John Raciti Designs signs a deal with Washington based Microsoft Dynamics Partner – Terawe Corporation.
Terawe is a technology partner that collaborates with customers through all stages of their product/solution development lifecycle. With key initiatives in industry verticals for education, energy, travel and finance and deep focus in cloud computing, big data and mobile computing, Terawe strives to deliver solutions at the highest quality and efficiency for customers.
A Literacy Solution for the Modern Age
Microsoft has long been committed to driving a conversation of using technology for the betterment of communities around the world. In his address on the subject of Cloud for Global Good last October, Microsoft President and Chief Legal Officer Brad Smith emphasized this mission.
“As the world realizes the benefits of cloud-based innovation, it’s important to recognize the disruptive impact that technology has on society. We need to ensure that as technology moves forward we do not leave people behind. That’s why Microsoft is working to build a cloud that is trusted, responsible and inclusive – a cloud that serves the global good”
Brad Smith, President and Chief Legal Officer, Microsoft
In honor of the Global Education Partner Summit, we are highlighting the work of Microsoft partner Terawe and how they are using the cloud to serve the global good. With their digital education services and learning software, Terawe is actively combating illiteracy in the developing world. Their unique platform helps K-12 and adult learners read and write despite limited access to learning resources. Their work in expanding access to technology and education in remote areas is a powerful response to the lack of internet and communication technology within the developing world. Here is Terawe’s story of how they are building Literacy for Life.
The Foundation for All Learning
Literacy for Life is a global initiative, building sustainable solutions to address illiteracy across the planet. Their Chekhov service allows users to write and record dynamic eBooks which help learners develop reading and writing skills. Terawe is working to bring literacy to both children and adults through their partnerships with Microsoft, UNESCO, World Vision, and various Ministries of Education in developing countries such as Kenya, Zambia, Ethiopia, Mexico and Bangladesh.
The Digital Education Services helps students learn how to read through illustration, word recognition, and voice, all localized to the student’s native language. The power of a voice-enabled solution allows students to learn to read without having a literate adult or teacher there to teach them directly. As we currently experience a global shortage of primary school teachers, this self-learning solution helps students learn how to read on their own.
Terawe believes that it is literacy which is the foundation for all learning and that reading, writing and technology skills will ensure that individuals in even the remotest parts of the world have equal access and opportunity in the modern day.
Phase One: Creating eBooks
After piloting the program in Lesotho, Terawe brought their simple and sustainable solution to Kenya. Phase one starts off by helping educators create relevant eBooks that students will use to learn in phase two of the program. In Kenya, the Terawe team went to a remote village of the Maasai community to lay the groundwork for the program. They trained teachers to use Chekov services and helped them understand how the app could be best used in their own schools.
By staying directly in the village, Anil Balakrishnan, CEO of Terawe, said that they were able to experience some of the challenges that both teachers and students would encounter in using their program. A key obstacle to success was reliable access to the internet needed to upload or download content from the cloud and limited power supply that was generated using solar and shut off at 6 PM. These limitations were taken into account by Terawe to develop a sustainable solution that works in remote villages and communities.
Teachers were trained to create eBooks. They came up with relevant ideas to create their own eBooks that applied to their communities. Terawe then collaborated with the teachers to get these eBooks published to the Microsoft Store using Chekhov services running on Microsoft Azure. Due to infrastructure limitations, it was important to be able to run this program mostly offline. Teachers charged their devices during the day and continued to use them in the evenings on battery. The entire creation of eBooks was done offline.
Phase Two: Learning to Read
“When we started the program, the schools we were working with only had 1 book in each classroom, but after the first phase, students had access to 50 different books, all in Swahili.”
Anil Balakrishnan, CEO of Terawe
For the second phase of the project in Kenya, Terawe focused on going directly to the participating classrooms and distributing devices to learners, in this case 2nd and 3rd grade students. The amount of books made available to students because of the program made a substantial difference to students. “The beauty of this is that you give a device to a kid and, they know what to do with it. We loved the fact that students could easily consume the books that their teachers were creating. The books were relevant and what the students wanted to learn” Anil said.
In order to measure the success of the program and of the students involved, multiple student assessments are built into the program itself. When students start reading, the software has built in analytics to track how many books are being read and at what speed students are learning. As part of deploying the devices in the classrooms, teachers take a baseline measurement via a questionnaire related to the words chosen to create the books. The teachers assess the students 1 on 1 on the level of reading before and after starting the program. Teachers measure progress again every three months.
Expanding the Program
Terawe is now working with educators in Zambia, Ethiopia and Mexico to bring access and education to students in remote regions of the world. They connected with a teacher in Zambia who sought funding to teach literacy to adults in his community as part of an evening-course education program. He wanted a software solution to help teach them English and Terawe was happy to partner with him on his mission. All set-up of devices was done remotely and shipped to the school and all teacher training was conducted over Skype. This uniquely self-sustaining method of deployment has seen great success to date.
Through their partnership with UNESCO as well as the Ethiopian and Mexican ministries of education, Terawe has launched programs in both countries. The first phase has launched successfully and phase two is now projected to begin later this year.
“We look at this as a sustainable solution. It is a solution for life. We help get communities going with the right framework, easy to use apps and services, and the model put in place is a lifelong teaching and learning solution.”
Anil Balakrishnan, CEO of Terawe
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How Microsoft partner Terawe is fighting illiteracy in the developing world
Microsoft partner Terawe is actively combating illiteracy in the developing world with their digital education services and learning software. The company’s work is highlighted on the Microsoft Partner Network (MPN) blog in honor of the Global Education Partner Summit, Feb. 13-16 in Redmond, Washington, and as an example of using the cloud to serve the global good.
The company’s Chekhov service allows users to write and record dynamic eBooks which help learners develop reading and writing skills, writes the MPN Team. Terawe is working to bring literacy to both children and adults through their partnerships with Microsoft, UNESCO, World Vision and various ministries of education in developing countries such as Kenya, Zambia, Ethiopia, Mexico and Bangladesh.
Cloud computing has been changing the world of IT infrastructure incessantly. Today, immediate availability and unlimited scalability are the default expectations of infrastructure users. Developers and applications groups view anything that doesn’t measure up to this standard as deficient, and they’ll bypass deficient infrastructure in favor of cloud environments that provide quick access to computing resources.
One such game-changer in the field is Terawe, a company that specializes in providing unique end-to-end solutions that assists customers globally through all stages of the solution development lifecycle. Their mojo is leveraging hybrid cloud technologies with modern DevOps to enable customers derive rich hindsight, insight and foresight to help strengthen their business and accelerate growth. Led by a team of Microsoft veterans, Terawe is at the forefront of several Microsoft engagements involving Cloud and Data Platform, Cognitive Services and Machine Learning.
A Confident and Decisive Leader
With over 20 years of experience, Anil Balakrishnan, the founder and CEO of Terawe Corporation, has gained recognition as an innovative strategist and technologist. Terawe was built around the vision of identifying and delivering unique software solutions for customers in a challenging, dynamic, and competitive market.
He believes the computing industry is undergoing a transformational “once in a decade” pivotal change and cloud is the next big thing since the Internet. Terawe plays a core part of this transformation, enabling their customers – from small to mid to large enterprise customers – navigate this complex maze successfully and efficiently!
Zealous Services Improvised with New Innovations
Terawe creates compelling solutions for customers at the highest efficiency and quality, with key initiatives spanning industry verticals such as education, hosting, retail, manufacturing, healthcare, and finance; along with depth expertise including Cloud, Data Platform, Mobility, Big Data and Analytics.
Terawe is at the forefront of innovation with Cortana Intelligence in building a very powerful suite of services to help brick and mortar retail compete effectively. They have signed up several retailers for a proof of concept evaluation of a retail solution that they’ll be launching shortly. In addition, they have several ongoing Data Analytics and Machine Learning projects in partnership with large enterprise customers. A key cloud-based service that Terawe has built and maintained is ‘Chekhov’, which helps spread literacy by bringing innovation on mobile devices that enhances the learning curve of end-users.
Terawe strives to create such solutions that accelerate the shift towards cloud computing and integration and adoption of smart devices, paving the way for the future consumerization of technology.
Tackling Toughest Difficulties with Excellence
While operating via their global engagements, one key challenge that Terawe encountered is with regard to convincing customers about the value proposition of the cloud. While managing this, they came up with an innovative idea to build a business modeler that helps customers model their business scenarios to understand the benefits and project business growth immediately.
The Terawe team works closely with customers, guiding them towards the solution that best fits their requirements. Customers from the Government, Healthcare, and Finance domain have often raised concerns with regard to the strict compliance standards followed by these industry verticals, which the team assayed by building solutions centered on the security and compliance features in the rich cloud technology stack. The reason they hand-craft solutions with in-depth detail is the uniqueness of each of their customers.
Thought Leadership with Innovative Solutions
Terawe proudly states the fact that 90% of their customers have been repeated customers. Their hallmark is in providing “thought leadership” alongside innovative solutions that preserve intellectual property. Above all, they go above and beyond the letter of the word in ‘Statement of Work’ to do what is right for their customers – which in turn delights them and makes them come back for repeat engagements.
Growing with the Advancements in Cloud Industry
Terawe’s customers straddle across a hybrid cloud boundary. Historically, monitoring has only been around data center assets. Terawe provides innovative solutions to tackle application level SLA monitoring over and beyond traditional system level SLA. They have done projects that enable lift-shift/migration of ‘n-tier’ applications while continuously monitoring each tier during its move. Their expertise bridges AWS, Azure, Private Cloud and OpenStack across heterogeneous platforms (Windows, Linux).
Every organization adopts cloud-first, mobile-first approach to search for products, while working with their disparate systems and applications. Terawe helps customers with their data migration strategies and helps outline a seamless route for faster and flexible data relocation.
Bridging silos of cloud environments together so that seamless flow of information and insights can happen across cloud boundaries, Terawe provides flexible cloud solutions that are scalable and help customers grow in a linear and exponential way.
Rolling forward, Terawe will bring to innovative market solutions, combining the rich capabilities of cloud and data platforms, mobile devices and social media to enable advanced features such as predictive analytics. For instance, leveraging Microsoft Cloud Platform and Cognitive Services, they have recently built a healthcare solution that takes personalized care & preventive care to a new level – and are uniquely positioned to improve the quality of a patient’s life.
The company is also making inroads in the finance, legal, retail, hospitality, and manufacturing industries. They are constantly augmenting their global footprint, continuously building their network of customers in different regions across industries and moving forward with their roadmap of solutions that have the potential to disrupt the software market landscape.
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