Mobile text Messaging, or Short Message Service (SMS), as we all know it, is the ability to send and receive text messages to and from mobile telephones. The text can comprise words or numbers or an alphanumeric combination. SMS was created as part of the GSM Phase 1 standard. The first short message is believed to have been sent in December 1992 from a Personal Computer (PC) to a mobile phone on the Vodafone GSM network in the UK. Each short message can be up to 160 characters is length when Latin alphabets are used. Customer Usage and Market Growth.
There is no doubting the success of the Short Message Service – the market in India alone has reached over one billion messages despite little proactive marketing by network operators and phone manufacturers. Key market drivers over the next two years such as the access of cheaper mobile technology to the masses will continue this growth path.
Mobile Messaging: How can your business benefit?
Enterprise uptake of mobile applications is set for phenomenal growth. By 2005, Gartner anticipates that 65 percent of enterprises will be harnessing the power of wireless applications to efficiently automate the existing business processes and use wireless connectivity for one or more user groups.
Statistics are already showing a considerable growth in the enterprise messaging, within the last seven quarters.
Where does enterprise messaging fit into your business
No matter what the nature or model of your business is, you can effectively exploit the potential of Mobile Messaging. Following are some examples of the application areas where Mobile Messaging is excelling:
1. B2B Messaging
Mobile terminated and mobile originated SMS and MMS via UCP, XML and PHP interface
Benefits: Using industry standard protocols provide easy integration with existing systems as well as a robust and scalable model for future technologies.
2. B2B Campaigns and list processing
Permission-based mobile marketing campaign of consumer goods, advertisement campaign, promotions etc.
Benefits: Mobile marketing provides unparallel advantage of effectively targeting specific audience level.
3. B2B Applications
Customized mobile applications conforming to a business rule and addressing a specific target audience. Example: MIS reports to mobile sales force, critical data to mobile technical work force. The possibilities are unlimited and the flexibility is enormous!
How to choose a high quality and reliable service provider for SMS/Text Messaging for your enterprise messaging needs?
The first option that comes to oneâ€™s mind is mobile operators. However, though they have complete control over network infrastructure, they are generally not too keen to service customer for meeting their messaging needs. The prime reasons for this are:
- Enterprise messaging involves complex integration with backend database/applications
- The volume of messages is typically not high (except in large B2C companies)
- The criticality of message delivery is extremely high
- Operators largely cross subsidise â€˜voiceâ€™ with â€˜dataâ€™ services.
- It a specific network is down, then the service suffers.
- The service need extra attention in terms of providing high service levels
There are many independent providers of mobile data services focussed in the domain of enterprise messaging that provide end-to-end SMS/text messaging service. For example, ValueFirst (http://www.vfirst.com) provides SMS/Text messaging services to enterprises.
- There are several advantages of working with an operator neutral service provider:
- Easy and quick integration with back-end application/databases
- Connections with multiple operators ensure better service quality (i.e. service is continued even if the network of a specific operator fails)
- Single entry point into the mobile networks.
- Uniform application access â€“ no duplicate efforts required
- Reliability and timeliness – Acknowledged mobile messaging with guaranteed message delivery information available
- Integrated payment â€“ one stop shop for all billing aspects, and
- Seamless and secure messaging environment.