Twenty-five years ago, the first ever text was sent from a computer to an Orbitel 901 mobile phone. It said, “Merry Christmas”.
Back then no one could have predicted the genesis of the mobile device, from a simple handset the size of briefcase, to the smartphone. But despite being adopted wholesale by enterprises as the most effective way of communicating with consumers, SMS itself has made very little progress. Yet the use of SMS in Enterprise Messaging continues to surge. Ovum reported 1.16tn Enterprise SMS messages sent in 2016 and forecasts 1.28tn by 2019.
For certain functions like two-factor authentication that’s fine. A simple, secure communication between a user, and for example, their banks, is the best possible and most trusted method for completing the task.
In tandem, consumers are increasingly using OTT messaging channels, like chat apps, for peer-to-peer messaging that can include images, group chat, emojis and more. For brands and businesses looking for ways to engage consumers with rich, more functional content or in a chat scenario for example, SMS can only go so far.
With this rising consumer expectation, Enterprise Messaging received a boost earlier this year when Google announced that it plans to roll-out Android Messages based on the Rich Communications Standard (RCS) as a native function of Android phones going forward. RCS messages can be delivered in color, contain images, interactive menus, video and maps and offer chat and chatbot features – an app like experience delivered in a message.
Ovum’s Enterprise Messaging Survey 2017 developed in partnership with CLX and Symsoft explores the business appetite for the rapidly-evolving Enterprise Messaging sector. It reveals a growing interest in a broader mix of messaging channels to engage with customers, in particular RCS. Below we’ve outlined 10 stats that illustrated the direction of change.
Businesses are keen to see SMS evolve as a service
- 36% of respondents interested in using an enhanced SMS or advanced messaging service to enable interactions with their customers, employees and the public.
- 37% want new features such as custom branding, the delivery of enriched content, and read receipts - features enabled by RCS.
Businesses are ready for the immersive functions offered by RCS
- 94% of businesses were attracted to RCS messaging because it enables videos as well as text.
- 86% indicated that branding shown to recipients as the sender ID (rather than a mobile number or a short code) was an advantage.
- 89% showed an interest in the ability of RCS messages to enable automated, chatbot, conversational interaction with consumers.
- 83% of respondents were attracted to RCS because it enables location services to make messages more relevant and dynamic.
- 61% of respondents were attracted to the RCS capability to integrate with payments enabling 'buy now' transactions directly from the message.
RCS in an era of privacy, trust and security
- 64% trust a telco-based service more than chat apps to deliver Enterprise Messaging.
- 67% also agreed that RCS was attractive because it offers enhanced security like end-to-end encryption rising to 80% within the financial services and public sectors.
The majority of respondents expect to pay more for RCS. But how much is brand immersion and improved security worth?
- 31% of enterprises expect to pay the same as current SMS schemes whilst 25% expect to pay 1.5x more and 28% expect to pay 2x more.