Why You May Need The Platform

Foreign ministries manage their countries’ relations with other nations, care for their citizens abroad, and increasingly facilitate trade relations. As globalization makes it easier for tourists to travel and for companies to do business around the world, these agencies have to work harder to effectively fulfil their consular duties and to seize economic development opportunities.

From a consular perspective, the speed of information flow is becoming more critical, especially during pandemics and emergencies. From a commercial perspective, competition in areas such as tourism promotion and foreign direct investment is steadily increasing, and the game is moving more and more into the digital space.

The problem that has surfaced over time is that limited government budgets and a lagging infrastructure pose difficulties for countries to meet the increasing expectations and to keep up with the competition.

In certain cases this is reaching critical situations: some countries already struggle to maintain current directories of their own foreign representations, others cannot provide basic embassy homepages, and still others resort to the use of free email and social networking sites, which diminishes credibility and opens up major security vulnerabilities. These shortcomings have created a maze of outdated information, incomplete and inconsistent communication, and in some instances a state of digital chaos.

Countries that encounter such challenges may be losing millions of dollars every year in wasted opportunities and added costs, because they never get the chance to compete in a fair way or to operate efficiently. The most developed nations continue to dominate the FDI game, drive tourism, reinforce their brands, and are increasing the wealth gap.

The solution to this problem is the adoption of digital technology in a democratized way: get an online platform to better access, create, and control information for all of your foreign service posts and manage your pool of resources and web entities for a price that is easily affordable, guaranteed.

That is the essence of the Foreign Service Network.

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How The Platform Works

Our tools and services are readily available via an online platform (platform-as-a-service) that is scalable and ready to use. No downloads or installations are necessary. Ministries of Foreign Affairs become clients by enrolling in a paid subscription, which initiates the creation of a country account and access to the website builder, collaboration suite, and content management system.

Members of a country account can then access their environment and manage and maintain all content online via an internet browser on a computer, mobile, or tablet. Each country account can create an unlimited number of websites for its foreign end points and register an unlimited number of individuals to use the provided services.

Each country account receives dedicated client service and technical support. Communication with our staff is handled via a customer service portal and emergency contacts are provided for specific use cases.

Our secure platform provides bank-level SSL encryption for all critical areas. Hosting is serviced via the cloud in several locations around the world and your website structure obtains a sub-domain on FSN’s URLs embassy.network, consulate.network, and honoraryconsulate.network. You may opt to have an on-premise solution to keep the hardware physically located on your properties and to use your own top-level domain for the website structure (additional costs may apply).

Updates and new features to the core functions of our platform are continuously developed and provided as part of the service.

We are an independent privately-held organization, free from any foreign control, and have our headquarters in Budapest, Hungary. Our firm is advised by an international advisory board that is staffed with foreign relations experts and dignitaries.

Tools
Scalability
Security
Support
Updates

Website Builder

Through our website builder, you can achieve a unified look and standardization across all of the websites for your foreign service posts. The websites are connected to the central content management system and come with a full set features and menu roster that can be adjusted to your preferences. The websites remain under the control of the Foreign Ministry and members can be assigned to the website as needed. This assures permanence of the online presence and easy transition of personnel.

Optimized content ownership allows information to be managed in 3 tiers and to spread information globally in real-time without interference. Foreign Ministries can create, edit, and delete syndicated pages, news and events that instantly show on all websites across the world. Embassies can create, edit, and delete syndicated pages, news and events that instantly show on all websites in their jurisdiction. Consulates General and Honorary Consulates can create, edit, and delete local pages, news and events that instantly show on just their website. This helps eliminate redundancy, outdated information, and lag-time.

When foreign service endpoints have permanent and managed websites, they can be promoted on the local and regional level. The relevant agencies and communities will use them as a source of information. This builds extended reach to a public audience and may bring advantages that include:

  • Emergency response

    Reach your constituency quickly and effectively by posting global alerts in real-time. Communicate last-minute developments or changes during disasters or crises, coordinate repatriation efforts, or collect responses.

  • Enhanced publicity

    Post important news, such as election procedures or results, share significant accomplishments, such as economic successes or political achievements, and respond to international media articles to offer your perspective.

  • Tourism promotion

    Showcase your country assets and attractions with ease and zero cost to the growing number of cumulative site visitors.

Screenshot of a generated website

Collaboration Suite

Through our collaboration suite, you receive a digital environment in which you can virtually correspond, share news, and work on initiatives to advance your country’s interests. The environment is only accessible with a username and password and is protected with bank-level SSL encryption.

The suite offers a centralized dashboard to display information that needs to be quickly accessible to all your members at any time. This eliminates the need for anyone to save or print any disseminated information locally that may get lost.

An info wall gives any member the ability to add an announcement, which then appears on an endless timeline, similar to what you see in social networking sites, such as Facebook. The announcement can be addressed to a variety of groups, who will then see the message in their timeline. All posted messages receive a time and identification stamp. Additions to the info wall are accompanied by email notifications to add the function of a distribution group. Announcements are then available online and in one’s email inbox, which eliminates the need to save emails locally.

Other features such as file sharing, lists, and Q&A give your members the ability to work on common projects that may require international input or cooperation. Uploaded files receive designated ownership types that come with different access levels.

When such a secure collaboration space is made available, it can be used to engage your members, enhance communication, and advance critical work efforts that may contribute to:

  • Improved economic development efforts

    Help your domestic companies find export and expansion opportunities and drive efforts to attract foreign direct investment.

  • Identification of threats and opportunities

    Use your network to alert the community about potential incidents that can hurt your reputation or perhaps benefit your interests.

  • Strengthening of your member community

    Allow your members to create virtual relationships, which increases morale and motivation.

Screenshot of the collaboration suite

Content Management System

Through our content management system, you gain proper control over activities and profiles in your country account. Several modules are available to change settings, preferences, and assignments.

Member management allows you to approve member registrations and suspend, re-activate, and delete member profiles.

Entity management allows you to auto-create a website for a foreign service post, deactivate and reactivate its online status, and assign members to the website as needed.

System management allows you to control the layout and color scheme of your website structure.

Multi-language support allows you to post syndicated pages, news, and events in up to 5 languages and the system automatically displays the correct language on the local website.

Email forwarding services provide a dedicated email address and forward correspondence to a designated recipient or group of recipients. You can change the recipient list at any time without service interruption.

When a content management system is used, information can be handled better, risk can be controlled, and operations can become more efficient. This creates advantages that include:

  • Control over image and brand development

    Ensure that your country is represented professionally in the digital world and instantly eliminate any unapproved, damaging, or contradicting content.

  • Effective public and internal communication

    Be able to change, add, or delete content at any time and instantly syndicate it worldwide. Give your members the power to exchange information and contribute to your causes.

  • Better utilization of honorary consuls

    Provide a controlled online environment that empowers your honorary consuls and lets you connect directly with their communities.

Screenshot of the CMS

Pricing

To obtain a country account on the FSN Platform, you need to purchase a subscription.

There is no contract. You may cancel at any time.

There are 2 types of country accounts:

FSN for Honorary Consulates
all of your Honorary Consulates
worldwide
USD 4,000 per month
(billed annually)
or USD 4,400 per month (billed monthly)
FSN for Everyone
all of your Honorary Consulates, Consulates General, and Embassies worldwide
USD 7,000 per month
(billed annually)
or USD 7,700 per month (billed monthly)

Financial aid of up to 70% is available for eligible countries.

What is included

  • The platform is usable worldwide
  • Registration of an unlimited number of members
  • Creation of an unlimited number of websites
  • Requests for an unlimited number of email forwarding services
  • File storage up to 100GB
  • Access to the global FSN directory (all participating countries)
  • Technical support and customer service
  • Updates and feature enhancements related to the core functionality of FSN

What is not included

On-premise installations and usage of your own top-level domain require additional service and will be quoted individually.

What you will need

You will require a person to act as a global administrator that can monitor your content, manage member and site status, and answer content-specific inquiries from your community. This role does not need any formal training, as our platform is as intuitive to use as any common social networking site. Our technical support and customer service are always available to answer any performance-related questions.

Contact us for more information