It was a chance encounter on the cricket pitch that set a winning technology partnership in motion.
When CEO and Founder of Octopus BI, Hansa Wijayasundara, heard about the AWS EdStart Accelerator Program from a teammate, who happened to be an employee at AWS, he was eager to know more.
“I contacted him when the program was available in the US and applied straight away when it first became available in Australia,” said Hansa.
At the time, OctopusBI was a small but passionate team, with an ambitious vision that remains today: to empower all institutions to leverage their data and drive real-world, positive change in their operations.
The team has since grown to 40+ business analysts, data scientists, technical engineers, and innovation experts, and serves 60,000+ students across 60+ education institutions.
OctopusBI is a business intelligence platform and master connector that solves data problems to visualize powerful student engagement, classroom performance and business operations insights.
With seamless integrations to a growing number of education systems, OctopusBI makes it easy to gain actionable insights within existing school systems, like student management systems, learning management systems, finance and welfare systems, for example.
For this reason, Octopus has become a strategic data insights partner to the K-12, Higher Education and Vocational Education sector in Australia.
“Student dashboards are helping more and more schools present timely information to parents. But every school has a unique set of needs and needs a data insights tool that is not onerous,” said Trevor Furness, CRO at OctopusBI.
Scale and security advice from AWS EdStart bolsters OctopusBI
OctopusBI was one of the very early startups to become a member of the AWS EdStart Accelerator Program in 2018.
It’s membership provides access to training, mentoring, marketing and other support from Amazon that aims to accelerate investments by OctopusBI.
Regular calls with AWS solution architects allows the Octopus team to get tailored support and direct answers, quickly and accurately – without needing to go to an external party.
“Selecting the right service is a challenge. We could go down the wrong path and have to do re-work, but AWS solution architects have a thorough understanding of what services in the tech stack can be utilised to overcome challenges. They’ve helped us find the right ones,” says Hansa.
“They’ve also helped us calculate costs, improve, scale and stabilize our solutions,” says Hansa.
“We spent countless invaluable hours with them to develop benchmark pricing for us.”
The team used the best practice tool, the “AWS Well-Architected” framework to answer hundreds of questions, evaluate their solution and check they comply with all security, scalability and performance areas.
“Cloud security is a growing priority for schools and EdStart has helped our total solution become more secure and stable,” said Hansa.
With the rise in online and blended learning due to coronavirus disruption in 2020, OctopusBI has seen significant growth in enquiries around how to manage and leverage a “massive increase in data”.
The support of EdStart has ensured the team, and the tool, are well placed to meet the needs of the market, and continue to scale up.
Exciting expansion plans lie ahead for OctopusBI, including a new SaaS version of its tool ‘Tentacle’ set to launch next month.
“AWS EdStart members are transforming education in every corner of the globe,” said Sam Harris, Education Program Manager, APAC – AWS.