São Paulo, Brazil – Cogna Educação, a Brazilian education company that’s integrated by the institutions Kroton, Platos, Saber and Somos Educação, developed Backbone Educacional, a new company operating model, based on Azure services, a Microsoft cloud-computing platform that unifies the entire academic platform of the group, providing greater visibility of projects, as well as streamlining their management.
According to Luis Roberto Macedo Coimbra, Director of Systems Architecture at Cogna Educação, to develop the new model, the entire academic and financial management system needed to be redesigned to create a micro-service structure. With this mission outlined, the group sought Microsoft’s support to develop a plan to unlock and unify these features. “Azure’s services were a great enabler for us to use all this architecture in some ideas, further fostering our goal of transforming Cogna into this educational platform company, both in higher and basic education,” explained Coimbra.
With the change, one of the first results was enabling self-services for students. Prior to Microsoft’s cloud migration, the rate of academic and administrative services available online was 3%, and today more than half of these services are in this format. “Backbone is the core of the entire environment that deals with academic processes. In the platform view, there will be a connection with all processes, from the student’s recruitment, retention, administrative, financial and the teaching aspect; all spheres of education in one place”, says Djayson Roberto Eger, senior manager of the Cogna Architecture team.
The project includes, among other services, the implementation of Azure Cognitive Search, a cloud search service executed with AI for web and mobile application development, which provides APIs and tools for creating a search experience focused on the user’s needs.
Communication and collaboration in remote learning
In addition to Azure services, Kroton, a B2C Higher Education institution that is part of the Cogna group, deployed —in just 24 hours— last year the collaboration and communication platform, Microsoft Teams, to carry out remote classes for 350,000 students. Due to social isolation, the students that used to be part of the on-site modality had to join the 470K students who were already taking online courses in the Distance Learning modality at the institution. From the beginning, our company’s goal was to ensure that the students’ school semester would not be interrupted. A different experience, but with the same content and the same workload.
According to Luis Coimbra, the solution relied on Microsoft 365, with Microsoft Teams as a key part of the entire transition. However, to offer a more complete solution, with access to a Microsoft account that would increase the educational potential of the initiative, Azure was the support for this process. “When we started the initiative, we grasped both the level of complexity we were facing, and that we would need all of Azure’s support in this transition,” he adds.
In 2020, more than 25K live classes were taught weekly by Microsoft Teams for on-site undergraduate classes, in addition to more than 55K evaluation activities carried out by students. “This process humanized the classroom, making it less expository and more interactive. It is an extension of the classroom, which transcends its limitations. The student can present some solutions, some software, and this can help the class develop a project. With the platform, this exchange of information became more natural, and through the platform itself, they can use and exchange information,” concludes Luis Roberto Macedo Coimbra, Director of System Architecture at Kroton.
About Cogna Educação
With over 50 years of tradition and pioneering, Cogna Educação is a Brazilian company and one of the world’s leading educational organizations. Formed by the Kroton, Platos, Saber and Vasta Educação/ Somos Educação brands, the holding company offers solutions and services for both the B2B and B2C segments. Guided by both innovation and the purpose of transforming people’s lives through quality education, the company serves more than 2 million students throughout Brazil, from Basic Education to Higher Education, with approximately 1 million students served directly and 1.4 million students through partner schools and educational institutions. Its activities and social programs generate an impact on society of more than R$431.1 million, aiding in transforming the communities where it operates. For more information, visit www.cogna.com.br
Microsoft enables digital transformation in the age of intelligent clouds and the intelligent frontier. Its mission is to empower every person and every organization on the planet to achieve more. The enterprise has operated in Brazil for 32 years and is one of 120 subsidiaries of the Microsoft Corporation, founded in 1975. In 2019, the company invested more than R$48 million in bringing technology for free to 2,038 NGOs in Brazil; benefiting several social projects. Since 2011, Microsoft has supported more than 7,100 startups in Brazil through donations of more than $200 million in cloud credits.