Shengsoft Technologies offers a new course selection experience for students in universities.
Based on the principle of “everyone has class,” Shengsoft overcomes the difficulties of “selecting the wrong course” for overseas students. The solution builds a convenient bridge between students and universities, and expands student ability to find and select high-quality courses they wish to take throughout their studies – ones that would align with their educational goals.
The idea came up when I was a student. I realized that a lot of the courses I wanted to get into were always full. So, during my time in university, I wrote a little program to measure and meter the availability of the popular classes of my school. I shared the program with a lot of my friends, and it helped them immensely – to find the courses they wished to participate in. So, after graduating, I decided to make this more than just a little script and turned it into a business.
Now, after four years, we are operating in across 13 different universities throughout Canada and monitoring the seating availability within their educational offerings using public web data.
Our clients are the students. They provide their phone number or email and we send push notifications to notify them when a seat in the class they’re interested in becomes available, for them to enroll in the course.
The students fill out a questionnaire, explaining to us what class they want to enroll in – these are usually the really popular classes – and then we monitor availability by checking the public university website, and then, once a seat becomes available, we send them a notification and in return they forward us a small fee.
The service we offer students and schools is where I see a lot of room for growth because I think many schools need this type of value add and only a few provide something similar.
What makes us unique is that, with the stream of public web data we are already present in so many schools, and we developed a platform that we can simply plug schools into without making any changes.
We also have a well designed system to handle the customer’s workflow – from the customer’s order, through the process and the notification system. If we want to onboard a new school, it’s really easy for us, we don’t have to start from scratch.
Data collection, for us in any case, is essential to our business. Collecting public data from university websites is similar to collecting public web data from ecommerce websites.
Most of the sites limit IPs per access. So, if you’re constantly using the same IP, eventually you will get blocked. Bright Data really helps us by providing access to the extensive IP network we need to keep our business going and provide value to our customers.
As aforementioned, we are collecting web data in 13 different schools across Canada at the moment and we plan to deploy the marketing strategy early next year to the US – so these tools, which help us sift through the pages of public web data, are truly important when conducting our business.
With regard to the specific Bright Data products and its network, I started to use Data Center IPs, however, one of the schools blocked a lot of the data centers. So, we moved over to Residential, which is really beneficial to have a reliable data provider that allows the option to switch so seamlessly.
Of course, I tried a couple of different web data providers, but the number one reason for choosing Bright Data is that the IP network is so reliable, there is so little down time.
The servers are reliable and the customer service is super efficient. I had a wonderful experience with one of the customer service reps. I am really happy about the experience and my Account Manager is really helpful.
In general, I think the data collection business is going to grow bigger and bigger and it’s not going to stop, because there are so many businesses that rely simply on public web data collection.
Most of the bigger businesses have some sort of data acquisition department. So for example, if you’re running a news website, you have to have some sort of automated tools to collect news from other reliable sources, and then order them by priority and update your site.
Another example, if you’re running a data analysis website, you have to collect web data from all kinds of public sources like Twitter, Facebook, websites, offline stores, etc.
So, the Internet is changing and the data collecting is changing as well. I really feel like Bright Data is sort of the middleware in between. It really helps the companies to get the public web data they want and need in order to be successful and make well-informed decisions.
Our ambition for business growth is to help students all around the world, not just in Canada. It is a small market, so if you are only in one school, it’s not enough to keep your business going.
With all the public web data we’ll collect and the growing customer base, we will be able to take the data and develop a new service based on that. That’s how I see the future of our business.