Sonar companion service


#1

As I write more and more custom applications for our own use, I keep thinking these may be useful for other people as well. I’m wondering if there is any interest in other Sonar customers for an addon service like this. I’d have to charge for it to cover hosting costs and labor, but it would probably end up in the $.25/customer/month range (I’m just tossing out a number I made up here.) All of these services would be hosted by us and there are zero upfront or equipment costs.

So far the services I’m bundling together that we’re already using ourselves:

  • Slack integration: a slack bot that announces new tickets (and whatever else you want.) Also possible to do 2-way conversations with the bot in the future to ask it about customer’s balances, etc if wanted.
  • Automatic call logging: Our current implementation is to have our primary number also ring a twilio number, and our app takes care of the rest.
  • Automatic router provisioning: Working with ReadyNet routers already, can add more in the future. Once a router inventory item is assigned to a user, it will automatically provision the router with the user’s PPPoE settings, and allow you to change any router settings from within the app.
  • Radius server for PPPoE/hotspot authentication

Some future features I will be writing soon:

  • Full SMS support for customers to access their accounts. Customers will be able to text a number to see their balance, pay their bill, open a ticket, reply to tickets, etc.
  • A fully hosted customer portal
  • VoIP provider integration
  • Many more!

I’ve been a Sonar customer since the beginning, so these are all us scratching our own itches and thinking it may benefit others. The entire suite of addons would all be a single interface for you and all future additions and improvements would be included. I’m also very open to suggestions on extra features to be added, so I’m sure the list will get bigger over time.

What do you think? Is there enough interest in this for me to make it?


#2

I think it’s a great idea, and it’s the kind of thing I always hoped someone would do with the API. Just be ready to update it for v2! :wink:


#3

You bet! Something like GraphQL would be immensely helpful, even for things I’m writing now I end up doing > 5 api requests at a single time to get what I need.


#4

We still have a long way to go, but it is under heavy development right now. I wish I could say more, but I don’t want to leak anything too early. Suffice to say, it is very exciting, and I think it will provide an unbelievable amount of flexibility.


#5

@Graham_McIntire, these are some great ideas… but several of them have the feel of features that should come directly with Sonar instead of in an add-on. This makes me concerned in 2 ways: 1st, your customers may lose interest if Sonar directly implements some of these, and 2nd, Sonar may never integrate some critical features if they are available as an add-on.

I don’t know the best way to proceed. You may want to talk to the developers off-line about your ideas and their plans, to be sure there is little overlap to ensure the value of your efforts.


#6

Someone building a third party product isn’t going to change our path forward. There’s no guarantee we won’t build any of this stuff in the future, but I think there is definitely a niche for someone building customized stuff for people, especially if the use cases are not that common or they tend to be somewhat unique per customer.


#7

That’s kind of my idea. It’s much easier to quickly roll out features that only a few people may want. Even if Sonar does eventually implement them, it may not be the way you want it to work. I’m just here to fill in gaps and make my own WISP’s life better while helping others too :slight_smile:


#8

I’d be particularly interested in the Slack bot as I’m about to start working on something like that myself…


#9

Yes, we are very interested in Slack, Voip (Netsapiens), SMS, and improved portal.


#10

I’d be interested in some of these, but not sure I feel comfortable about relying on yet another host.

Sell them to Simon :wink:


#11

I would be very interested. These are several features I am/have been hoping will be added to Sonar in the future, but will certainly take them any way I can get them.


#12

I had to put work on this on hold for a few weeks to work on the company instead of development (I still have a WISP to run and towers to climb!) My goal is to focus on features that probably won’t get built in to Sonar itself and focus on building tools that work on top of it.