The Growth And Benefits Of Mobile Messaging Services For Business: Part One

By Paul Mulvenna, Principal Consultant, Bulletin

Today’s businesses are constantly searching for new ways to cost-effectively increase customer, employee and partner engagement while improving bottom-line profits. With market globalization increasing numbers of remote personnel and a majority of business professionals and clients constantly on the move, remaining competitive means these organizations need to increase contact engagement quickly and efficiently. This type of connectivity is essential to everyday business functions in order to perform at optimum efficiency and stand out amongst the competition. When minutes count, companies require a method of communication that is both fast and efficient anywhere, anytime, with anyone. Mobile messaging is that method.

SMS And OTT Adoption

 Mobile messaging has evolved to include two distinct platforms to send and receive messages: instant messaging over the Internet (OTT) (or messaging apps as it’s more commonly known) and Short Message Service (SMS), or text messaging. Though complementary, OTT and SMS are unique platforms that offer distinct cost options and benefits to users. OTT is regarded as a ‘free’ service that offers a richer user experience drawing on the additional benefits of larger message size and non-text content. While OTT messaging has numerous benefits, it is important to note that in order to use an OTT platform for mobile messaging, both the sender and recipient must have a smartphone with the same messaging app installed.

SMS is ubiquitous, working on multiple platforms across smart and feature phones alike. From a business perspective, it is an excellent solution for communication across the broadest population coverage and does not require the user to install an app. Furthermore, it works even when a mobile data network is unavailable. SMS offers a limited message size and typically costs just a few cents per message.

Although OTT messaging is growing at a faster rate than SMS, generating 70.5 billion messages per day in 2013 compared to 20.9 billion SMS messages according to Portio Research, SMS still remains a dominant player in the marketplace. Informa Telecoms & Media forecasts global SMS traffic to reach $137 billion by 2015. Juniper Research finds that Application-to-Person (A2P) SMS will be worth almost $60 billion by 2018, up from $55 billion in 2013. Person-to-person (P2P) messaging however, remains stagnant.

Leading mobile platform vendors recognize the complementary nature of OTT and SMS, integrating both platforms into one streamlined application to simplify and enhance communication and collaboration, as well as drive an enriched unified communications experience for end-users. 

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