Studeo Oy is a publisher of electronic learning materials, that has grown rapidly from a small start-up to a turnover of around 6.5 million euros. Studeo designs learning materials that combine pedagogy, quality content, and the benefits of technology. Its solutions make learning-evaluation transparent and give students insights into their own learning.

Challenge: an aging platform and a need to accelerate development

Studeo felt that the code behind learning platform was outdated and the system monolithic. The aging technology limited their possibilities and made it difficult to find new developers. 

A major change to the curriculum was also coming in the general upper secondary school system in the company’s domestic market, Finland. This would require significant development, but it would be challenging to maintain a large code base. 

Solution: Eficode’s comprehensive development service

Studeo decided that customer needs would be best met by bringing in an external development partner to take responsibility for:

  • technical development 
  • maintenance of development environments 
  • continuous development 

Recruiting an army of coders of their own was not seen as a realistic path.

Studeo chose Eficode as its partner because the company offered the best combination of technical capability, tool expertise, and capacity to maintain the system. According to Studeo, the selection was also made easier because Eficode already had specialists with knowledge of both the school world and online learning environments.

The cooperation started in late 2018. The project was challenging because it involved upgrading a platform that Studeo had in production. The system needed to be fully complete when launched because otherwise it would not have been usable in schools and Studeo would have lost its customers. The new platform had to work for teachers and students from day one, and all performance data already accumulated had to be retained.

“The project has been big and challenging, and not everything has always gone as planned, but Eficode has been wonderfully flexible and any problems have been solved together and in a positive spirit. We have found a good solution to every problem.”

Mari Soikkeli, Product Owner and Business Development Director, Studeo 

Eficode has provided a wide range of services to the project in addition to development, including: 

  • user-centric design 
  • a design sprint 
  • platform maintenance 
  • other support services (including Eficode ROOT managed services platform) 

The business-critical nature of the application required a strict service level agreement (SLA). Studeo, and its Chief Architect Tuukka Toivonen, have been responsible for the functionalities and user interface design of the service and have produced user insight.

Eficode and Studeo put together a team to meet the needs of the different phases of the development project. The focus has varied according to the needs of specification, architecture, frontend, and backend development. 

At its peak, the project involved around 15 people, and currently Studeo is assisted by a team of six developers, with a further three Eficode employees in various support functions.

“The project has been challenging, but it has been great to be part of it. We have had the opportunity to do meaningful work with modern technologies, and cooperation with the client has been smooth. It is great that the client trusts us and values our opinions.”

Matias Merenmies, Project Account Manager, Eficode

Result: a scalable system that works now and in the future

In place of the original PHP-based solution, the team developed a modern and modular solution, implemented with Javascript and Typescript, and consisting of several microservices, which is also easy to develop further. 

For the platform, they chose Google Cloud, which helps with scalability and reliability. For the database solution, they continued using the existing MySQL, to facilitate migration.

In the design, the team paid particular attention to usability and accessibility for the main user groups of the platform, which are teachers and students. Eficode’s usability and accessibility expertise were important in this work.

Studeo launched the first version of its new learning platform in the summer of 2021, to avoid downtime during the academic year.

Completing all the features, and ensuring that the system works, required a great deal of flexibility from the whole team. But the cooperation was smooth and resulted in functional and sustainable processes.

“Eficode has always been quick to tackle issues and has worked well and fast. I stress the importance of smooth cooperation.”

-   Mari Soikkeli, Product Owner, Studeo

The cooperation between Studeo and Eficode continues. The product is under constant development, as requests for new functionalities and usability improvements keep coming in at a steady pace.

Results of the cooperation:

  • The aging system was replaced by a modern and modular platform developed by Eficode.
  • The new platform allows for rapid further development and the introduction of new features.
  • A common process has emerged from the project, and the culture of development is flexible and functional.
  • Studeo can focus on its core competences and growth, with Eficode taking care of the technology.