After more than seven years of building tools and supporting our users all over the world, FrontlineSMS has developed unique expertise in the ways that mobile technologies can improve the way people communicate. In response to increasing demand from a wide range of users, the FrontlineSMS team have developed a range of premium user support and paid-for consulting services.
To find out more about the services listed on this page, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Mobile integration and program design assistance
By observing the work of thousands of our users, we have built up an understanding and appreciation of the ways in which people are successfully using mobile technologies, leveraging its ubiquity and accessibility to reach further and do more. Used correctly, mobile tools and communication can improve efficiency while creating valuable digital data. Used poorly, it can alienate people, drive up costs, and mislead organizations away from good practice. In our experience, mobile projects must respect locally appropriate cultural norms and privacy requirements, offer incentives and provide effective feedback mechanisms. Our experience enables us to advise on best practice and help our clients to accomplish their objectives.
We offer advice on program design based on cost, sustainability, impact, and reach, among other factors. We also offer in-country support for project implementation. Program design services go beyond training on the software itself, and include detailed consulting on the design of mobile communication systems that meet the unique needs of each project. As part of our mobile integration work, we also offer internal change management advice and consulting on best practices in the professionalization of SMS as a global communications channel.
Our training focuses on designing locally appropriate communication systems that give users a meaningful voice through their participation. We have developed an innovative, participatory training curriculum that can be tailored to the size, sector, and specific needs of a client. True to our mission, these trainings draw on use cases that showcase the ways that FrontlineSMS can be used to drive social impact. Participants learn the basic uses of a FrontlineSMS system and build their own sample system with a live GSM modem to practice techniques. FrontlineSMS trainings are most effective when built into comprehensive engagements, including ongoing technical and implementation support. Our trainings often include the creation of customized support documents and/or reports, including translated curricula, help files, context-specific usage guides, and other materials as requested.
After a typical FrontlineSMS training session, participants will have considered the advantages and opportunities in interacting with particular groups and supporting internal communications using SMS; be able to set up common activities and manage SMS in FrontlineSMS; have drafted potential use cases in specific contexts; and understand the risks and other considerations relevant to incorporating SMS into their work, particularly with respect to data integrity.
If a project requires functionality beyond the scope of FrontlineSMS’s current feature set, our Nairobi-based software development team can be employed to build and develop the functionality needed. After an initial scoping exercise, we work with clients on a specification, and then provide a full estimation of how long it may take to build that functionality. Clients are billed on a daily basis, but according to the estimate agreed at the outset and we will offer regular updates on progress and remaining budget. Our developers build software using an Agile process, ensuring that clients are able to see progress as it happens, and be part of refining and approving outputs at every stage.
Dedicated technical support (either remote or in-country)
We offer dedicated technical support and software installation or configuration. Face-to-face or remote screen-sharing support sessions with our developers can be useful for IT staff to learn new features and technical aspects of the software or troubleshoot any issues. Our typical support agreement includes a 10-hour retainer paid upfront, with additional service time billed as used. Clients are eligible for a discount if they purchase 10-hour retainer as a subscription. Per-hour support is ad hoc, but subscriptions allow room for clients to work with us to set the aims of what they want to achieve in the allotted time, enabling us to ensure project aims are prioritized – the minimum support is the number of hours paid for, but we won’t stop until we’ve met the deliverables we have agreed on.
FrontlineSMS is a powerful tool for collecting digitized data and monitoring communication. Whether tracking interaction with a community to share with partners or donors, or keeping records of internal staff management or intra-agency decisions, the software is great for maintaining records, particularly as evidence for transparency and accountability purposes. We can offer guidance on system design for data collection of key indicators and analysis support for monitoring and evaluating throughout the life of the project. We are also available to form part of evaluation teams for mobile-related projects.