Case Study: Colombo Jamaat
How Élan changed everything!
For several years the offices of Anjuman e Saifi, Sri Lanka (Anjuman) had been communicating with its Jamaat members through SMS, which had many obvious shortcomings. Mumineen were restricted to receiving heavily abbreviated messages, with minimal information. The messages were sent only to the Head of Family or one designated member of the family as Anjuman had to pay for the messages on a per-SMS basis. The costs per month to Anjuman touched a staggering LKR 20,000/= in some months. (approx USD 150 at the time).
Often there would be situations where household members would be unaware of important alerts from Anjuman as the information would only reach the Heads of Family, and they would not convey the message to the rest of the family for various reasons. To prevent this, members of the family could sign up to receive messages at an additional fee.
The only advantage with SMS was that it offered a simple way to share information to GSM enabled phones, regardless of the Operating System used. However, SMS was costly and kept the information-sharing to text only. This was no doubt an outdated mode of mass-communication with the technology available at the time.
Clearly, the communication mechanism needed an overhaul.
The proliferation of smart phones had spread into the Colombo Jamaat, specifically phones that were running Android. The timing was right for a dedicated broadcasting App to take communication in a new direction. Whatever came along would have to be easy to use for a demographic that ranged from adolescents (who would be technologically savvy) to the elderly. The premise of the app would serve a single purpose: to be a simple yet feature rich messaging system that can be used by anyone.
With the approval and support of Anjuman e Saifi, Sri Lanka, Élan was introduced to the Colombo Jamaat on an extensive Beta Phase. The App immediately received good reviews because of its simplicity and reached a thousand downloads within ten days.
The first ever Élan sent out was on the 21st of August, 2013; on Gadheer-e-Khum, 1434H.
When SMS was being used, the messages reached only 800 phones, out of which approximately 300 were paying subscribers. Anjuman was only able to cover some of the costs per subscriber through their subscription as the rates were subsidized.
The app currently holds a strong userbase of over 2000 active users in Colombo alone. Anjuman does not need to control their message reach as their costs have been minimized and are fixed per month. Any member of the Jamaat is able to install and use the app free of charge. Anjuman is able to send as many messages as they like, along with media content, for added impact. Since Élan is a dedicated app, messages received do not get lost in the clutter along with other messages from other sources (like in SMS or Email apps).
Apart from the monetary benefits, Élan has revolutionized the way in which messages from the jamaat are perceived. An alert tone was designed for notifications. When mumineen hear the "Élan Jingle", they are able to immediately identify it as a message from Anjuman (or more appropriately worded by the Colombo Mumineen - an "Élan").
In addition, unlike messaging apps such as WhatsApp and its peers, Élan, through its secure admin panel, ensures that communication is authentic and secure.
Élan is truly more than just a broadcasting app. It evokes a sense of community and Its overwhelming popularity is proof that Élan is THE solution to connecting mumineen today.