How We Build With Webex: Involvio

November 7 2018
Francis Geck
Francis GeckWorks with Independent Software Vendors who have embraced the Cisco Collaboration API’s
How We Build With Webex: Involvio

Only 59 out of 100. That’s the percentage of college students who will go on to graduate from the same institution where they started. And technically, 59% is a failing grade.

That’s not just a problem for the schools who have invested in their students. As you can imagine, it’s an even bigger problem for the students themselves, many of whom lack the skills and abilities to make their mark in the professional world — and pay off any institutional loans.

But why? Why is this student retention rate so low, how can developers like you help improve it, and what can you learn about this problem that helps inform your future creations?

If you guessed it’s all about student engagement — about students getting involved in their college careers — you’d be right. (You teacher’s pet, you.) And as Involvio has shown, the answer lies in the marriage of big data analytics with real-time, personal connection.

About Involvio

As Involvio Founder and CEO Ari Winkleman points out, for institutions to make an intervention in their students’ lives before they drop out, they first need to know which students are even at risk.

Enter Involvio and big data analytics. Here’s how their approach works: Students download an app that connects them with the right advisors and instructors, collects all their activities together, and gives them the sense of community they need to turn involvement into engagement.

On the other side of the app, advisors and instructors keep track of their students using data-driven risk profiles and timely notifications, nudging them along if they’re flagged as being off-track. When issues arise, they can directly address them with their students by seamlessly hopping on video calls.

Why Webex?

Where does Webex enter the picture? Involvio has integrated the Webex Teams SDK into their app, letting students chat or have a video call with their advisors without ever downloading Webex. Pretty smart, right?

But that’s not all. Involvio has also created a bot to send critical notifications to busy advistors and instructors, alerting them when their students miss classes, fail to fill out forms, or demonstrate other lack of engagement indicators.

For Winkleman, the pre-existing infrastructure and power of Webex Teams made it a no-brainer for the Involvio builds. As he put it, “We didn’t consider any other platforms because we didn’t really see any [that] have broad deployment across schools. None of the other platforms are ‘enterprise-grade.’”

And because Involvio is a partner in Cisco SolutionsPlus program, the benefits to working on the Webex platform don’t end there. Soon enough, schools will have the option to purchase Webex and Involvio together as one integrated package, helping accelerate Involvio’s growth while making life simpler for our customers.

The Developer Journey

It wasn’t just the decision to go with Webex Teams that was fast and easy. It was also fast and easy to build and launch on the platform.

In fact, though Winkleman and his team had no familiarity with Webex documentation before creating their app and bot, it only took a few days to build the bot from scratch. While the video SDK work was understandably a bit more complicated, Winkleman says there’s nothing the docs couldn’t answer.

What’s Ahead

It’s always upwards and onwards for Involvio. Moving forward, Winkleman and the team are planning on perfecting the notification strategy for the bot, as well as adding in more calling features to the app. Improving the student retention rate will take time and effort, but if any team can do it, it’s Involvio’s. And we’re so excited to help.

Want to learn more about how Involvio works? Check out our previous Involvio blog post and head over to their website. Then, get started on your own build by referencing our Webex developer documentation.

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