month 04
day 25
year 2017

How Esendex and npower made the finals of the 2017 Credit Awards

npower, partnered with Esendex, has been nominated in two categories at the 2017 Credit Awards: Best Credit & Collections Technology and Innovation in Customer Contact.

This collaboration has been such a rewarding experience for Esendex, and we wanted to talk you through what we’ve achieved together.

The challenge

npower is the UK’s third biggest supplier of energy, and, like most long-standing companies in the utilities sector, had difficulties collecting small balance final debt.

There are two main issues associated with the traditional white lettering and outbound dialling approach when pursuing small balance final debt.

The first issue is that many of the customers that leave npower (approx. 55%) do so as they are moving home. When moving home, customers don’t always provide a forwarding address and thus can’t be contacted via letter.

The second issue is that the cost of lettering and outbound dialling can often exceed the balance owed. It’s for this reason that npower had not previously been able to pursue small balance final debt.

The solution

npower provided Esendex with a strategy that considers a customer’s contact details, leaving reason and most importantly debt amount, from which we’ve been able to construct an intelligent contact platform – a ‘decision engine’ – that segments customers onto different contact journeys in order to maintain maximum return on investment.

Customer B, as illustrated in this diagram, is first contacted via email, and provided with three ways to pay off their final balance:

  • An IVR – Interactive Voice Response – system which can be accessed from a landline or mobile, and talks the customer through making a payment
  • A Mobile Journey, which is effective a mobile web app, accessible via a smartphone or from a computer. By removing distractions and elements that make completion on a mobile challenging, customers can quickly and easily make a payment via their mobile phone
  •  A traditional payment portal, best accessed via a desktop computer / laptop.

If the customer doesn’t make a payment, or the message fails to be delivered, they’ll receive an SMS. From the SMS they have the option to again, call the IVR, or click through to the Mobile Journey to make a payment.

If the outstanding balance is high enough, and the customer has either not responded or the SMS wasn’t delivered, they’ll receive an automated call with the option to use their keypad to make a payment.

At npower’s requested, we’ve also built an input layer that allows npower to stop any contact to any customer at any point in time; this gives them complete control over the contact even though they do not conduct the contact in house.

The outcome

npower enjoyed an uplift in payments from 4% to 19% after deploying the new methodology.

Including set up and running costs, they recouped their initial investment within five months, and in year two, because the set up costs won’t be repeated, they’ll recoup the annual cost after just two months.

This was a unique partnership combining npower’s knowledge of their customer base and Esendex’s expertise in digital communication and our ability to elicit a great response rate.

It utilises a digitally driven strategy removing the need for traditional paper correspondence and potentially lengthy call volumes.

“The use of an Esendex provided payment platform created a quick and easy way for our customers to pay off their outstanding debts whilst on the go and the uplift in payments is proving how popular and successful this platform is.” – Senior Credit Risk Analyst, npower

Win or lose, we’re really proud of this collaboration, and believe it illustrates how a personalised, mobile orientated customer journey can deliver a successful outcome, even when you’re dealing with a group of relatively disengaged ex-customers.

month 04
day 25
year 2017

Snap elections call for quick communication

Westminster spring

The UK is about to have its third nationwide government vote within 25 months. From the 2015 general election, followed by 2016’s Brexit referendum, to a snap general election to be held 8th June 2017.

Upon hearing the news of a snap election, many people empathised with Brenda from Bristol who expressed a certain amount of apathy to visiting the polling stations again so soon and so frequently.

Despite the high turnout at the Brexit referendum, predictions for turnout in June are expected to be the lowest they have been in recent years.

With only a small number of weeks to go until voters hit the polling booths, there is a race against time to engage with voters and encourage those eligible to vote to sign up before deadline dates. The BBC has reported that almost 350,000 people have registered to vote since the surprise announcement a week ago.

The biggest group getting their applications in to vote were young people. Over 100,000 people aged between 18 and 34 registered within just a few days of the announcement.

The numbers are encouraging but more can be done to ensure that potential voters are registered, and all registered voters remember to cast their vote on the day.

Is the UK missing the mark?

Sending text messages to members of the electorate is a relatively uncommon practice in the UK. In other parts of the world, it’s a lot more common as for example, Thailand’s 2006 election saw 25 million text messages sent to members of the public reminding them to vote that day.Text Obama

Back in 2008, Obama sent what has now been coined as his ‘most important text message’ announcing his Vice President pick Joe Biden to 3 million recipients. Throughout his campaign, his team elevated the use of texting to promote question and answer sessions with the use of a short code.

Leveraging SMS, you can better engage the public, organise events and ultimately mobilise people to vote. Moreover, with limited time to prepare for the election, text messages are a quick way to motivate people to register and vote.

The focus is on voice

If there’s anything that social media has taught us, it’s not that the public doesn’t voice their opinion. Whether it’s Twitter, Facebook, Instagram or Reddit, words can speak louder than actions.

Celebrity voices are powerful and influential, something that a lot of marketers have attempted to wield for various campaigns. This is no different when it comes to politics. During the Brexit campaign, we saw numerous online videos of ‘remain or leave’ celebrity supporters sharing their opinions.

Voice broadcasting gives local authorities the ability to send a concise, engaging message from a popular local figurehead to encourage registrations and voter turnout. Voice broadcasts have the added benefit of being as effective when delivered to landlines as they are to mobile devices.


Esendex can help you get voters to the polling station. SMS campaigns can be set up and sent within minutes using Esendex’s secure online platform. We have a professional services team available to help you get up and running with a Voice campaign in plenty of time for 22nd May (the deadline to register to vote). 
Get in touch to learn more.  

month 04
day 6
year 2017

Home delivery horror stories, and how couriers can get it right

Big or small, retail companies are heavily invested in delivering an amazing customer experience for consumers. It’s one of the cornerstones of competition – who delights most, wins!

But the world’s most intuitive eCommerce experience, coupled with well priced, unique products, can still disappoint if the delivery experience falls short of expectations. And that’s not something retailers are able to control.

During 2014, the courier and express delivery market increased to a value of £7.8 billion with 2.2 billion packages being delivered. This is estimated to reach three billion by 2019 (source), and, with Royal Mail no longer monopolising the market, hundreds of courier companies and delivery brokers are competing in this space.

Statistics on customer satisfaction with couriers

94 per cent94% of UK consumers have utilised courier or express delivery services in the past six months (source).

79% of respondents reported waiting in for deliveries that turned up late, and 61% of respondents reported not receiving their parcel at all (source).

58% of respondents who’ve had goods delivered by a leading courier rated their experience as bad (source).

 

Courier-statistics26% of people surveyed are put off online purchases altogether because they don’t want to wait in for a delivery (source).

65% of respondents cited ‘risk of failed delivery’ as their no. 1 reason for not shopping online (source).

68% of shoppers say that a good delivery experience has directly encouraged them to order again from a particular retailer (source).

 

A retail brand simply can’t afford to let bad experiences in the delivery stage occur; equally, poor performing logistics companies risk losing their contracts with retailers.

What does a good delivery experience look like?

The IMRG study shows that while alternative delivery point / click and collection solutions are growing in popularity, most people (80.6%) prefer home deliveries. So it’s unsurprising, really, that the dream delivery experience is all about visibility and control.

The following stats are taken from the IMRG UK Consumer Home Delivery Review 2016:

 

83.4% of households83.4% of households want to receive information about the progress of their delivery.

61.9% of households want to receive delivery alerts on the morning of delivery, with a time window specified.

 

SMS Alerts78.3% want online order tracking, and 76.4% want to receive an ‘in transit’ SMS or email to advise when delivery can be expected.

SMS has overtaken email as the preferred means of receiving delivery information, increasing to 45.03% of households from 38.3% in just one year.

The monetary cost of failure to couriers

In addition to retaining their lucrative contracts with retailers, transport and logistics companies can save considerable internal costs by embracing mobile technology – estimated at £303,855 per year by a 2013 survey from Intermec.

Failed deliveries cost retailers an estimated £711m in 2014 (source), but remarkably, Intermec’s report revealed at 72% of logistics companies had not reevaluated their existing processes for at least two years.

What’s the future of logistics?

The headlines are full of drone and car-boot delivery services, pioneered, of course, by the behemoth that is Amazon. They’re even planning an app that will let ordinary people earn by delivering packages en route to their destinations…

But while Amazon are reaching for the stars, every retailer needs to ensure that they’re not so far behind that they can’t even conceive of catching up.

If the prospect of offering real time delivery notifications, frictionless parcel tracking, and self-serve delivery rescheduling seems like a mountain to climb, get in touch; our retail and logistics team have years of experience in delivering these solutions affordably and effectively, and are here to help.

month 04
day 5
year 2017

The mobile-first banking world

Google have reported that more than 1 in 4 internet users only uses a smartphone to get online, which is almost twice as many as those who only use a desktop computer.

You may be thinking “we have a mobile-friendly website” but unless you’re prioritising the mobile experience and making your customers’ mobile journey easier then there’s always more to be done.

Here’s our breakdown of the three areas where a mobile-first experience pays dividends.

1. Making a payment

In 2016, Visa reported that 74% of British consumers manage their money or make payments using their mobile phone.

This huge expansion in mobile payments hasn’t gone unnoticed by mobile operating systems, who of course presented their own solutions to the market.

Apple Pay usage grew 50% in 2016 (source), and while adoption of this sort of service still only represents approximately 30% of smartphone users, it’s growing every year (source).

Paypal, with its emphasis on mobile-friendliness (“Pay quickly and more securely with just a mobile number and PIN”) is the UK’s third most popular payment solution, accounting for over 20% of all purchases made in 2016 (source).

In short,  consumers are increasingly using their mobile devices to access their finances through apps and other solutions which means that demand is high.

Mobile first era for banking

2. Improving communication

There’s nothing worse for a customer than putting off an important phone call as they expect to be stuck on hold waiting in line. Offering a quick and immediate solution such as a text to callback saves your customers’ time and doesn’t deter them from getting in touch.

By promoting voice callbacks to your customers via SMS, email or letters, your customers will avoid premium rate calls, long queues and they’ll get to the right department first time, every time.

SMS accelerates the speed of communication.  Around 90% of text messages are read within 3 minutes of being received (source) whereas half of all emails aren’t opened for at least 6 hours. When getting in contact with your clients is critical, you need to rely on a system that is effective.

3. Improving customer service

According to OpenMarket, nine out of 10 financial service organisations feel like mobile messaging has a considerable or major impact on overall customer experience.

What does that look like in practice?

An increasingly popular way to gather feedback and find out what your customers are thinking is by sending surveys by SMS.

These short and simple questionnaires typically produce high response rates as mobile phones are often kept within arm’s reach, and can help you ‘take the temperature’ of your customer base, addressing issues before they become crises.

Our team presented a series of solutions for improving customer service in the financial services industry at a recent Mobile Marketing summit:

Mobile first is something no business can afford to miss. If you are considering a complete end to end mobile experience for your customers, please contact our team on 0345 356 5758.

month 04
day 3
year 2017

Pollen allergies: the dark side of Spring

Pollen

After the harsh winter breezes and chilling frosts, many people welcome the warmer weather of spring. Unfortunately, for over 10 million Brits who suffer from pollen allergies or asthma, spring isn’t as bright as the rest of us believe.

With hayfever rates expected to triple between now and 2030 due to city living, pollution and climate change, this presents a real challenge for businesses try to cope with the reduced productivity hayfever prompts.

Hay fever costs UK business £7.1 billion every year in lost productivity. A recent study from the Met Office has found the irritable symptoms of pollen allergies causes a 40% drop in productivity.

The survey of more than 2000 UK adults also revealed that 23% found the condition was impacting their ability to turn up at work and those experiencing severe hay fever took an average of 3.7 days off work in relation.

How GPs and Pharmacies can proactively ease the symptoms

It was widely reported in 2016 that the UK has the worst productivity in the G7 countries and that it’s still falling. It’s in everyone’s interest to improve UK workers’ productivity – and so information to ease the anguish caused by the symptoms should be readily available.

By using SMS, doctors’ surgeries and pharmacies can send pollen allergy alerts directly to patients warning them of a particularly high pollen count that day. A pollen count alert text message will enable sufferers to receive up-to-date information directly to their mobile.

Steps to help avoid allergy symptoms

Pollen forecasts help those with allergies plan their day accordingly. Those trying to avoid high exposure will appreciate a helpful reminder message: “remember to close your windows before leaving the house as pollen counts are very high today” or “Don’t forget to take your sunglasses today and protect your eyes from pollen”.

Send product information to patients

Pharmacies have an excellent opportunity to notify current patients when remedies and medicines such as antihistamines, eye drops and nasal sprays are available in store.

SMS notifications regarding when new or restocked products can be purchased or offering discounts on symptom relief products can also benefit those who suffer from hayfever.

Learn more about the applications of SMS within healthcare or contact a member of our sales team 0345 356 5758.

month 03
day 31
year 2017

Mobile gives Easter tourism a boost

It’s Easter, the start of holiday season, and if you don’t have a plan to engage mobile users, you’re missing out.

Mobile devices play an increasingly important role in tourism: everything from investigating locations, comparing flight prices, booking accommodation and even looking at the weather is now done through mobiles.

For 72% of holiday goers, mobile phones are key when planning vacations. And 23% of online reservations made during Easter will be made through mobile devices (source).

So, having a good mobile strategy is critical for companies in the tourism sector. When developing this, it’s important to take into account not only your customers needs during their stay but also the communication and experience they get before and after their visit.

According to a study by Expedia, 70% of people who use their smartphone throughout the whole trip believe it enhances the travel experience from start to finish.

This represents a great opportunity to improve the experience of your customers and generate new business opportunities.

Tourism statistics

How can you ensure that your customers receive your messages, even when they’re abroad?

When communicating with your customers via mobile, you should take into account that internet access may be limited while they are on holiday.

SMS ensures that your customers receive all your messages wherever they are, regardless of their internet connection, device or data plan.

In addition, thanks to solutions like the Esendex SMS API, you can integrate the sending of SMS into your system, allowing you to send offers, confirmations and reservation updates to your customers automatically.

4 ways to deliver a great mobile experience

Travel agents, excursion operators and hotels have many opportunities to explore mobile communication with customers through SMS both before, during and after their stay.

Here are some ideas that will add value to your service and increase your income while improving your customer’s experience:

Number 1Send booking confirmations via SMS to prevent important information from becoming lost in their email inbox. You can include the address and the dates of the booking to help them get there safely

Number 2Inform customers of any extra services you offer, such as parking, Wi-Fi or room service, and also welcome your guests on the day of their arrival

Number 3Knowing if your customers are happy with your services is very important for your business. SMS surveys have a 45% response rate and allow you to see the results in real time

Number 4Don’t forget your clients after check-out; make sure you send them a message offering a discount to reward their loyalty providing even more reasons to come back.

Esendex SMS is secure, fast and reliable. If you’re interested in knowing more options on how to integrate mobile into your customer communication strategy, please don’t hesitate to contact our team on 0345 356 5758 or at sales@esendex.com.

month 03
day 27
year 2017

Spring: the season for retail [infographic]

According to the Office for National Statistics, last year British consumers spent an average of £1 billion online every single day. Whether you’re a standalone store on the high street or an ecommerce website, preparing ahead for the year’s big retail dates will help you secure sales and stay ahead of the competition.

Bank holiday bonusTake advantage of the spring shopper

A late Easter this year means that a number of bank holidays occur within just a few weeks of each other. Not only are the holidays a keen time for shoppers to hit the high street but online retailers can often expect a 25% increase in sales the day after as shoppers try and lift their post-holiday blues.

Are you missing out if you don’t have an app?

While 84% of shoppers are using their smartphone for retail shopping purposes, over a third of retailers do not want to use a mobile app to communicate with their customers. But there are other solutions to reach mobile shoppers.

Impulse purchases are often prompted by a sales promotion whether it’s qualifying for free delivery or displaying 3 for 2 offers in store.

A simple text message to gently remind your customers of your limited time deals can bring them in-store while they’re out and about.

By including a link to your site, you can send them directly to your sale items where they can browse and purchase at a time convenient for themselves.

Improve email open rates by following up with a text message

During the holiday season promotional content increase by 30% which leads to a flooded inbox: your message can easily be missed.

Prompt your recipients with a simple SMS suggesting that they have another look so they’re not missing out – “We just sent you our best ever offer, it’s waiting for you in your inbox. Take a look now!”.

What if you don’t have your customers’ mobile numbers?

A successful campaign begins by cultivating a mobile subscription list. Offer the chance for your customers to subscribe and join your mobile marketing strategy by enticing them with exclusive offers.

Promote via a subscription form on your website or sign up directly via a shortcode by texting “YOUR SHOP” to 80800.

Any time of the year when consumers have more time to shop should be seen as an opportunity for retailers. Make the right moves and the rewards could be significant.

 

month 03
day 27
year 2017

Living the hacklife: 30.5 hours at Hack24 2017

First, a quick note about why we support hackathons.

One: it’s really important to give back to our local developer community. Nottingham is rapidly becoming a tech hub, and we want to keep that momentum going by supporting events like Hack24.

Two: they’re a lot of fun – and a chance to stretch some less well-used coding muscles – for our team. And three, in the long run, they help to position Esendex as a dev-friendly employer.

So that’s why we do it, and Hack24 is one of the most important events in our calendar.

The hack diary of Paul Maloney

Saturday

9:00AM: my first Hack24 as a sponsor, judge and volunteer, and it starts with the distribution of (if I do say so myself) some rather inspired swag.

Offered all 35 teams their very own mini-hack kit: whiteboards, post-its and sharpies. 30 teams accepted. I’m taking that as a win.

Hack Starter Kits

11:35AM: and breathe; intro to the Esendex challenge is done.

It’s about finding ways to communicate with Generation Z (those born after the mid-1990s) who, research is telling us, are moving away from traditional communication methods such as SMS and email.

Had a good chat with the official Esendex team. They’re (obviously) banned from entering our challenge, so have opted to take part in one that focuses on measuring employee engagement in the workplace.

Slightly alarmed by the direction of their thoughts – something about the “Arousal Factor” of their environment on a heatmap…

2:00PM: lunchtime! I’ve got to say, I knew before attending that an event like this needs a huge amount of organisation but the minutiae of it amazes me.

The whole event is meticulously thought out from meal preparation to table and seat planning to maximise potential for social interaction and optimise hack time.

6:00PM: delivered the last of my pep talks for the day – some people were beginning to feel they’d had enough and were ready to throw in the towel.

It is pretty hardcore – you can tell most people are planning to pull an all-nighter – so a little encouragement is crucial in keeping team spirits up. After all there are prizes at stake!

Hack24 Sunday Morning

Sunday

8:29AM: morning everyone! Smells of dedication in Nottingham Council House…

1:00PM: videos being filmed left, right and centre. Glad I’ll have the input of the judges of the other challenges to help me make a decision on the winning entry…

4:30PM: delighted to award Hey Pesto the prize for Esendex’s challenge! Here’s their winning submission:

Hey Pesto chose a communication channel that is becoming more popular with the tech savy younger generation – Amazon Alexa – but also used friendly, social speech in their conversation with the end user to make them feel comfortable and to treat the sender as a friend rather than an organisation.

This approach made the conversation seem more natural rather than talking to an automated bot.

It’s worth mentioning that Hey Pesto are one of two all-female teams at Hack24. I’m a big supporter of women in tech so this is really encouraging.

Hey Pesto Esendex

5:00PM: More happy news: the Esendex team came runners up in their challenge. The ‘arousal factor’ turned out to be a provocative name for a really neat idea (phew!). Watch their submission here.

6:00PM: I’m done. What an amazing, exhausting, brain-frying, brilliant experience. Roll on Hack24 2018!

month 03
day 23
year 2017

Getting on the front foot: key takeaways from the Utility Week Consumer Debt Conference

Paying off debt

The Utility Week Consumer Debt Conference took place on 16th March, 2017, exploring the challenges utility companies face in developing an effective collections strategy, compliance, and leveraging new technology.

Some extraordinary statistics were revealed by speakers who’ve adopted a digital, self-serve strategy for collecting debt. After their first full year of ‘transformation’, Thames Water announced:

Vulnerable customers

However, the main theme of the day was vulnerability and what the utilities sector is doing to help those who are vulnerable and in debt.

“Vulnerability can be a transient state that affects people at different points in time, or it can have long-term effects. It may be triggered by events such as loss of a job, the onset of disability, or becoming a carer.” – Citizens Advice

An unexpected change in circumstances can prompt people to bury their heads in the sand and / or become embarrassed about their current situation, especially those who’ve previously had the finances to pay bills.

Moreover, the customer might be unaware of what help is available, so it’s important for the company to whom the debt is owed to proactively engage with them to stop the situation getting worse.

It was really refreshing to see companies being proactive on this subject, or as Iain Pilling (Head of Income Domestic Retail – United Utilities) kept referencing, getting on the front foot!

In practice, being proactive means:

  • Upskilling staff to ensure empathy is portrayed when speaking with vulnerable customers
  • Placing qualifying customers on special ‘social tariffs’ to help get back on their feet
  • Never disconnecting supply to the most vulnerable, despite potentially being in arrears.

How technology can support an empathetic approach to debt collection

Vulnerable customers utilities SMSThe immediacy and personal feel of SMS means it lends itself as a channel to show empathy and to guide the vulnerable customer to information that may help them.

If there are schemes or tariffs that are available for these customers, then a proactive SMS could save weeks of non-contact and show the customer that there is light at the end of the tunnel.

Obviously you’ve limited space in a text message, and that’s where partnering SMS with a mobile web app can deliver an exceptional customer experience and great outcomes.

Using rich media – video, imagery, even just a thoughtful colour scheme – can make the message appear warmer, while giving the customer the opportunity to sign up there and then to vulnerability schemes, or request a call back with a specialist member of the team.

The added benefit of a solution like Esendex’s Mobile Journeys is that they’re tailored for a mobile user, and remove much of the friction associated with accessing traditional websites via a mobile phone.

Features including pre-filled forms, progress bars and touchscreen friendly interactions all contribute towards improved engagement rates.

We’re here to help you reduce the burden of debt on a vulnerable customer, while balancing the commercial needs of your stakeholders, so please contact me or any member of the team on 0345 356 5758, or email adam.rathbone@esendex.com to learn more.

month 03
day 22
year 2017

Is SMS finally ready to evolve? Introducing RCS…

Applications of text messages

Let’s start with the big question – what exactly is RCS?

RCS stands for Rich Communication Service, and is designed to improve upon the functionality offered by SMS.

If you’ve used WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, Apple’s iMessage etc. then you’ll have a good idea how much messaging services have evolved in the 25 years since SMS was launched.

However, in order to benefit from the enriched services these apps offer, both you and your contacts will need to install them – whereas SMS is delivered with every handset.

The intention behind RCS is that it could replace SMS, becoming the new standard for text-based communication between phones.

What can RCS do that SMS can’t?

As a standard, RCS has plenty of cool features which will sound familiar to most smartphone users:

  • Chat
  • Group chat
  • File transfer
  • Audio messaging
  • Video share
  • Location sharing
  • Live sketching.

The ‘out of the box’ functionality doesn’t just end with features for messaging though. RCS can add intelligence to the way we make calls too.

Callers are able to add ‘wrappers’ to their calls which add context even before the recipient accepts the call. As an example, doctors’ surgeries who need to contact patients with important test results could add a brief description to the incoming call, so even if the number isn’t recognised by the recipient, the text description will give them more information.

Depending on the network and phone being used, RCS can go even further! How about customising the messages your company sends with your own colours and logos? Or perhaps you’d like to deliver richer content through RCS, like boarding passes and discount vouchers? These and many more possibilities are being explored by developers working on the advanced messaging platform.

Why haven’t I heard of RCS before?

RCS isn’t a new concept. It’s actually been around since 2007, but until now it hasn’t taken off. So what’s changed? The answer to that is simple – Google.

In late 2015 Google announced that they would be adopting RCS, in a move designed to bring the standard to all Android devices – which, with their commanding market share, was the push the initiative needed to gain momentum.

Market share held by mobile operating systems

Market share held by mobile operating systems in the UK – Statistia

Concurrently, Google acquired Jibe Mobile, a leading provider of RCS services, and are now inviting messaging solutions / platform providers to work with them to develop the roadmap.

This is very exciting for an industry which for too long has been scratching its head about what the next evolution of native messaging will look like.

Is it being embraced?

Since Google acquired Jibe Mobile, things have started to develop at a much quicker pace. As at December 2016, 156 devices supported RCS, and 49 mobile operators had started to support it (source: GSMA).

These mobile operators include the likes of AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile, and Claro in the Americas, and Vodafone and Deutsche Telekom in Europe.

It’s worth noting that RCS is named differently depending on the operator and country; in many countries it’s branded as ‘joyn‘, but Vodafone in the UK are currently referring to it as ‘Message+‘.

RCS also falls under the umbrella of the GSMA’s “Universal Profile”, which aims to provide a framework for next generation calling and messaging (NB: the GSMA represents the interests of mobile operators worldwide uniting nearly 800 operators with more than 250 companies in the broader mobile ecosystem).

The benefit for RCS of being tied to the Universal Profile is that future communication services will be built with this framework in mind, ensuring compliance and future proofing for RCS.

What about the future?

Will it be a case of the GSMA waiting to see how the first wave of functionality performs, or will they continue to move forward? The answer would certainly seem to be the latter.

In the second quarter of 2017 an additional release of RCS is planned, which builds on the existing functionality currently on offer. Improvements on the way include:

  • Developer APIs
  • Plug-in integration
  • Improved authentication / app security

In my view, the GSMA is making a clear statement that they expect RCS to be the next evolution in smarter messaging.

What does this mean for your business?

For now, the standard is still being developed, so it’s a question of watch this space. The team at Esendex are busy exploring the potential for enhancing our business communication solutions, and will of course share significant updates with our customers.