SYS-CON MEDIA Authors: Liz McMillan, Carmen Gonzalez, Zakia Bouachraoui, Roger Strukhoff, David Linthicum

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OnPage CEO Judit Sharon Talks About IT Alerts & Priority Messaging

OnPage IT Alert Management System

An Interview with Judit Sharon - CEO at OnPage Judit Sharon - CEO - OnPage

CEO CFO Logo - Judit Sharon Interview
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CEOCFO: Ms. Sharon, what is the concept behind OnPage?

Ms. Sharon: OnPage has always been in the priority, critical messaging space. OnPage, was created with the premise that some messages Just cannot wait, and using casual messaging applications for time sensitive communications is simply not acceptable.

OnPage, a cloud based, cross-platform, cross-carrier Priority Messaging system, eliminates the need to carry a Traditional Pager in order to separate the critical messages from the clutter. OnPage enables professionals to ditch their pagers, but unlike email and SMS, it ensures that critical messages will grab their attention and will never be missed. The system works over cellular as well as WiFi coverage, anywhere in the world. Even if you are in an area of no cellular or WiFi reception, the moment you step back into coverage, a continuous alert will grab your attention. You just can't miss it! In addition, it automatically notifies the sender as soon as the message was received AND as soon as it was read. In addition, OnPage messaging is encrypted to adhere to HIPAA regulations.

CEOCFO: How does it work?

Ms. Sharon: OnPage is like having a Pager on your smartphone. As an OnPage user you decide what kind of messages are important to you and with whom you share your OnPage ID. Sending a message via the OnPage system arrives to a dedicated inbox with prominent alert-until-read to ensure the recipient received it and more importantly read it. Once delivered and read, the system automatically sends a time-stamped audit trail to the sender regarding the status of the message.

OnPage can be sent from App to App as a "High priority" or "Low priority" message. Leveraging technology unlike any other messaging application, OnPage messages can be sent via any Email, SMS, or telephone, including landlines, whether from OnPage customers or not.

Our users are mainly IT professionals and HealthCare providers.

IT professionals receive alerts from their IT monitoring software regarding server and infrastructure health, or from IT ticketing software for Support. Currently, all alerting from these expensive monitoring systems is done via email or SMS and is often missed. IT professionals who use OnPage are able to separate and elevate those messages above the rest of their inbox clutter so they can attend to problems immediately. There is even escalation capability if the intended person does not respond within a preset amount of time, the alert automatically goes to another person, and so on, until the problem is solved.

HealthCare providers (physicians, nurses, midwives, etc.) use OnPage as a Pager replacement on the mobile device to avoid spotty limited paging coverage and gain the convenience of carrying a single device, gain global coverage via cell or Wi-Fi, and gain a visibility to message audit trail to assure accountability. Healthcare providers also use OnPage as a Secure Messaging application to comply with HIPAA requirements.

Both groups use OnPage to Elevate and Manage critical alerts by creating groups and escalation policies to ensure messages are attended-to promptly. OnPage comes with many benefits that help users avoid alert fatigue and be accountable.

CEOCFO: Have people been looking for a better solution?

Ms. Sharon: Absolutely.

CEOCFO: How do they find you?

Ms. Sharon: Some are looking for better, more reliable technology that will help them do their job better and more efficiently. It is a global economy today and businesses are operating 24×7. To accommodate global customers and extend superb customer service to users or patients, professionals are searching on-line or in the app-store for tools and ways to manage important alerts and time-sensitive messages. Others are searching for ways to do all of the above AND be compliant with Privacy regulation such as HIPAA or the EU protection of personal data.

Our system was created to make sure those alerts get to the right person at the right time, all of the time, securely, and assure the sender that their message was delivered and read.

CEOCFO: Are people coming to you? How do people learn about OnPage?

Ms. Sharon: Yes. They find us through internet search, word-of-mouth through colleagues, they hear about us in conferences, and via partners. We do very little marketing in comparison with other companies in our space who spend tens of millions on marketing campaigns. We believe a good solid product will draw the customers to us, hence, we invest to improve capabilities, add APIs and performance to accommodate our customers' features needs and provide Rock-Solid Reliability.

CEOCFO: What is the competitive landscape?

Ms. Sharon: There are similar solutions but none of them are as a complete solution as OnPage, and none of them allow the sender the ability to set the priority level of the message.

Some solutions are targeted specifically towards IT so they lack the security and the full messaging capability for team communication in times of need. Others are targeted towards HealthCare and lack the escalation protocols and the scheduling capabilities. Both verticals are in urgent need of a solution that prioritizes time-sensitive messages over the clutter of messaging, and escalates the message until attended. IT professionals are in charge of business-health just as HealtCare providers are in charge of human-health, in both cases the "patient" needs treatment immediately, otherwise the loss is tremendous. The OnPage solution address all the above needs of Security, Full messaging capabilities, setting Priority level of the message, Escalation and Scheduling.

CEOCFO: It seems that everybody has IT somewhere that needs to be monitored!.

Ms. Sharon: Indeed. Even within the healthcare sector, we are serving IT as well as healthcare providers. It is not just in hospitals, it can also be clinics and health plans. Every company has an IT department and all are using the same systems and have the same needs to manage critical alerts. OnPage can be deployed in any company.

"OnPage raises the important messages above the messaging clutter and draws your attention to those time-sensitive, critical messages. I believe that in the future there will be two kinds of messaging - casual messaging and important messaging. The important messaging will come via OnPage."- Judit Sharon

CEOCFO: What about individuals?

Ms. Sharon: Although there is a great use case for individuals, currently when we see individuals using it, it is for a very short period. For example, a person might be getting it because his wife is due to deliver or if they are in-line to receive an organ transplant. There are numerous situations in which individuals; especially parents of young kids or kids of older parents can benefit from OnPage. However, we do not market to these groups. Individuals got used to receiving free stuff in return for receiving marketing ads. Since we are a prioritized messaging system we cannot mix ads in our messaging service so we cannot give our product for free at this point. Individuals, as much as they appreciate the value, do not want to spend money for the service. Personally, I use it with my family for time-sensitive messaging. It is not life or death situations, but it definitely saves time when I get the message not to pick up my kids from school as an OnPage alert rather than as SMS that I probably would have missed. Do I see OnPage used by the public, yes, but that will be later when we offer it free.

CEOCFO: What has changed in your approach since you first started and what have you learned along the way so it is a better product today?

Ms. Sharon: Our customers are coming to us for reliability. They want a solution that is reliable and dependable. In the beginning, they just wanted pager replacement. They used a pager, and now they want it on their smartphone, the same way you no longer carry a camera or GPS. Slowly the requirements grew and the use case changed. Now I know we cannot be everything to everyone. We have to focus on our mission statement and develop a reliable system for time sensitive messaging with all the functionalities needed to support it. It started as a simple application to replace pagers, and now it is a complete cloud-based system with redundancy, reliability and security, especially since security is becoming more and more important. Over the years, we learned that many companies rely on our business to run their business and we have to be dependable.

CEOCFO: How is business these days?

Ms. Sharon: Business is great. We are growing year over year and our customers list includes the who's who of Business.

CEOCFO: Are you primarily in the US?

Ms. Sharon: Yes, we are primarily in the US. We do have some presence in Germany, the Netherlands, Australia and New Zealand, but we are primarily in the US.

CEOCFO: If we speak a year from now, what might be different for you?

Ms. Sharon: In the coming year, we will do more of what we are currently doing and do it better if possible. As technology progresses, information is pushed our way in abundance - If it is messaging from people, sensors, robotics, etc. All those messages will be fighting for our attention and we will need a way to prioritize those critical messages from the rest - that is when OnPage shines. The plan is to keep moving forward.

CEOCFO: Would you tell us about your experience with high school interns?

Ms. Sharon: I absolutely enjoyed that experiment. It was great. A while ago, I hired some students for summer internships from universities close by, and they were okay. They came and did their work, but they were not very enthusiastic. They just did it for the money and to build their resume. So, when I heard about the WISE [Wise Independent Senior Experience] program in my son's high school I thought it is a great opportunity to expose high school students to the corporate environment.

OnPage Interns - Sam & Kristen

OnPage Interns - Sam & Kristen

I hired two students for 6 weeks with the expectation that in that short time we will not be able to benefit much from their contribution, but it was a way of giving back to the community. We tasked each student with a short project and let them run with it on their own. They were very enthusiastic about what they did. They really enjoyed it so much, and the output was way beyond what I thought we would get. I thought we were going to contribute to their life experience, and in actuality they contributed to the company just as much. The output was amazing. We are going to use their creative art on our new website soon to come. They also wrote blogs about current events taking place in Boston such as the Boston Marathon and related it to OnPage - As part of the event they designed "Boston Strong" T-shirts, which we currently distribute to our customers. In addition, to top it all they brought some fun into the company, which was great, just wonderful. At the end of the project, as they had to present their internship experience in school, one of the students said: "I was never a very committed student in school, however this internship made me realize that  when I do something that I'm passionate about I can be very committed and very successful". It helped her boost her self-confidence. I was moved, and was happy to hear that. This experience was only six weeks, but it helped her see herself in a different light.

CEOCFO: Put it all together for our readers. Why pay attention to OnPage Corporation today?

Ms. Sharon: Today, we are drowning in information. Today, on my phone and on everyone's phone, we are inundated with messages. You have alerts coming from your stock broker, you get pictures, SMS, emails, messenger, and Facebook. There is just so much, and because we have so much messaging, the important ones are often lost in the clutter. Information is key to survival in business, so we are constantly seeking information about everything and are subscribing to numerous services that continuously provide us information via messages to the point that we become numb to those alerts. It is just another alert. We'll get to it when we get to it. OnPage raises the important messages above the messaging clutter and draws your attention to those time-sensitive, critical messages. I believe that in the future there will be two kinds of messaging - casual messaging and important messaging.

The important messaging will come via OnPage.

Interview conducted by: Lynn Fosse, Senior Editor, CEO CFO Magazine.

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OnPage is a disruptive technology and application that leverages today's technology and smartphone capabilities for priority mobile messaging. With a top notch history of ensuring uninterrupted communication for businesses and critical response organizations, OnPage is once again poised to pioneer new mobile communications methodology for business and organizational use.

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