Silvio Kutic, Founder and CEO of Infobip, believes that A2P messaging is going be a major player in the telecoms space this year, with new partnerships forming between instant messaging apps and large enterprises. He also predicts that the A2P SMS Business-as-a-Service model, already gaining significant traction in 2016, will advance even faster as operators ally with mobile messaging specialists to handle A2P SMS traffic. Finally, he expects to see SMS become a fundamental delivery mechanism for mission-critical messages from IoT devices.
#1: BaaS to the future
The past 12 months have seen the A2P SMS Business-as-a-Service model reach a new stage of maturity. It’s not only given mobile operators the tools and expertise needed to take advantage of the A2P SMS opportunity that’s on the horizon, but also to target new verticals. In 2017 this type of business model is going to advance at a faster pace with operators turning to mobile messaging specialists to handle their A2P SMS traffic, thereby accessing new revenue opportunities and making A2P SMS an integral part of their approach.
#2: A message for IoT device manufacturers
In the wake of countless security concerns for IoT, 2017 will see the professional SMS channel become the trusted delivery mechanism for many connected devices. Whether supporting mission-critical infrastructure for the industry, driving connected cities, or for IoT applications with a high threat level, such as connected health devices, SMS will become essential for prompt and secure message delivery.
Founder & CEO,
Beyond this, SMS is already being used as a key delivery mechanism for all manner of consumer and industry facing use cases. From SMS alerts being sent to alert an owner their car battery is full to technicians being made aware of an equipment malfunction in the field, these examples are already wide ranging. Next year the potential for SMS APIs will grow even further, with the IoT driving demand for the integration of an SMS messaging component at various points in the ecosystem.
#3: ‘Omni’ bots
Chatbots have become one of the most visible and talked about areas of messaging development in recent months. In 2017, however, the wide-ranging applications of this technology will be pushed even further and will be used for new customer support, customer engagement, and eCommerce purposes.
Over the next 12 months chatbots will also become intrinsically linked to the development of omnichannel. There’s going to be much more demand for automated and platform agnostic chatbots, designed to offer a uniform experience to users instead of forcing them to use one specific channel to access this technology.
Different kinds of bots and bot logic will be developing rapidly in 2017, driven by the advances in machine learning and natural language processing. A program (bot) able to learn from sets of data and orchestrate responses and processes accordingly has huge potential to improve customer communications, satisfaction, and engagement.
“This is no longer in the distant future. It’s happening already and can only accelerate in 2017.
#4: Enterprises start chatting
We’ll see bolder moves from instant messaging apps as they enter the A2P messaging space. It’s a shift that began in 2016 and will continue throughout the next 12 months. Internet brands have dominated consumer messaging with the likes of WhatsApp, Line, and Viber, all focused on person-to-person (P2P) communication. The next step will be to open their APIs to enterprises. But making the switch won’t be easy.
Large retailers, fashion, and automotive brands are starting to adopt multichannel and omnichannel strategies to better engage customers and drive sales. Subsequently, more and more of these companies are receptive to the idea of adding a ‘sexy’ messaging app to their marketing mix. The only drawback is that instant messaging apps tend to be proprietary and only accessible to closed groups, preventing large-scale engagement with customers.
Many brands like the idea of having a popular messaging app as part of the business communications suite. They feel it will add vibrancy to customer engagement. But will it work as a standalone tool? Probably not. For OTT companies to succeed in the A2P messaging space in 2017, many will seek partnerships with established business messaging providers.
It will be interesting to see what kind of services will be developed and how the internet brands and their enterprise customers collaborate to deliver those services.
About The Author:
Silvio Kutic, Founder and CEO of Infobip, earned a M.Sc. at the University of Zagreb Faculty of Electrical Engineering and Computing. Silvio took over as CEO in 2006. Since then, he has been the driving force behind Infobip'srapid growth and the company's strategic shift towards enterprise and MNO solutions.