Starting today, we’re making it even easier to engage, everywhere. We’d like to introduce you to FrontlineSync, our first, free Android app, available now on the Google Play Store. FrontlineSync turns any Android phone into a gateway - meaning that users can now use local phone numbers to send, receive, and manage SMS, and - for the first time - missed calls using FrontlineCloud and FrontlineSMS.
FrontlineSync solves four major problems:
- Get started right away. FrontlineSync is designed to make getting started with FrontlineSMS and FrontlineCloud as quick and easy as possible. Download today’s release of FrontlineSMS, set it up with FrontlineSync, and you can be messaging from your desktop in minutes, even without the Internet. Or, even faster, download FrontlineSync to your Android phone, enter a few simple numbers, and FrontlineCloud can send and receive messages and track missed calls instantly. It has never been easier to use mobile tools to build professional, two-way communications.
- Local numbers everywhere. We believe that meaningful communication means two-way communication, and that means using local phone numbers. FrontlineSync enables you to use a SIM card in any Android phone as a connection to our online and desktop message management tools. FrontlineCloud already enables users to set up virtual numbers (local numbers you can set up remotely, online) in 56 countries - more than any single platform - but that still leaves quite a few places out. FrontlineSync bridges that gap and provides a clean, simple, reliable alternative to online connections for our whole product set.
- Missed calls are free. There’s no question that cost can be one of the most crucial barriers to communication, especially in times of distress or in the last mile. Missed calls are free and enable people who don’t read, but know how to use a phone, to signal a need, express an opinion, or request a follow-up. FrontlineSync enables users to receive missed calls into FrontlineCloud and FrontlineSMS, incorporating an absolutely free way for people to get in touch, and lowering a critical barrier to building a connected world.
- Online and Offline, together. At Social Impact Lab, we spend all of our time trying to get the best of online and offline technologies - using the reach and accessibility of messaging to deliver the power and opportunities created by the Internet. FrontlineSMS and FrontlineSync both work offline, bringing complementary strengths to bridging a critical gap in infrastructure with the most common hardware available. FrontlineSMS and FrontlineSync are exciting pieces of foundational infrastructure, but we will continue to build tools and functionalities that make effective two-way engagement possible, regardless of Internet connection.
So what does this all mean? It means that the Frontline toolset, which is already used by tens of thousands of organizations to reach tens of millions of people, will be even easier-to-use, cheaper, and more accessible. Patients will be able to directly text community healthworkers, improving the quantity and quality of care available, while reducing costs and creating a whole new digital dataset.
Governments can work with citizens to coordinate and improve social services through direct participation and feedback mechanisms. Businesses can monitor performance, inventory, and revenue by connecting employees and customers in real-time on the go, all while managing their global supply chains from the 60th floor.
“SIMLab products are designed for local control, so that every part of a community, supply chain, or nation, can contribute. FrontlineSync adds the power of Android phones and missed calls to our toolset, making it easy to build networks of value,” said Sean Martin McDonald, the CEO of our social enterprise. “Social impact starts with communication, but it becomes real through the coordination and movement of value. FrontlineSync brings more users, in more places, into systems that matter.”
The Frontline product set meets users where they are, on any budget - FrontlineSMS is free and FrontlineCloud is just $25 a month. FrontlineSync is a free mobile app, ensuring that users only have to pay the cost of their messages to get the most out of the most-used data platform in the world.
FrontlineCloud, FrontlineSMS and FrontlineSync are 100% coded in Kenya, by a developer team including many graduates from Nairobi’s universities. The Frontline product set are a project of the Social Impact Lab. The development of FrontlineSync was made possible by our collaboration with World Vision for the DFID Beneficiary Feedback Mechanisms project.