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EdTech Global trends: what is inside?

Our world has turned upside down this year. Spring 2020 is the greatest remobilization of the workforce since the Great Depression. Those who did not work online and had no experience had to quickly change the paradigm of thinking, configure services, and search for markets. The education market did not stand aside but accelerated online traffic. Our team took part in a large-scale online conference in the field of education EdTechX Global. According to experts, the online education market in 30 days of spring has grown more than 15 times and continues to grow. This is certainly a unique moment in time to develop an educational project. We are in a hurry to share the most relevant trends in the education market.

 

– LAS in education. LMS has already become a common educational solution. Together with LMS, LAS systems – learning augmented systems – are actively entering the market. LAS helps to improve training performance, engagement, and reduce costs through state-of-the-art augmented technology. LAS can be used in many fields of activity: in healthcare, in corporate training, in the military, in schools, universities, and for example in preparing for work in public safety.

The educational value of LAS is closely linked to the way in which it is designed, implemented, and integrated into formal and informal learning environments. LAS allows students to engage modern way thinking students in training and helps to focus on learning. It includes:

– creating short, interactive instructional content that is easy to understand and reinforces longer core learning materials;

– a separation from traditional “just in case” learning strategies that emphasize repetition and memorization;

– transition to on-demand, move forward training methods that help the student bridge specific skills gaps in real time.

LAS will satisfy the most demanding training needs:

–  reduce costs and save time with easily customizable dive scenarios.

improved coordination of individuals and teams through access to performance indicators;

co-training teams using telepresence;

analysis of the emotional state of students using biometric IoT sensors.

 

– VR / AR in training. An important consideration is how AR technologies support and afford meaningful learning. The use of AR has become more accessible as it no longer requires specialized equipment and may easily be used on mobile devices. Most people now own mobile devices, and the use of these devices has increased, thereby enabling greater access to AR. The applications for mobile AR in education are increasing rapidly, and the feasibility of mobile AR has increased due to advances in mobile technology. The education related AR applications are now more commonly found on mobile devices.

 

– Artificial intelligence. The next major focus of digital learning will be the reconfiguration and optimization of delivery, powered by AI that is able to learn from experience and improve the efficacy of human and machine learning. We will not dwell on specific technologies for a long time; we have launched a series of articles on technologies in education “Education technologies: how to make your project useful and engaging?”, stay tuned for updates on our blog.

 

– Adaptive learning will receive another round of development and popularity. This is a learning process using special algorithms to build an individual learning path that meets the unique needs of the student. The number of students is constantly growing, and the world, which entered the pandemic, was forced to completely switch to distance learning. Therefore, educational technologies will receive intensive development, which will, on the one hand, adapt to each individual student, and on the other, will be scalable. Adaptive systems just allow you to adapt to the pace of different students. Or offer them teacher assistance when they need it, and not their classmates.

 

– Online schools are a way out for those who want to get an education in another country, live remotely, have limited opportunities, etc. Even “yesterday” mixed “classrooms” were in demand, where there is an opportunity for students to be in the audience, and the teacher may be from another country, or some students and the teacher in the audience, and some students online. There are lots of modern schools now fully operational online. These are ordinary schools, for ordinary children, with teachers, a blackboard, bells, diaries, assignments.

The student is assigned a specific value teacher who helps to build a learning plan for the child or helps the child determine the directions, further build a learning plan, and motivates to follow it. An individual approach to each student, taking into account his abilities and talents, which is ensured by various forms of individual consultations: online consultations on each subject weekly; video conferences, group consultations in the form of a daily advisory chat; full-time consultation with the teacher. Group work – during the lesson, children have the opportunity to gather in separate online rooms. A virtual imitation of campuses, group work, practice in unique emitted real conditions, holograms of teachers, and many other technologies that complement the educational process so much that the need for an offline component is rapidly declining.

Distance learning frees up more of your own time for visiting various interest groups, developing individual talents, completing various courses, or traveling.

One of the most important issues of online learning, which has not yet been fully resolved, is the assessment of knowledge on how to evaluate students, and the point is not so much in honesty as in getting real feedback, the lack of which makes learning ineffective. A child cannot compare his achievements with those of other children. It is as if locked in its own online space. The only criterion for its success is the result of the evaluation by the teacher. Sometimes it’s just the number of points scored in the test. But the child also needs a more detailed description of his response. Here, distance learning has significant advantages over a regular school, where the teacher and student are limited by the time of the lesson, and the teacher simply does not have time to give a qualitative assessment of the student’s efforts. In an online school, this is possible. Neither the teacher nor the student is limited in time. An important role is played by the dialogue between teacher and student. Both written and oral online communication. The student needs to receive quality feedback. This additionally stimulates him.

 

– Alternative to university education. School graduates are increasingly refusing to receive a classical diploma in favor of alternative education. The main reason was the changes that the labor market is experiencing. People need to spend less and less time on training and formalities like sitting in an audience. The historically formed educational system does not satisfy the demands of the modern economy, which has a need for personnel who have undergone quick training. Moreover, the further, the more universities will lose relevance, because modern teenagers are distinguished by dynamics and multitasking. For six traditional university years, they can master several professions and try a lot. For this generation, six years is a long time. And in connection with quarantine, the issue of alternative education has become more acute.

Demand is growing for a variety of platforms with educational courses and lectures, both paid and free. They have become one of the relevant alternatives to dusty university audiences. The student determines the goal for himself, selects the “path” and the algorithm, selects a set of courses and a project that needs to be completed. The training is accompanied by pear-to-pear components and people working in the industry who carry out mentoring functions and gradually integrate the future specialist into the industry.

 

In essence, as we see the educational process can become a people-less process. We can definitely note a niche where people have not yet come up with any solutions and robots, artificial intelligence and algorithms cannot completely replace a person in the near future, these are teachers for preschool children. There are a number of reasons and justification for this, but this is a separate topic for research.

Only flexibility will help survive and flourish. By removing some of the barriers that people around the world may face in accessing education, EdTech startups already offer a wide range of educational opportunities in both developed and developing countries. This makes the knowledge of the highest class available to an increasing number of people, finally, there are technologies that will allow you to educate different children in one group so that each will have their own unique learning path, according to the characteristics of the brain, perception of information and individual inclinations. 

No business succeeds when it stands still. The same goes for teachers, students, and entrepreneurs in the field of e-learning. It’s important to stay up to date with current facts and trends, study the data that shows how, when, and where your audience spends time on the Internet, and benefit from it. Due to the fact that the virus will not recede – school, universities, courses need to have time to develop an online learning process over the summer, summer has to be hot in every sense, there is no time to relax.

 

Education technologies: how to make your project useful and engaging? Part.1 AR/VR

For which direction or business is it now to start an online educational project the choice is yours, our study, and recommendations we reviewed here. One thing is clear: educational projects are a very promising topic for development and over time the popularity of such distance solutions will only grow.

Every year the number of EdTech tools for the education system is growing and due to the rapid spread of the virus, the market has grown 10-15 times in the last 30 days. This is due to the fact that teachers, educational institutions, and companies that use new technologies gain advantages over their opponents. We have prepared an impressive list of cutting-edge educational technologies that can attract even more students to your project. In this article, we will begin to consider virtual and augmented reality. In the following parts, we will analyze in detail and complete the list of technologies.

Virtual and augmented reality (VR/AR). Virtual and augmented reality technologies are seeking to their peak. International Data Corporation estimates that in 2019 the market volume was $ 16.8 billion, and by 2023 the market volume may reach 160 billion dollars. And these forecasts do not take into account the momentary rapid growth of the market. Many of these AR/VR developments have been successfully applied in education. Images, sounds, and the immersion effect only accelerate information learning. Business coaches, teachers, and students learn different disciplines with AR and VR-enabled devices.

VR videos are gaining popularity, with 360° viewing angles that can be viewed through virtual reality glasses. This immersive learning experience attracts students much more than what they are used to in presentations and lectures.

Many ideas have already been implemented. For example, an American school for little students has created a virtual excursion: a tour of the classrooms and corridors of high school. This helps schoolchildren learn the place in advance when moving from elementary school to high school, in a low-stress environment for them.

Some schools use virtual reality to create an experience. Students ride on roller coasters, walk-in an amusement park, drive a car. A school in Ireland has recreated selected historical sites using 3D modeling software.

Students in the Czech Republic already use VR controllers for biological and chemical experiments. For example, they penetrate into the human eye and manipulate their parts to understand how they work. And the British University has created a virtual space for criminology students, where they hunt for evidence to solve a crime.

VR is also ideal for the HR field. It allows large corporations to create their own worlds. Worlds in which you can create complete training scenarios: repair, installation, disassembly. This allows large-scale training of new or young employees to work with real objects without the objects themselves.

 

Augmented Reality Technologies (AR) can design digital information (images, video, text, graphics) on top of device screens and combine virtual objects with the real environment. Augmented Reality can work not only at the level of visual images but also at the level of sensations. And this technology will actually develop and will find a wider application then VR. AR has not yet reached the peak of its capabilities. 

As an example of the potential use and technology productivity, a series of experiments was conducted in which one group of children was shown visual material with AR during the lessons, and for the second usual group were shown posters and diagrams. It was revealed that in the group where augmented reality was used, the percentage of information assimilation by children approached 90%, the level of discipline increased and it was possible to keep the attention of about 95% of the audience, while in the group with two-dimensional benefits, all indicators were half or three times less.

AR technologies allow you to create micro-applications with interesting content without restrictions. You can expect to see many quests, immersive shows, and simply educational videos in the future. AR technologies also play an important role in educating children with physical, social, or cognitive disabilities. After all, AR technologies can create an inclusive learning environment tailored to everyone’s needs and capabilities. For example, augmented reality gloves that mimic the touch and allow visually impaired learners to not only hear the teacher but really feel the objects they need.

Modern technologies help to inspire, involve, and motivate students and facilitate the educational process. But the real value of technology is to personalize learning for each learner – adaptive learning. Modern online learning systems must listen to the needs of society and quickly implement new technologies in order to effectively reach the potential of employees and maximize business benefits.

Is it worth developing an online educational project?

Is it worth launching new educational projects in a new reality and investing in existing ones? How will the online education market change during and after quarantine and pandemic? Such issues began to arise from our customers due to the announcement of quarantine. 

We are interested in developing our customers’ business and do not stand aside. Our marketing and business analysis team conducted their own research (for our clients in the field of education) and formed the top market trends.

Let’s first determine what reality we are in. It can be clearly defined as a situation of uncertainty. In such a socially significant sphere as education (secondary and higher), distance learning will gain more and more popularity. As for online training services for business, and private persons they also will not stand still. Some enterprises, unfortunately, have now suspended or reduced their activities. Others try, if possible, to adapt to remote work. People found themselves in difficult situations, but this is not a reason to panic. Many perceive the current situation as a new opportunity to improve their own professionalism, to obtain a new specialty.

 

Who needs online training? And is society ready to pay for distance education?

  1. Using the latest technology provides teachers and students around the world with amazing new opportunities for online education. And this means that the need for the development of educational projects will grow and require new approaches to their filling and communication between students and teachers.
  2. The main audience of online training services is small and medium enterprises and ordinary people. Most of the private audience are people of medium or high income. They are now working, have savings, and are considering investing in education. Moreover, it is unlikely that anyone is currently planning holidays abroad.
  3. People will look for online training opportunities in order to gain additional skills and become a valuable specialist in their own company, or find another, higher-paying job.
  4. SMEs are now in limited operation mode and are more than ever interested in expanding the knowledge and possible functions of their staff. Companies employees and entire businesses who have switched to remote work are interested in improving their digital literacy, personal effectiveness, and consider online training as an opportunity for pumping personal qualities. This means that in the near future a decline in sales in the online education market is not expected.

It is also worth noting that some types of distance services are seeing increased demand for their products. If you were planning to launch your own educational product, start now. The situation of uncertainty is not a reason to postpone your plans for later.

 

What online services are in demand in the market?

  • Training programs. Modern professions that make it possible to work remotely: IT specialties, designers, online consultants, online sales. People actively master these specialties in order to find remote work or part-time work on freelance.
  • Separately, it is worth noting the training of professions in the field of online education. The industry has a noticeable shortage of personnel and a high demand for technical administrators, methodologists, and producers. Therefore, training services in these areas is a great investment.
  • Internal online training systems for companies. Educational services that allow companies of any level and field of business to quickly integrate new employees into the workflow, adapt to innovations or organize new business processes for current employees.
  • Financial knowledge. Online courses where people are taught to plan the budget and effectively manage the company’s money and personal income in current realities are very important.
  • Online courses on sports and a healthy lifestyle. Of particular interest are personal online training with a trainer or drawing up a personal healthy lifestyle program. In conditions of quarantine and the intensity of modern life, such services will become increasingly relevant. And people are willing to pay for such individual lessons.
  • Upbringing and children’s development. Such courses have always been particularly popular and very relevant during quarantine when parents must figure out what to do with a child locked with them in four walls and forgetting what walks and games with peers are. Entertainment products are also popular – for example, online modeling or painting lessons for children. Online lectures for teenagers using troubling topics.
  • In the field of psychology, there is a high demand for online courses on how to maintain self-control, how to get along in the family, and avoid stressful situations in family isolation (this is an urgent problem while quarantining).
  • Time management and personal effectiveness. Many specialists who switched to remote work were not ready for the features of such work and were looking for courses where they would be taught how to work more efficiently and competently in managing their time. Also, various time tracking services should be included here.

This is just a small list of online educational projects that are relevant now and will gain more and more popularity in the nearest future.

 

What can be done to make your products in high demand?

  • Practice-oriented training. Please clearly communicate the measurable and concrete results that students will receive using your online service.
  • Focus on successful cases. Tell in your communication how the life of your students has changed after training.
  • For vocational training services, consider providing employment assistance. People who are in search of work, consider courses where during training they can take an internship in companies and after graduation receive job offers.
  • Offer short courses (1 to 3 months). Long-term programs are less in demand in a situation where people do not know what tomorrow will bring them.
  • Project training. Your service will attract more attention if students study and develop their own, working project. By the end of the training, students will receive a ready-made project, ready to be launched on the market, or already started during the training process.
  • Offer an inexpensive product or a profitable package. The issue of price in a crisis becomes painful, and people even longer decide to buy expensive educational products.
  • Pack your courses under quarantine. How to be effective at remote work? How to play sports at home without equipment? How to find a new niche for the business? How to optimize resources or costs?
  • Open the asynchronous learning format. Most often, services only practice synchronous learning (when a student listens to a course with a group and the lessons open sequentially, one after the other). Offer people the opportunity to learn asynchronously and access all learning content at once. This will be a very popular service for students who want to quickly learn, for example, a new skill. Asynchronous learning allows students to design their own learning schedules.
  • Consider the option of installment payment for training, offer the sale of training “parts”. Depending on the orientation of your service, this way you can attract more customers who want to study.
  • Try to show why your product is worth the money. A potential audience always has this question. And you’d better answer it than your clients will go to think and find convincing arguments.

Pay your attention. You need to talk to your audience. Talk to them on your educational service website, in reviews, in articles, in advertisements, speak at online conferences (a great opportunity to declare yourself and your product). Remove objections, talk about the opportunities that your products provide at this particular time. In conditions of total uncertainty, there is nothing worse than silence. Provide new products in response to market demands, and then no economic crisis will stop the development of your project.

WebSummit – How It Was Last Year

WebSummit

Every Web Summit is completely different. We do not know yet what we will perceive this year. But we can definitely say that it is very numerous and diverse. In the meantime, active preparations for #WebSummit2019 are underway, and we want to remind you what the #WebSummit2018 was like. Last year this technological conference brought together over 70,000 participants. It’s not in vain, according to Forbes magazine, this conference is the best high-tech event in the world. The specialists from around the world meet at the summit to keep abreast of upcoming trends, to build a network, to present their projects or find investors.

 

Where?

By tradition, everything went on in Portuguese capital, Lisbon. The entire event consisted of 23 major thematic conferences, which were located in several buildings. All performances took place in parallel with each other. Every space was divided into many zones with a stage, each is dedicated to its field: these are not only technologies and IT developments, but also VR / AR, marketing, game industry, mobile applications, AI, Big Data, Social Media, IT Security, cryptocurrency, startups, sports and much more. The WS site posted a schedule where you could draw up your own plan and attend those presentations that are most interesting to you.

 

For whom?

This is a large-scale event for large company managers, business owners, startups and representatives of various industries. A great opportunity to learn a lot from the world of high technology. A record number of start-ups were presented at the Web Summit – 1800. More than 1200 speakers from different parts of the world appear on the summit stages, including the creator of the World Wide Web Tim Berners-Lee, Microsoft President Brad Smith, Oculus Rift inventor Palmer Lucky, stage director Darren Aronofsky, eBay CEO Devin Wenig, Nestlé CEO Mark Schneider and even former British Prime Minister Tony Blair.

 

What did they say?

The keynote of all opening speeches was the issue of a secure future on the Internet. The world has reached the point where 50% of the Earth’s population is connected and has Internet access. And now it can be considered one of the basic rights for the majority. It is in our power to make this space friendly and helpful. And how to put digital solutions at the service of society, while avoiding the traps lurking on the World Wide Web?

 

Interaction!

The state paid a lot of attention to this event. The speakers were the President of Portugal, the Prime Minister of Portugal, the UN Secretary-General (Portuguese by nationality). We were pleased with the number and openness of discussions that took place with real performers, top managers of the largest companies and corporations in the world. Speakers shared trends, problems, were told where the vector of their further development is directed. Everything is extremely compressed but in essence. It is worth a visit to get inspired, but you need to have a clear understanding of what you are interested in.

 

Startup and Corporate Business.

Real-time startup showcases grow up and become more solid every year. Previously, young projects rarely demonstrated prototypes of their developments. This year there were more beta and growth projects demonstrating work products and the real customer base. As for corporate business, one can clearly see how their approaches for using innovations continue to change. For example, even PVA holding presented its well-known brands: Tommy Hilfiger and Calvin Klein. Brands are trying to show openness to new technologies and are looking for competitive advantages not only in increasing sales. Their interest is not an investment for dividends, but the application of technology in their business. This could be achieved both by acquisitions of startups and simply by obtaining exclusive rights to these technologies.

 

Why is it important to attend?

In addition to conferences, exhibitions, and forums on the Web Summit 2018, there was something else. This was a party network where startups meet with technology companies and investors; the place where the presence of advanced technologies, including, for advertising and marketing, took place. This was a more interactive event format.

 

What can you get?

The most important reason why we should attend such an event is a new experience and inspection. For our clients, first of all, we are experts and consultants, and accordingly, it is critically important to understand all the latest trends and convert them into plans, strategies, actions. This means being professional and fulfilling our responsibilities in a quality manner.

 

We will definitely take part in the #WebSummit2019, since such conferences are an almost perfect way to keep abreast of technological trends, monitor how industries solve their problems, and simply expand the circle of business communication.

Creating a Perfect Webinar Tool: What Options Do You Have

In today’s world, a webinar is not only a remote lecture on video communication but a useful tool for generating leads and promoting on the Internet. By giving people the opportunity to find out the information they are interested in, you will receive contact information of potential customers already interested in your services in return. On gaining wide application in the advertising field, webinars received a powerful push to automate many functions. After all, to use all the capabilities of this tool you need to perform many operations manually. Therefore, we have prepared materials on how to make an assistant tool in conducting webinars, which meets all modern and personal needs.

Understanding Multiple Webinar Scenarios

Remote presenters. Of course, it makes no sense to consider the functions of tools without regard to specific use cases. Modern programs for webinars successfully merge on and off campus using remote interaction features. For example, as a webinar has two parties – learners and presenters – participants can access an event from all over the globe using PC or phone. That’s why if there are several presenters who are not in one place, they can either access all the features by joining the event or even run several programs on the presenter’s PC remotely.

Discussion management. An important role in the webinars is played by discussions. You can, at your own discretion, determine who can participate in the discussions during the webinar. However, it should be noted that not always the possibility of managing textual communication is the determining factor for the choice of the instrument. Sometimes basic settings are enough especially if there is only a need to deliver the same information right away to a large number of listeners.

Training integration. In training webinars within companies, there is usually a need to organize group work. Therefore, some of the tools allow learners to interact with each other in a mixed webinar which is combined with face-to-face activities. There are webinar tools integrated with the distance learning environment called Moodle. The creators of Moodle training courses have the opportunity to build in the learning process such training formats as online training, and master classes, into their webinars.

Promotion enhancement. Also, more and more often webinars are used not in training but promotional purposes. Some of them make it possible to create a landing page for an online event with a webinar description and registration form. After registration, a mass mailing of invitations to the webinar can be carried out directly from the platform.

Webinar Application Design

Research & training. First of all, to start the development you need to determine the target audience of the future application. Answer the following questions first:

  • In what kind of webinars will it be used? (advertising, training)
  • How many experts can be present simultaneously (for instance, round tables allow to collect several experts at one event to discuss the topic)
  • The number of participants (if you are going to develop a tool for your own organization) and the limit of participants by subscription (for application monetization)

To define a format of webinars which will be organized by means of application you can also use market research results.

Development. In the development of the application associated with the video signal, you will have to face the prevention of connection loss, the quality of signal transmission, video capture from the host computer screen, etc. Also, you may need to develop algorithms for remote connection and control of a computer.

Basic features to be implemented:

  • Waiting room
  • Timeline
  • Live Chat
  • Transmitting the screen & voice
  • Email automation
  • Participating confirmation
  • Capturing video of the webinar

Advanced features:

  • Whiteboard
  • Participants analytics
  • Mobile support
  • Ability to draw on the screen
  • Ability to mute some attendees
  • Monetization tools
  • Multiple host support, etc.

Quality assurance. Another important point is ensuring the quality of the application. Webinars require the simultaneous connection of a large number of people (from 2 to several thousand people), which implies high loads on the server side. Therefore, it is important to test the application operation in both ideal and unfavorable conditions – unstable connection, numerous simultaneous requests, etc.

Support. Technologies do not stand still, so it’s important to implement improvements to the application as often as possible. The support team will cope with this task.

Available Solutions: GoToMeeting, GoToWebinar

GoToMeeting is a well-known webinar and video-conference tool with a long history. This is the basic solution allowing to create conferences with up to 15 people first launched in 2004. In addition to the basic features, it gave an ability to record discussion for further playback, sharing access to individual applications, tools for drawing on the screen and for generating reports. It gradually evolved into one of the greatest webinar tools as it uses patented technology that allows access to an arbitrary application running on the presenter computer in real time. GoToWebinar is another project of the same company, Citrix Online, used to create webinars for 1000 people simultaneously.

Summary: How to Make a Successful Application for Webinars

Creating a reliable application for webinars is not much different from creating any other quality application. All you need to remember about the peculiarities of this sphere is that it needs to support working with a large number of participants in real time, which means high software and server loads. However, carefully designed application architecture and quality testing of all the elements of the system will allow you to create a worthwhile product for both mass and personal use.

 

 

Sincerely yours,

Itera Research team

Top 3 Reasons That Startups Fail

Launching a new startup, either online or offline is quite a risky journey, but more and more people are being encouraged to offer new services and products. At the same time, however, more and more startups are failing. According to Harvard Business School research, 70 to 80% of all startups fail to deliver a return on investment and a whopping 90 to 95% fall short of meeting projections. Many experts agree that 50 to 90% of all startups shut down completely within the first few years.
We conducted research to find out what entrepreneurs, venture capitalists and angel investors think are the main reasons for such failures. We could post a long list, however we will indicate what in our view the top three reasons are.

Market Failure

Despite being the topic of much discussion in startup communities, market failure is the number one reason. Startups tend to develop products for themselves. They think they have identified a problem and how to solve it, ignoring the fact that users are already solving that problem. A solution is often too far from what the market needs. As a result, the market doesn’t need the product, the market doesn’t understand the product, or the market doesn’t know of the product.

Not Selling Before Launching

After getting their first investment, startups want to implement too many “nice to have” features instead of focusing just on MVP. As a result, startups work too hard on the product and not enough with the market to build a user/customer base.

Wrong Team

Startups tend to hire friends, freelancers or low-cost programmers instead of established companies. They do this because they want to implement more features for less money. As a result they offer a substandard solution in a short amount of time that, while it may solve the user’s problem, is buggy and hard to use. As a result, startups lose users right from the start.

Summary

Before launching a new business it is crucial to research the market. Determine what your audience is, the best way to reach it and tailor your communication, what the problem is, how it is being solved currently, how big the market is, whether there are any competitors, what they are offering and how, etc. The research should be comprehensive because knowing the market is the key to success.
Once the market has been defined, the next step is to test it with a high-quality MVP. It should include only features that solve users’ problems and nothing else. It should be clear and easy to navigate so everyone can understand and use it.
Development of a startup infrastructure is highly important. The technical team is the base of the whole online business. The development team should be competent, experienced, dedicated to being the best and building great products together.

Sincerely,
Itera Research Team