Sona Systems : Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions

Have a few more questions before getting started with Sona Systems?

We'll do the best we can to answer them.


How much does the software cost?

Our annual pricing is based on usage, and the unit we use to measure usage is sessions. So, when a participant participates in a study, our system counts that as 1 session.


We offer four pricing tiers.


There are no additional setup or activation fees. All pricing options give users full access to the system, complete access to our participant smartphone app, dedicated customer support, prescreening and more. In addition, since Sona Systems is all managed in the cloud, university IT is not required to activate or configure the web-based service -- our support teams perform all installations, upgrades, and platform updates on our secure off-site servers.

We provide pricing and accept payment in U.S. Dollars, Euros, and British Pounds. Please contact us for pricing.

Can I try a demonstration of the software before I purchase?

Yes. In fact, it's our policy not to send an invoice until you've first tried a demo and have determined that our service meets your needs. We offer a free, no obligation, 30-day demonstration. Just contact us and we'll get you set up within 24-48 hours from the time of your request. You can cancel at any time if you are not satisfied with the platform.

Can I speak to some of your customers?

Yes. We'll be more than happy to put you in touch with universities in a similar situation as yours (those with a similar subject pool size and management need) who agree to speak with you directly, once we receive approval from them to pass on their contact information to you. We suggest asking them about our (1) software performance (2) ease of use (3) key benefits, and (4) overall customer service.

You can also read testimonials from current customers.

My budget is small, and I'm not sure how to find the money to pay for your software.

Most universities take the money from their general departmental budget, or from the overhead charged to researchers. Another option is to use the reports in our system that provide information on the usage of the participant pool by study (or researcher or P.I.) and bill out the costs in proportion to the number of pool hours used by each. Some schools have funded the software through funds set aside for technology that enhances the learning experience for students. We can also offer flexible payment terms to more easily adapt with your fiscal year.

I have a graduate student who has offered to write software like yours for our department. Why should I use your software?

The effort and time involved in building and maintaining software like Sona Systems is extremely costly. Our software is designed with over 45,000 lines of solid, competently written and tested code used by hundreds of universities.

Not only that, Sona Systems is backed by a global software and customer support team who is dedicated to helping customers like you get the greatest value from the Sona Systems experience. When the semester is coming to a close and grades are due, we're here to help even if your request comes in during the middle of the night.

Do I need to involve my IT department?

Generally no, since the service resides entirely on our servers, and no university IT resources are required.

Can you tell me more about your data center facilities?

Sona Systems combines its vast capabilities with powerful data processing, redundant storage, and security to give global customers dedicated performance and reliability. We provide these added features to ensure users are able to access the system and conduct research without losing valuable information. The software is cloud-hosted and is staged on our servers in the Washington, DC area, Montreal (surcharge applies), Amsterdam, or Hong Kong depending on where the customer is located. All servers are secured 24/7 behind biometric hand-scan checkpoints and guarded entrances. In the case of an emergency or power failure, both facilities are equipped with battery backup and diesel generators to prevent data loss.

For American customers, all site data and backups reside within the US. For European customers, all site data and backups reside within the EU. For customers where their site is on our servers in Canada, all site data and backups reside in Canada. For customers in the Asia-Pacific region, site data resides in Hong Kong and off-site backups are stored in Canada.

Why is there a surcharge for hosting the service on servers in Canada?

This is a special service offered primarily to universities in Canada, where data privacy rules prohibit them from storing data on US soil (because of the US Patriot Act).

How long will it take to set up my system?

Once we have received your demonstration request, one of our server specialists will set up the software on one of our secure servers. This process may take up to 48 hours, but typically your site is ready the following business day. Once we have set up your account, we will send detailed instructions via email on how to get started using the system.

My IRB is very strict. Does your software meet all the proper regulations?

Our software is compliant with all regulations in the US, Canada, and EU. Most other countries follow OECD guidelines, and we are also in compliant with those. Read our compliance information for more details.

Try Sona Systems risk-free for 30 days, and experience the power of cloud-based research

There is no obligation to buy and you can cancel at any time during your demo period.