Beth Schultz
Beth Schultz is editor of No Jitter and program co-chair for Enterprise Connect. Beth has more than two decades of...
Read Full Bio >>

Beth Schultz | March 31, 2016 |


Don't Call, Text... Maybe?

Don't Call, Text... Maybe? With enterprise SMS taking off like gangbusters, watch for deeper integration and more vendor options.

With enterprise SMS taking off like gangbusters, watch for deeper integration and more vendor options.

I have a confession to make. Here, as I work in my home office, I just text messaged my teenage son. I know, I know, big deal, right?

But I confess because he's at home, too, just up the stairs from where I sit, and talking to him in person would have been... well, if not more appropriate then certainly not so lazy. But why expend the energy? All I needed to say was easily contained in the 160-character SMS format: Please turn the TV lower. (Don't we all know how the O.J. trial turned out anyways?!)

Of course you have your own text messaging transgressions -- anybody who has a smartphone surely does. Person to person, some might say we border on being over-reliant on SMS. Sure, you could call... or you could text instead. Sprinkle in an emoji or two and even your mom won't perceive your unwillingness to engage verbally as a slight.

Increasingly, enterprises too are turning to SMS as a default mode of communications (usually sans emojis). Who among us hasn't received a text message delivering a password reset code, appointment reminder, flight change notice, delivery status, or payment notice, for instance?

As Portio Research, an independent telecoms research provider, noted in a June 2015 research report, SMS is a cheap and easy way to enable internal or external communications for any company, regardless of size. "There could easily be up to 50 or 60 use cases in a large corporation where SMS could be implemented to communicate up and down the structure -- with customers, suppliers, staff and partners," Portio Research said.

SMS escalation isn't unusual, Steve French, global VP of product management and marketing at OpenMarket, an enterprise engagement platform provider, told me in a recent call. As an example, he cited a recent financial services win in which OpenMarket was brought in for a single SMS use case. "The deal wasn't even signed yet, and we were already getting additional requests, 'Hey, can you do this? And this? And this?"

Enterprises are getting smarter about how to use SMS with mobile apps and integrate SMS more deeply into business processes, French said. You don't just want to receive a general account alert from your bank. You want specifics, and the ability to take immediate action. "Your mortgage is due today, but you have no scheduled payment. Text 1 to initiate payment from checking. Text 2 to pay from savings. Text 3 to reschedule payment. Text 4 for information on refinancing."

Based on recent activity, it's safe to say that neither OpenMarket nor its competitors intend to be left out of the action. In February, for instance, OpenMarket launched a global SMS API aimed at letting enterprises create and manage multiple originating message types -- short codes, text-enabled toll-free and local numbers, and alphanumeric codes, for example -- for delivery worldwide. (For related No Jitter coverage, see "Text-to-Toll Free: Coming to a Contact Center Near You.") Previously the company offered an SMS API for the U.S. and another for the U.K. -- "but global companies need to be able to do global campaigns," as French said.

To reduce the technical complexity of using SMS, OpenMarket's global SMS API automatically selects the best messaging originator -- short code or text-enabled phone number, for example -- for the destination address. In addition, it optimizes and delivers the message in preferred format based on global operators and languages, French said.

Earlier this month, Flowroute got into the SMS game, too, as announced at Enterprise Connect. "What you can do on the Flowroute network with voice, we've now extended to SMS," said Dan Nordale, who heads sales and marketing at the company. In other words, calling and text messaging are unified on a single toll-free or long code phone number that developers can embed in their applications and services.

The Flowroute SMS offering includes capabilities such as customized routing for specifying delivery at the account of individual phone number level, and detailed real-time reports on SMS usage.

Like OpenMarket, Flowroute has seen mounting interest in enterprise SMS -- in its case specifically, for the last 18 months or so, Nordale said. "We've taken a measured approach, in terms of understanding the volume of messaging and when messaging would really take off. And now is the right time."

And so I see far more SMS in my already mobile message-laden daily life -- that is, unless SMS gets eaten up by over-the-top messaging, as suggested in this recent No Jitter post: OTT Messaging Apps Chew Away at SMS."

Follow Beth Schultz and No Jitter on Twitter and Google+!
Beth Schultz on Google+


October 24, 2018

With disparate workplaces and ever-expanding volumes of information to manage, the challenges for collaborating effectively are only intensifying. Many critical applications are not integrated, and

October 10, 2018

Businesses are growing across international borders quicker than ever, but scaling operations to follow suit can be a harder, longer process.

This webinar focuses on scaling your next-generat

September 26, 2018

Join Kevin Kieller, Microsoft UC&C expert, along with Ribbon Communications and Polycom, for an update on Microsoft Ignite, and a focus on critical things you need to know about your voice deployme

March 12, 2018
An effective E-911 implementation doesn't just happen; it takes a solid strategy. Tune in for tips from IT expert Irwin Lazar, of Nemertes Research.
March 9, 2018
IT consultant Steve Leaden lays out the whys and how-tos of getting the green light for your convergence strategy.
March 7, 2018
In advance of his speech tech tutorial at EC18, communications analyst Jon Arnold explores what voice means in a post-PBX world.
February 28, 2018
Voice engagement isn't about a simple phone call any longer, but rather a conversational experience that crosses from one channel to the next, as Daniel Hong, a VP and research director with Forrester....
February 16, 2018
What trends and technologies should you be up on for your contact center? Sheila McGee-Smith, Contact Center & Customer Experience track chair for Enterprise Connect 2018, gives us the lowdown.
February 9, 2018
Melanie Turek, VP of connected work research at Frost & Sullivan, walks us through key components -- and sticking points -- of customer-oriented digital transformation projects.
February 2, 2018
UC consultant Marty Parker has crunched lots of numbers evaluating UC options; tune in for what he's learned and tips for your own analysis.
January 26, 2018
Don't miss out on the fun! Organizer Alan Quayle shares details of his pre-Enterprise Connect hackathon, TADHack-mini '18, showcasing programmable communications.
December 20, 2017
Kevin Kieller, partner with enableUC, provides advice on how to move forward with your Skype for Business and Teams deployments.
December 20, 2017
Zeus Kerravala, principal analyst with ZK Research, shares his perspective on artificial intelligence and the future of team collaboration.
December 20, 2017
Delanda Coleman, Microsoft senior marketing manager, explains the Teams vision and shares use case examples.
November 30, 2017
With a ruling on the FCC's proposed order to dismantle the Open Internet Order expected this month, communications technology attorney Martha Buyer walks us through what's at stake.
October 23, 2017
Wondering which Office 365 collaboration tool to use when? Get quick pointers from CBT Nuggets instructor Simona Millham.
September 22, 2017
In this podcast, we explore the future of work with Robert Brown, AVP of the Cognizant Center for the Future of Work, who helps us answer the question, "What do we do when machines do everything?"
September 8, 2017
Greg Collins, a technology analyst and strategist with Exact Ventures, delivers a status report on 5G implementation plans and tells enterprises why they shouldn't wait to move ahead on potential use ....
August 25, 2017
Find out what business considerations are driving the SIP trunking market today, and learn a bit about how satisfied enterprises are with their providers. We talk with John Malone, president of The Ea....
August 16, 2017
World Vision U.S. is finding lots of goodness in RingCentral's cloud communications service, but as Randy Boyd, infrastructure architect at the global humanitarian nonprofit, tells us, he and his team....
August 11, 2017
Alicia Gee, director of unified communications at Sutter Physician Services, oversees the technical team supporting a 1,000-agent contact center running on Genesys PureConnect. She catches us up on th....
August 4, 2017
Andrew Prokop, communications evangelist with Arrow Systems Integration, has lately been working on integrating enterprise communications into Internet of Things ecosystems. He shares examples and off....
July 27, 2017
Industry watcher Elka Popova, a Frost & Sullivan program director, shares her perspective on this acquisition, discussing Mitel's market positioning, why the move makes sense, and more.
July 14, 2017
Lantre Barr, founder and CEO of Blacc Spot Media, urges any enterprise that's been on the fence about integrating real-time communications into business workflows to jump off and get started. Tune and....
June 28, 2017
Communications expert Tsahi Levent-Levi, author of the popular blog, keeps a running tally and comprehensive overview of communications platform-as-a-service offerings in his "Choosing a W....
June 9, 2017
If you think telecom expense management applies to nothing more than business phone lines, think again. Hyoun Park, founder and principal investigator with technology advisory Amalgam Insights, tells ....
June 2, 2017
Enterprises strategizing on mobility today, including for internal collaboration, don't have the luxury of learning as they go. Tony Rizzo, enterprise mobility specialist with Blue Hill Research, expl....
May 24, 2017
Mark Winther, head of IDC's global telecom consulting practice, gives us his take on how CPaaS providers evolve beyond the basic building blocks and address maturing enterprise needs.
May 18, 2017
Diane Myers, senior research director at IHS Markit, walks us through her 2017 UC-as-a-service report... and shares what might be to come in 2018.
April 28, 2017
Change isn't easy, but it is necessary. Tune in for advice and perspective from Zeus Kerravala, co-author of a "Digital Transformation for Dummies" special edition.
April 20, 2017
Robin Gareiss, president of Nemertes Research, shares insight gleaned from the firm's 12th annual UCC Total Cost of Operations study.
March 23, 2017
Tim Banting, of Current Analysis, gives us a peek into what the next three years will bring in advance of his Enterprise Connect session exploring the question: Will there be a new model for enterpris....
March 15, 2017
Andrew Prokop, communications evangelist with Arrow Systems Integration, discusses the evolving role of the all-important session border controller.
March 9, 2017
Organizer Alan Quayle gives us the lowdown on programmable communications and all you need to know about participating in this pre-Enterprise Connect hackathon.
March 3, 2017
From protecting against new vulnerabilities to keeping security assessments up to date, security consultant Mark Collier shares tips on how best to protect your UC systems.
February 24, 2017
UC analyst Blair Pleasant sorts through the myriad cloud architectural models underlying UCaaS and CCaaS offerings, and explains why knowing the differences matter.
February 17, 2017
From the most basics of basics to the hidden gotchas, UC consultant Melissa Swartz helps demystify the complex world of SIP trunking.
February 7, 2017
UC&C consultant Kevin Kieller, a partner at enableUC, shares pointers for making the right architectural choices for your Skype for Business deployment.
February 1, 2017
Elka Popova, a Frost & Sullivan program director, shares a status report on the UCaaS market today and offers her perspective on what large enterprises need before committing to UC in the cloud.
January 26, 2017
Andrew Davis, co-founder of Wainhouse Research and chair of the Video track at Enterprise Connect 2017, sorts through the myriad cloud video service options and shares how to tell if your choice is en....
January 23, 2017
Sheila McGee-Smith, Contact Center/Customer Experience track chair for Enterprise Connect 2017, tells us what we need to know about the role cloud software is playing in contact centers today.