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Case Study - Online Business Applications For An Education Organization In Thailand

The primary aim of the Udon Education Foundation, based in Udon Thani, Thailand is to help teachers successfully connect with their students and provide better teaching methods using a subscription based website.

For the Udon Education Foundation students come first. Any student, anywhere in both public and private schools.

The Foundation is an education integrator and uses technology as a tool to help teachers deliver better results to students.

Furthermore, it seeks to create teacher-proof methods so that the student gets the learning, regardless of who the teacher might be.

CRM Asia Solutions, as Zoho Corp.'s business partner in Thailand, was selected to develop and implement the website and online teacher and student management application and also train the non technical staff of the Foundation who are based in Udon Thani, Thailand.  


Challenge

As a start up organization in Thailand, the Udon Education Foundation had a number of early objectives to quickly achieve:   

  • Develop a web presence.
  • Allow easy and efficient website content growth in the form of articles and blogs.
  • Allow website members to connect with each other via email/private messages, discussion forums etc.
  • Allow administrators to set subscription levels to various pages of the website such that visitors must pay to subscribe then will be allowed to view the pages and download videos and learning materials.
  • Implement a straight forward payment process.


In order to efficiently achieve the objectives the project was divided into three phases:

Phase I - Development of the website


Phase II - Implementing the ‘plug-in’ modules:


  • Blog
  • Community
  • Subscription and payment
  • Online Customer Relationship Management System - Zoho CRM


Phase III - Support and further development of the website and backend functions

Solutions

Phase I - Website development

Joomla, the award-winning content management system (CMS), was selected to develop the website.

Joomla enables organizations to build web sites and powerful online applications. Many aspects, including its ease-of-use and extensibility, have made Joomla the most popular web site software available. And best of all, Joomla is an open source solution that is freely available to everyone.


Furthermore, Joomla has website templates specifically designed for use in education and this saves hundreds of hours of research, and design iterations as well as thousands of dollars in website design expenses by using a pre-designed website template.

Phase II - Plug in modules

EasyBlog was implemented.

EasyBlog, is a powerful blogging tool, which is ideal for news bulletins, knowledge push etc. and has links to Facebook and Twitter, which allows the Udon Education Foundation team members to blog at their website and link to their social channels, so that they could reach more people.

This plug in also allows for two way communication for comments, subscription to blogs, voting etc.

The Community Builder plug in was also implemented which allowed the Udon Education Foundation to build a community of followers on their website.

This component also allows members to:

  • Build a profile.
  • Upload images.
  • Connect to other members.
  • Rank articles.
  • Create their own blogs.
  • Participate in discussion forums.


The Community Builder plug in is fully controllable by the Udon Education Foundation administrators, which means that they restrict/allow access to any of these features as required, or choose to ‘release’ them over time to keep their members engaged.

The "CBSubs" module, which plugs into the Community Builder component was implemented and controls access to designated content pages and manage subscriptions needed to view it.

Payment process

An offline payment process was introduced which provides for a simple payment instructions page that people click and print and take to the bank.

Teacher & student management application based on the Zoho CRM platform


The application tracks all of its student, corporate, supplier, and teacher information, thereby overcoming the administration challenges that face all education organizations.

The teacher and student management online business solution is also a powerful contact management tool, which allows the Foundation to store, organise, search and filter contact information.

And it is also a sales tool that assists the Foundation to make their sales processes more efficient and also improve communications to teachers and students using email templates and call logging.

The application has been integrated with the website using a web form to sign up new students.

Other features that are available using Zoho CRM as an online student and teacher management solution are:

  • Course placements and revenue.
  • Student grades and reports.
  • Marketing campaigns.
  • Teacher and student's frequently asked questions.
  • Teacher and student's issues.
  • Student information.
  • teacher information and training attended.
  • Quotations / invoices.
  • Inventory management.


The mass mailing feature is also being used by the Foundation to carry out professional email marketing campaigns for activities such as:

  • Christmas greetings.
  • Songkran greetings.
  • Course announcements.
  • Email marketing of new courses and products.
  • Foundation news.


Key elements of the project

By using a range of online Zoho applications the project was successfully managed with precise efficiency and at lower cost than traditional on premise implementations.
The Zoho applications used during the project were Zoho Meeting, Zoho Projects, Zoho Show and Zoho Support.

Analysis and planning phase

The approach taken wasto carry out a business process analysis phase follwed by customizing the teacher & student management application to match business processes and resolve key issues.


Implementation phase


A dedicated was project was created in Zoho Projects to manage the scope, tasks and milestones, issues & testing.


Also project documents were centralized inside Zoho Projects so that everything that was needed was readily accessible for the project team members for easier online collaboration.


Training

  • Creation of training materials
  • Conducting training programs for team members via pre arranged Skype conferences.


Post implementation support

Longer term support is being provided using Zoho Support, a powerful online Help Desk which allows the Foundation team members to:

  • Submit help requests via email or via tickets.
  • Access Knowledge Base articles.
  • Download user guides and other materials.
  • Chat live for instant support.


Result


By using the Joomla Content Management System and a Joomla template and Zoho CRM as the platforms all of the Udon Education Foundation's objectives were achieved on time and within budget.

The result is that Foundation's team members can concentrate on what they do best and that is to develop and evaluate training methods, programs and materials for the benefit of teachers, and, in particular students.

For more information on how your education organization can benefit from a Joomla developed website and an online teacher and student management application, please contact us here, or, if you are based in Thailand, call us on 02 696 9604.