Sonica Enterprise is a privately deployed installation of the Sonica platform along with a suite of mobile apps secured, configured, and distributed for your company only. Just as a PBX is a private phone system for your company, Sonica Enterprise is a private PTT and instant messenger for your company.
As compared to Sonica standard, Sonica Enterprise delivers additional security, auditing, archival, scaling, and integration capabilities.
|Sonica Standard||Sonica Enterprise|
|iOS & Android Apps (cross-platform)||YES||YES|
|Smartphones & Tablets||YES||YES|
|Recording and Archival||YES|
|SLA Service Agreement||YES|
|On-Premise and Cloud Hosting Options||YES|
|Developer API for Enterprise Integrations||YES|
|Managed Devices Mode / MDM Compatibility||YES|
|Enterprise App Store Distribution||YES|
|Two-way radio interconnect (Motorola, Kenwood, etc.)||YES|
|Pricing||Free to $499 / month||One-time Licensing fee plus annual renewal fees|
Email and phone calls are the workhorse tools of the mobile worker of today. Unlike the desk-based employee environment where office PBX and collaboration tools like instant messenger have become ubiquitous, the mobile communication environment at most organizations remains underdeveloped. Yes, there may be a mobile device management platform in place and also a suite of apps that employees can use to access line of business applications, but the actual real-time communication aspect of their workday remains a disharmonious stream of phone calls, emails, and, increasingly commonly with younger cohorts entering the workforce, texting.
For the desk worker this isn’t such a big problem, but for field workers the mobile device is their literal connection to the team and the lack of appropriate communication capabilities hinders productivity. We’ve all seen it as that email chain that grows to 39 responses long when an instant messenger chat would have been more appropriate. Due to a lack of alternatives, we’ve also seen it as the 20 million American workers that carry a walkie-talkie or two-way radio with them at work despite having a smartphone on-hand too. Are all these people operating in wireless dead zones where a two-way radio is the only technical option that would work? Absolutely not - they’re using their smartphones for other aspects of their workday - and therein lies the Sonica opportunity.
Sonica’s technology virtualizes the two-way radio in the same way we've seen technology collapse physical devices such as GPS, camera, PDA, music players into their smartphone-based software replacements. Since Sonica uses IP technology (TCP/UDP), any Internet connected device can participate regardless of whether on WiFi, 2.5G/3G, or 4G LTE. Moving this capability into software reduces complex radio configurations and programming and allows web based administration and management of the entire push-to-talk communication platform.
Importantly, Sonica fits snugly into your currently underway enterprise mobility efforts and can operate side-by-side with all your other mobility oriented tools. In fact, the enterprise developer API even allows these systems to operate together automatically, for example, by allowing single sign on integration or or a push to talk conversation to be tagged and attached to a project.
As enterprises grow, they inevitably use multiple cellular service providers (usually a motley collection of AT&T, Verizon, Sprint, T-Mobile, and international carriers) to cover their operations across multiple facilities and sites. A side-effect of this the enterprise’s mobile communications landscape turns into island-like fragments that aren’t connected to one another for real-time business communications in a modern way. What we mean by this is that yes, anyone can call or text anyone else, but these communications flow outside the control of the enterprise. And, especially compared to calling and voicemail, push-to-talk is much faster. Unlike the desk phone or computer messenger platform (Microsoft Lync, Google Apps, or other enterprise communication tools), the smartphone equivalent to these systems remain underdeveloped.
The carriers and Apple provide closed garden solutions such as push-to-talk that can only talk to other users on the same cell phone network (e.g Verizon can’t PTT to AT&T or Sprint), or, in the case of Apple, a robust iMessage group chat interface that doesn’t work with Android. Against this landscape, it’s no wonder email, regular texts, and calls still reign mighty.
Sonica is designed to relieve these problems by creating a single “special” spot for real-time mobile business communications. It’s cross platform and cross network capable so employees can PTT and group instant message one another regardless of device type or network. And, it works globally and operates securely within the confines of your organization only. These benefits are made possible because the Sonica app is based on OTT technology which means it operates “over the top”, e.g. on top of the Internet connection provided by the cellular carriers. This concept has made great strides on the consumer space (see WhatsApp or Facebook Messenger) but Sonica is pointed at you, the enterprise user, and carries a feature-set tailored to your work environment’s needs.
Lastly, Sonica doesn’t require phone numbers to work. For enterprises that have invested heavily in tablets and area-wide WiFi networks, they can now enable their large fleets of company tablets to become virtual two-way radios too.
Running critical communications over the ‘free’ or SaaS based services of the plethora of apps out there is a non-starter for many organizations. What happens to your data? What if they can’t maintain the uptime requirements needed? What if our organization needs to be HIPAA or Sarbanes Oxley compliant, or has PCI DSSS compliance mandates placed upon it?
Sonica provides on-premise and private cloud hosting options. On-premise solutions are based on the HP Proliant BladeSystem for installation at your data center or site. The private cloud options are meant for deployment on Amazon’s private cloud (VPC or GovCloud) and provide a means to meet regulatory requirements in sensitive industries like banking and healthcare.
Sonica’s communications platform technology is based on modern distributed computing concepts. This means you can deploy multiple resiliant Sonica systems that all operate together as a single mesh for your organization. For example, a multi-national enterprise can place a Sonica server on each continent it maintains operations, and if a site goes down all communication continues to flow via the alternate continental site. Sonica provides highly flexible deployment options that are sure to meet your specific organization’s business uptime requirements.
Data security is of great concern to many, and for good reason. Sonica approaches this problem through a frankly minimalistic but effective approach. Rather than reinvent the wheel and claim that our solution is safe, we instead suggest applying the standard industry mechanisms to ensure security for your Sonica communication system.First, wireless data in transit is encrypted using VPN technology. Sonica provides integrated VPN capabilities, or you can use your current VPN solution already in place. Since Sonica is just an Internet-based application, using a VPN to encrypt all or application-specific data ensures Sonica’s traffic between end user devices and your Sonica server (on-premise or cloud) is secure. As a secondary safeguard, Sonica also internally SSL encrypts all multimedia content delivery.
Second, stored data. Sonica writes everything to hard-drives. With an on-premise solutions, the data is physically on platters owned by you and controlled by you. For cloud installations, the concept is to store the data on a service you trust, for example, your organization’s AWS or Box storage account.
We take a consultative role to helping you demonstrate the value and feasibility of Sonica in your organization.
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