an online environment since 2016. It has seen a 40x increase in website traffic since schools started transitioning to distance learning.
“In the face of this public health crisis, we’re committed to ensuring school goes on,” said Marco De Rossi, Chief Executive Officer, WeSchool. “Nearly 30 percent of all secondary school teachers in Italy are now using our online classroom collaboration platform.”
When the demand for its digital learning technology increased dramatically, WeSchool transitioned its solution to 8x8’s Jitsi.org video conferencing platform, which 8x8 acquired from Atlassian back in October 2018, to ensure it would have the ability to serve all its users.
Jitsi.org is a set of open-source projects that enables secure videoconferencing solutions, and is the core of the 8x8 Video Meeting solutions, which it announced in September, having successfully integrated the Jitsi technology into its platform. Its code has been hardened with more than a million downloads and is being used in collaboration applications in industries that require secure, scalable video capabilities, including banking, education, and home security.
“The work WeSchool is doing to connect Italy’s teachers and students virtually in the midst of this public health crisis is incredible,” said 8x8 CEO Vik Verma, who talked about the growth of the collaboration space during his ITEXPO keynote fireside chat with Rich Tehrani. "8x8’s Jitsi.org open-source video conferencing solution is dedicated to enabling exactly this kind of innovation, powered by a vibrant global developer community.”
Not surprisingly, 8x8 has seen a significant uptick in use of its WebRTC-enabled Video Meetings solution, which it offers a free, standalone service, as well as part of its broader UCaaS solution. 8x8 says it has seen its new user numbers triple since the beginning of February.
Video collaboration, UCaaS, AI and ML, and all among the latest technologies that are improving business communications and processes – including remote working – are at the core of the content and networking at TechSuperShow 2021. Coming to the brand new Miami Beach Convention Center February 9-12, 2021, TechSuperShow features ITEXPO, MSP Expo, SD-WAN Expo, Future of Work Expo, and several other collocated events, and will once again combine an unprecedented opportunity for education and networking. Enterprises and MSPs, service providers and carriers, MSPs, channel partners, will all have access to the latest content and products and services that are driving business success under any conditions.
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