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Managing Multiple Companies in Sonar: Best Practices

Mitchell Paul-Soumis Updated by Mitchell Paul-Soumis

In Sonar, we give you the option of adding multiple companies into Sonar. These companies allow you to organize customers, contracts, and services in Sonar, all while allowing you to slowly onboard new company acquisitions and their customers.

Why use multiple companies

When you acquire a new company, or begin bringing in customers from a company that has merged with yours, multiple companies offer a dynamic way to address the need to slowly integrate these customers. Because companies offer meaningful ways of tracking and reporting customer behaviour, payments, and services, making use of multiple companies provides you a tool to make the most of your instance. Below, we'll take a look at a few example scenarios that can occur, and how making use of multiple companies in Sonar can simplify or enhance existing methods.

Scenario 1 - Flanker Brand creation

If you're familiar with mobile network operators, you'll likely have heard the term "flanker brand" which represents a company offering lower value and lower cost services while using the hardware (and often support) of an existing brand. Within Sonar, multiple companies presents the answer to how you might accomplish similar goals. In this scenario, we'll be going over a series of steps that would allow you to create your own separate company with a distinct customer base within your instance, unifying the customer list for reporting and accounting purposes.

How this would get done
  1. Create your new company under Settings -> Companies -> Create Company
  2. Enter in all appropriate information, similar to what you would enter if following the Basic Company Setup guide, but make sure "Default" is unchecked
  3. Create the Services, the Packages, and the Usage Based Billing Policies. These are the 3 main components that allow specific companies to offer diverse services, speeds, and usage. Address Lists will also need to be created to control these speeds, but Address Lists aren't limited to specific companies as they're tied to a service.
Services can only be tied to one company, but an Address list can be re-used for speed profiles across services and companies
  1. Start signing up customers using the newly created company in Sonar, offering the services and packages that were recently created

Scenario 2 - Company Acquisition

In this scenario, we'll be going over the process involved in acquiring a new company and adding their services, prices, and customer base to your own. We'll also address some strategies you can use to create a transition strategy that minimizes human intervention.

How this would get done
  1. Once you've finalized the acquisition, create the new company under Settings -> Companies -> Create Company.
  2. Enter in all appropriate information, similar to what you would enter if following the Basic Company Setup guide, but make sure "Default" is unchecked. In some cases you may want to continue using both the naming and logo from the previous company, as well as customer portal URL if one existed.
  3. Create the appropriate Services for your acquired company. You can take two approaches with this:
    1. If the prices for the services being offered by the newly acquired company were less than those you charge, you could create expiring services, starting at the lower price and after a specified duration, that service will expire and can no longer be offered.
    2. If the services offered by the newly acquired company were the same cost or more expensive, you can simply place these new customers on identical (or nearest to) service levels at their existing price, and send a mass email to notify them of this change.
  4. When creating customers, create them under the old companies name until you're ready to migrate them or incorporate them into your primary company.
These scenarios are examples of what you could do, and don't offer a complete picture or instruction set. If you have questions or concerns about acquiring a company or spinning up a new one, reach out to our support team via support@sonar.software

What can't Multiple Companies handle?

Having multiple companies tied to a Sonar instance certainly makes a few things much easier, but there are still things this isn't designed to handle. When making use of multiple companies, you should be aware of how they interact with the following Sonar features:

Sonar FCC Form 477 Reporting

With Multiple Companies, the FCC Form 477 reporting can become difficult to accurately organize. Because tying services to a company is optional during their creation, but accounts must be associated with a company, it's possible to end up with accounts belonging to various companies while all sharing an identical data service.

As a result, getting accurate user data and dividing it between companies when generating service based reports is difficult in Sonar currently with multiple companies.

To get around this limitation, you can create services that are company-specific and assign those data services to accounts.

User access

User added to your Sonar instance can't currently be assigned to specific companies, which means users with the appropriate permissions could effect changes or access all accounts, regardless of which company the account belongs to.

Ticket Management

Similar to Users above, Tickets or the ticketing system cannot be restricted to specific companies, as all users with the relevant permissions will be able to view and respond to all emails coming in from customers, regardless of the inbound email address selected by the customer or the company that the sender's account belongs to.

How did we do?

Basic Company Setup

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