Last week, we were interviewed on Sky News’ SkyBusiness TV segment about Soprano GAMMA, our award-winning, encrypted enterprise mobile messenger. We discuss the state of mobile messaging security in today’s enterprises and how Soprano GAMMA, the award-winning encrypted mobile chat app, helps businesses communicate while staying secure.
Interviewer: My next guest says that it’s important to have a digital communications strategy, especially for businesses that ensure security amongst messaging programs. Soprano Design, joins me now in Studio 1. Thanks very much for your time today.
Talking about security in messaging, is it an issue at the moment, particularly for businesses? Is the level of security that is needed not currently available widely or being used widely?
Soprano Design: It’s interesting. Security is always an issue for businesses, and I saw some recent research that 43% of businesses globally had some form of security breach in the last 12 months, in 2014.
So businesses all over the place are having different challenges with security, but when you start to talk about messaging and the messaging space, we’ve all seen the plethora of consumer messaging applications — from WhatsApp and Viber and WeChat — around the world that have really been that next generation [away] from traditional text messaging.
What’s come [with the popularity] of these consumer applications is that there’s also been a whole range of security breaches. Every six months we’ve seen those consumer applications either leaking phone numbers or chat history and so on. But if you’re a business, of course you can’t afford to have [confidential] information being leaked out to your competitors or to the general public.
Interviewer: And is this something that businesses are aware of and after [a solution], sort of a messaging service beyond email, beyond various forms that might be used now but with that security aspect to it?
Soprano Design: Well, it’s very interesting. We actually recently conducted a workshop with a number of the leading CIOs in Australia, and what I was surprised to learn in that session was for half of the group, they thought messaging — secure messaging in the form of whichever application — was really important, but half of the group said it wasn’t important.
The reason for that [according to the CIOs] was that generally, the messaging in the workplace that we use on those types of applications isn’t important. But the big trend, what’s actually changing, is that more and more important information for businesses is being transferred using messaging applications.
Interviewer: How difficult is it to ensure that security, particularly amongst mobile devices?
Soprano Design: Well security is never a one-stop shop. It’s one of those processes that is ongoing. A lot of the challenges that we’ve had to date have been around spoofing with some of these applications, with phishing.
The key to having an effective security strategy in terms of the technology is making sure that you’re encrypting the transportation level and using the leading standards in encryption, libraries, and technologies to make sure that that information is kept tightly within the organisation.
Interviewer: So let’s talk about Soprano GAMMA. What is it exactly and how does it fit into what we’re talking about?
Soprano Design: The easiest way to think about it is to think of WhatsApp, a consumer messaging application. Wrap around that application the level of security that a business expects in their messaging communications and couple that with the ability to audit the messages. In some industries, like in financial services, for example, the ability to audit is very important in maintaining their requirements with the regulations in place.
The final element of Soprano GAMMA is its ability to integrate into your business workflow. It’s not just the ability to send communications between key people in your organization, but also the ability for you to receive a notification.
If your server farm has gone down, you would get a notification within the messaging app. If you’re on a job and you want to check in to say that you’ve started the job, your supervisor with one click of a button can authenticate and approve that work and you get a notification, and all of that is captured in your ERP or CRM system.
Interviewer: So, it’s a broader range of capabilities for businesses that adopt it. Have you borrowed from some of the social-like devices for your own messaging system?
Soprano Design: Of course we’re always evolving new products, that’s an important part of the process. We’re always looking at what’s out there and how all of that landscape is changing and evolving, but I think the key thing that we bring to the product is this idea of integrating into your workflow.
We’ve been in the game of traditional — what we call first generation — business messaging, which is that text message that you get from your bank authenticating that [online] transaction, or you’ll get an SMS from your airline saying your flight is running late.
That’s the business that we’ve been in, and the chances are if you’ve received one of those text messages it’s been our software that’s been delivering that message. It’s that knowledge, the way these messaging applications are embedded into a business’s workflow, we think that really provides a differentiated product.
Interviewer: And do you see it as being attractive across the board in terms of sectors or industries, or do you see it being particularly suitable for specific sectors and industries?
Soprano Design: Every business is using text messaging in one form or another to increase revenues, reduce their costs, or increase productivity. So for every one of those use cases, the Soprano GAMMA product has an application.
But we think it will actually unlock a new range of innovation within businesses. For example, if I’m a business and I want to create an application and give it to my staff so that they can interact with my backend systems, it will cost tens of thousands of dollars. With the [Soprano GAMMA] product and a bit of education, the business themselves can integrate their workflows into that messaging app. You can do everything you can do on your consumer application today but, importantly, have all of your business processes embedded or wrapped up in a nice secure bow if you like.
Interviewer: And in terms of the market for the company, are you Australia-focused? Is this a product that will be going global? What is the size of the potential market that you’re in?
Soprano Design: The enterprise messaging space globally is a $50 billion market, and while consumer messaging, person-to-person text messaging, is on the decline, business messaging continues to grow strongly because more and more businesses are seeing applications.
Our business is an Australian business, but to date most of our people [work] and our business is being conducted overseas. So we’ve launched GAMMA here in Australia with Telstra; we’ve worked with Telstra for many years, they’re a great partner. They’re launching it as part of their Acclaim Telstra Integrated Messaging product, but you will see carriers around the world launching Soprano GAMMA as their secure auditable workflow messaging product in coming months.
Take a closer look at Soprano GAMMA’s capabilities for secure enterprise messaging.