Born in the Microsoft Cloud in 2014, Media Sonar is a fast-growing Canadian big data company making the world around us safer. How? By giving safety and security professionals a powerful analytics platform that helps them improve public safety, provide humanitarian support, and proactively assist people.
Today’s public safety and security professionals need all the help they can get. As our economy and culture rapidly digitizes, we create increasingly massive amounts of data on social networks, websites, devices, and the deep web. The sheer volume of all that data translates into a gargantuan technical challenge. How can anyone sift through it all, at the moment when it’s most needed?
Humans can’t, of course. But machines can and do. Machine learning and natural language processing applied to large volumes of unstructured public data have the capacity to extract powerful insights that inspire new strategies. In fact, the right software can aggregate and process that data in real time to help identify threats, highlight patterns, and flag suspicious activities when they occur.
Enter Media Sonar
Media Sonar works with public safety and humanitarian organizations to deliver solutions that help their clients uncover actionable insights, quickly and reliably. The company’s intuitive cloud-based platform allows professionals to collect and analyze online deep web data for relevant open source intelligence. In just a few years, the team at Media Sonar has earned an international reputation as a leading big data analytics solutions company.
Who uses it?
Media Sonar is purpose-built for modern safety and security. The platform’s workflow reflects the analytical process that investigators follow when working a case. Public safety professionals, investigative agencies, law enforcement groups, security specialists, and all kinds of other teams work with Media Sonar to get great intelligence—insights they can act on with confidence.
In an early incident, police analysts used the platform to identify and find a woman using online channels to threaten self-harm. This information allowed local authorities to intervene and help her before it was too late.
In another case, a client used the Media Sonar platform to help responders keep an active pulse on public sentiment. They used it to stay sensitive to concerns when providing support relief efforts after a natural disaster.
Not surprisingly, schools and universities concerned about keeping people safe have come calling on the Media Sonar team. And so too have international groups dedicated to fighting human trafficking, a truly global crime.
In their cultural DNA
The Media Sonar team lives for results like these. Their employees share a passion and dedication to making the world better. Beyond just a balance sheet, the real measure of this company’s success is realized through the communities it improves. And that ethos translates into highly motivated employees.
“For any tech business, it’s better to be great at one thing than good at a bunch. So, we followed our passion and built a culture of professionals genuinely inspired by our free, safe, and secure mantra.” – David Strucke, CEO
One secret of their success? The company collaborates closely with a panel of engaged customers. As advisers, these professionals test new features and directly inform product development. And these customers speak on the company’s behalf, adding invaluable credibility to the brand.
“As a team, we know that we can make the best technology in the world, but if it doesn’t work for our customer, it’s useless. That’s why we’re a customer, not a technology-driven company.” – David Strucke, CEO
Behind the scenes
Media Sonar relies on end-to-end Microsoft technologies and infrastructure to deliver its application securely and reliably to its customers worldwide. They develop in Visual Studio, manage databases with SQL, and leverage Elastic, Bootstrap, Azure Functions, Kubernetes, Virtual Machines, and Redis Cache—all within Azure.
“Why Azure? Speed, scale, and security. As an early stage business, we need to get to market and take on more data as fast as possible, and with confidence. Azure lets us deploy very quickly and securely.” – David Strucke, CEO
Because of its scope, Media Sonar abides by very stringent regulations governing data security and privacy. Using Microsoft’s infrastructure, it can ensure compliance and satisfy data residency demands, anywhere, which translates into a global opportunity. With most of its customers currently in Canada and the USA, the company plans to focus on Europe and other markets where security solutions are in high demand.
Meet the Founders
David Strucke, CEO, has built a company focused on making the world safer. Previously, David was the CEO of Navtech, Inc. and the Entrepreneur in Residence with Communitech. As an angel investor, adviser, and board member, David plays an active role in Canada’s entrepreneurial technology space.
BetaKit features Media Sonar’s Allan Bedard in its Canadian CTO series! Allan: “Cutting-edge tech doesn’t matter unless the data is actionable.” Read full interview.
A Microsoft for Startups project
Media Sonar received support from Microsoft for Startups, which provides promising startups with software, service, support, marketing expertise and cloud services—all designed to help them launch successfully. Check out these cool stories of other entrepreneurs who received assistance from Microsoft.
“On the business development side of things, Microsoft has been great. They involve us in outreach efforts, introducing us to potential customers and helping us get our name and story out there.” – David Strucke, CEO
Do you run a startup?
Learn how Microsoft for Startups works. This program provides qualified privately held startups with development and testing software; training; phone support; Azure services, plus go-to-market business networking opportunities. To qualify, your startup must be less than five years old and earn less than US $1 million annually.