What is the Optimal Messaging System for the Enterprise Environment?

ITIn today’s world it looks like the answer to the question is very clear, but it’s not. Using messaging systems in the enterprise environment is not like sending hundreds of SMS between friends. In enterprise system you send messages from systems, tools, applications, between workers and many more, and can have up to million messages and even more in very short periods of time depending on application use cases. You need to consider cost, data sensitivity and others. This blog presents a few considerations before choosing a solution and gives some examples of potential solution and the reasons why to take it or not. After all, there is no “best” solution, it depends on your organization and your target/values. That is why I said optimal and not best.

When searching for messaging systems consider the following:

  1. Cost – what is the overall cost, include onetime investment and period costs
  2. Efficiency – what do you need to do to use the option you choose, which systems can use this systems, how many messages can been sent every X seconds, where can you get messages with the select option (everywhere or just in factory), etc.
  3. IP (Intellectual property) – when choosing an option to send\retrieve messages, you need to check where the data will go through and what is the sensitivity of the data. That must be analyzed with the organization information security group
  4. Technology – how new is the technology with the option you check, can it be assimilate with the current technology in your organization and what is the support level and for how long you will have support.

The next are some ideas for messaging system:

  • Local pager system – in this solution you can purchase a local system with transmitters and pagers and send all pages with that system. For a long time, this can be very good solution in term of cost (usually one time invest). This is a good solution also in term of IP as message stay “in house”. That solution is less efficient because it’s design to be used inside factory only (maybe few kilometers out) so it can’t be use for on-duty and other workers who should get the message when they are out of factory. In addition, with today technology, this technology usually is old and we might lose support in short time.
  • Sending SMS with vendor SW – with that method you can send SMS using vendor SW and cellular phone.  The main problem with that is cost as you pay per use. From the other hand, most of us use cell phone anyway so this is really depending on the agreement you have with the cellular vendor. Another problem is that you need to adapt your system to the sending SMS software, but once this done, no need to spend more effort on that. One more minor issue can be the IP, but this can be resolve with vendor agreement
  • Using free “Sharing” application – in that option smart phone can be use with one of much “free” software for sharing data. The main problem of this option is the IP. There is no control of the data once it been sending, and it is a real problem for sensitive data. Regarding cost, it requires purchasing smart phones (if worker doesn’t have them) but this is a onetime cost, and there are cheap smart phone that can do the work, so there is ROI (return of investment) for that. The advantage of that solution is that we use new technology and the sky is the limit.

Bottom line, there are many options to choose messaging system for enterprise environment, and those have to be well analysed before making a decision. I hope the data I gave here will help to make the right decision for your own environment.

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Dror Shriki

About Dror Shriki

Dror Shriki is an Infrastructure Engineer in the Manufacturing IT group at Intel. He currently works in the Windows and Unix domain and is interest mainly in virtualization and storage. Dror started with Intel 16 years ago, in the support center, and now has 15 years of experience in all areas of infrastructure. He holds a B.Sc. in Information System Engineer and M.Sc. in Industrial Engineer and is certified with MCITP Enterprise. In his free time, Dror likes to travel in nature with his family.