Although alternative short messaging services (“messengers”) are gaining in popularity all the time, a good old-fashioned SMS is still the only choice if you want to make sure your message is received by all cell phones.
The German digital association Bitkom reports that two-thirds of German Internet users aged 14 or over currently use an alternative messaging service. The network operators with their earlier SMS pricing policies have certainly played their part in this trend, practically driving countless customers into the arms of OTT messaging apps, in particular WhatsApp. Due to their multifunctionality, messenger apps have already replaced conventional SMS to a large extent, posits Bitkom CEO Bernhard Rohleder.
This may be true of the consumer market (even if many end customers have long been vexed by the deluge of notifications generated by so many WhatsApp groups). For companies on the other hand, the picture is a very different one, with SMS becoming increasingly important for business communication. This trend is also backed up by figures from the regulatory authorities, indicating that SMS usage for business applications is on the rise worldwide. SMS is used, for example, by airlines to notify their passengers of changed flight times, by delivery services to inform their customers about the shipping of their orders, and by rental car companies to send booking confirmations to customers.
SMS has multiple business benefits
SMS allows banks to send their customers mTAN code and enables authentication services to send access details for VPNs or online services as part of two-factor authentication. It allows staffing agencies to coordinate their staff and retail companies to manage their sales reps. Other application scenarios arise in connection with logistics, production process control, alert notifications or campaigns directly from the CRM system. With SMS, you’re ideally equipped for both application-to-person (A2P) or machine-to-machine (M2M) applications.
If you could send one text message to all cell phones in the world simultaneously, what would it be? https://t.co/5bwLXqeSaO
— AskReddit (@redditask) 28. Juni 2016
Yet another benefit of SMS messages is that they are always delivered, even if the recipient doesn’t have an Internet-enabled smartphone or currently has no data connection — for example because of expensive roaming fees when abroad or because there’s not enough volume remaining from an “added data volume” monthly allowance. Furthermore, the use of WhatsApp is legally problematic for businesses.
Cutting-edge technology with REST
Retarus now offers newly established companies and startups in the Internet Economy a REST API as an alternative to SOAP for its Cloud Fax Services. Most of the infrastructure needed for REST (e.g. web and application servers, HTTP-enabled clients, security mechanisms) usually already exists in the Internet environment, which means that many online services are automatically REST-compliant.
Dialog with customers
Of course, SMS only really comes into its own when used in dialog. With Retarus SMS for Applications, for example, incoming short messages can be automatically “pushed” into the relevant business applications. In this way, customer responses and SMS replies, for instance, can be stored directly in the CRM system for further processing (which may take the form of an automatically generated yet personalized response message from Customer Service).