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CPaaS is the latest industry buzzword. But what does it really mean and why does it matter for your organisation?

CPaaS is the latest industry buzzword. But what does it really mean and why does it matter for your organisation?

IDC predicts the global Communications Platform as a Service (CPaaS) market to reach over $17 billion by 2023, with a compound growth rate of 39%. Here we’ll explain more about this important term, how it compares to basic SMS, and how your company can benefit from CPaaS.

If you’re familiar with CPaaS already or want to discuss further what LINK has to offer, please get in touch.

What is CPaaS?

CPaaS stands for Communications Platform as a Service. Juniper Research defines CPaaS as “a cloud-based platform that enables businesses to quickly and easily integrate communications capabilities like voice, video, and messaging into their own applications, without needing to build backend infrastructure and interfaces. This enables them to add new capabilities such as chatbots, service agents and contact centers into their customer-facing applications with minimal effort. ” Ultimately CPaaS is about designing the engine behind communication services with the advantage of scalability.

At the heart of CPaaS is support and orchestration of multiple communication channels , like:

LINK offers many of these communication channels through our CPaaS platform.

This opens the door to reach and delight an entirely new consumer base in seconds. As end users are moving away from SMS towards more modern modes of communication, CPaaS has proven to be more future proof.

What’s the difference between the SMS A2P Market and the CPaaS Market? 

The market has naturally evolved from SMS A2P to CPaaS. Popularized in the 1990s, the SMS A2P (application to person) market is based on SMS message delivery and focused on the telecommunications ecosystem. This mature industry is making way for the CPaaS market, which, with the possibility of omnichannel capabilities, has a larger addressable market and a wider set of communication use cases. The CPaaS market is a newer phenomenon with many stakeholders, including:

As the demand for flexibility accelerates, CPaaS is rapidly replacing SMS A2P as the industry standard.

Why is CPaaS important for your company? 

CPaaS ensures that your business doesn’t need its own hardware to connect to your customers and provides the opportunity for deeper value-based solutions in addition to core communication capabilities . It allows for easier, faster, safer, and more cost-efficient customer engagement. Built on top of APIs, the CPaaS portals allow you to manage and use products and services in value–added “apps.” Communications are made simpler because you have access to your customers’ preferred channels streamlined into one place.

If you don’t use your customers’ preferred channels, your competitors will!

CPaaS allows you to connect with your customers their way through various channels. Customers expect a tailored experience, and, with access to multiple channels, your company has options to reach the right customers the right way. While SMS has a 98% open rate, reaching your customers through the most relevant channels increases engagement and user experience. If you don’t use their preferred channels, your competitors certainly will! It enables you to bridge your business with current, new, or potential customers across communication networks. The use cases for CPaaS are endless – from delivery notification to retail marketing to reminders and alerts. CPaaS allows you to engage, support, inform, and convert your customers more effectively than ever.

Do you want to know more?  Get in touch  with your LINK Mobility representative to see how we can support you.

References:

“Worldwide Communications Platform-as-a-Service Forecast, 2019–2023,” IDC, 2019.

“Communications Platforms – Transforming Enterprises into Digital Innovators,” Juniper Research, 2018.

Why communicating through OTT  channels is good for your company and great for your customers 

Advantages with OTT channels

There are many advantages of communicating through OTT channels. OTT channels allow you to reach a larger target group and develop personal contact with a richer and more reliable interaction in the channels your customers will use regularly day-to-day. OTT stands for “over the top” which means different medias are transmitted to different users through an internet connection. We usually refer to OTT communication when we talk about WhatsApp Business Solution, Facebook Messenger, RCS and WeChat. Some examples of OTT services include HBO, Netflix and Spotify, where users can stream video and music.

Statistics show that the younger generations prefer to receive communication through OTT channels because the channels provide a comprehensive solution where they can do everything in one place. Users are given the opportunity to:

In addition, there are clear advantages when using OTT channels as they can be accessed through different types of devices and the only thing required is an internet connection.

The cost for SMS to private individuals can be high in several countries, but through operator subscriptions with high internet surf packages, more and more OTT communications are chosen over ordinary SMS. By adding OTT channels to your communication strategy, you increase the chance of getting in touch with your target group, while at the same time offering added value and a richer customer dialogue.

Why communicate through OTT channels?

According to the latest figures, WhatsApp have 2 billion users globally, and Facebook Messenger have 1.3 billion. By using OTT, you are not only being present and available in several communication channels, but you are also leaving it up to the customer to decide where they want to be reached. With OTTs you can gather all features and functions into one channel. With WhatsApp you can send documents like contracts, videos with instructions or audio recordings of conversations. You can show locations like pick up points, give instant customer feedback and use notifications for delivery, services and other enquiries. This two-way interaction creates an enriched customer dialogue in the preferred channel of the consumer.

Learn more about WhatsApp Business Solution or Get in touch

The importance of using SMS as a communication tool

As the world battles new and unprecedented challenges, businesses and their staff and customers are adapting to new ways of life. This is a demanding time for all, and it has affected every single person in some way. We have had to adapt our ways of working whilst adjusting to the new ‘normal’ and so the importance of using SMS as a communication tool is even higher.

Over the last 2 weeks, LINK Mobility has sent over 500 million SMS messages for governments, large enterprises, logistics, banking, retail and many other companies allowing them to get their message out to the right people and at the right time. All companies, regardless of size, can use SMS to help them to stay connected with customers and staff at a time when communication is crucial.

At LINK Mobility, we want to use our platform to help businesses during this time so they can communicate quickly and confidently in the knowledge that their message has been delivered. SMS can be used during a crisis for communicating various messages and we have listed below some examples:

Internal Communication

SMS is already used by many companies for communicating important information, sometimes for updating staff of company performance and team communications but SMS can also play significant role in any business continuity plan. SMS is an immediate notification channel that can be used where there is a need to notify large groups of people during emergencies.

Internal SMS Notification

Notifications

SMS has been used by companies for many years for sending notifications. They can be used for critical alerting and for sending notifications to both customers and staff in real time. Great examples are health organisations sending information on updates and informing the population on any precautions or restrictions that they should be adhering to.

SMS Notification Service

Reminders

Sending reminders via SMS allow organisations to reach customers in the knowledge that their message will be delivered and on time. Reminders can be sent for appointments, payments falling due, and also for providing positive updates on health services, or for special deliveries.

Customer Reminders via SMS

Customer Contact & Confirmation

When customers place orders online or by other means, they appreciate the SMS confirmation of their order and how they can track their delivery. Some companies have been using SMS to send positive messages to their customers, for example birthday messages or special discounts and promotions to loyalty club members. During a crisis, customers still want to hear from their favourite brands, but customers will receive high volumes of email marketing communication, so cut through the noise and send simple but effective SMS messages.

Confirmations via SMS

Surveys

Customer feedback is key. Even during a crisis, the ability to gauge your customer perspectives allows you to tailor your communications based on what your customers want to hear. Initiating a survey via SMS increases response rates and allows much better engagement with your key audiences. Surveys can be done through bespoke tools which can then initiate coupons and discount codes to reward and thank your customers for participating!

 

Customer Surveys and feedback with SMS

Key advantages of using SMS during difficult times

Reach
Audience
Security

 

LINK Mobility UK are here to help organisations change and implement new ways of communicating with their key audiences. SMS is the best way of making sure your message is delivered to the right people and at the right time. Please contact our sales team by email or by calling +44 (0)1506 605 260 so we can so we can help you with your communications.

Are your current communications channels customer-centric?

How do you communicate with your customers? Are your current communications channels customer-centric?

Is it time consuming and resource intensive? Do you get the information you need back from customers? Are you able to provide them with information in a timely fashion?

Communicating with customers is a key responsibility for marketing and customer relationship functions in any business, large or small. It is all about getting the right message to the right customer and at the right time…

If you could solve all of these problems with one solution, allowing your communication to be customer-centric, providing content which is of high value and very specific to the individual customer – would you do it??

Many large and small organisations are doing just that today. They have joined the communication revolution, shifting from conventional messaging towards more engaging and more personal customer dialogue. Enabling real-time conversations between companies and their customers is the here and now. Communication no longer needs to be informational and one-way, you can be engaging and informative at the same time.

LINK Mobility is at the forefront of today’s marketing communications. We’re already enabling conversational communications between companies and customers, helping them engage in real-time and derive added value with minimal resources. Whilst overheads can be reduced, customer satisfaction is not impacted and is actually much more improved.

LINK Conversations integrates all of your communication channels (SMS text messaging, RCS, Webchat, Facebook Messenger and WhatsApp) into one super powerful conversational interface, allowing your communications channels to be customer-centric!

LINK Conversations bridges today’s expanding multi-channel reach and provides a seamless omni-channel customer experience help companies to connect with more customers, simplifying messaging channels and enriching customer dialogue. If you would like to experience the power of LINK Conversations get in touch with our UK Sales team today and we’ll send a demo to your mobile phone.

Use Mobile Messaging to show your Customers some love on Valentine’s Day!

Valentine’s Day is just around the corner and is one of the key dates in the 2020 calendar for increasing sales on a global scale. In 2019 dining out was the category which had the estimated highest spend. Fashion, luxury, food and leisure are all topping the predictions for an increase in spend this year.

Retailers can take advantage of the commercialisation of Valentine’s Day when customers want to feel the love by increasing their communications. Coming out of Blue Monday in January, consumers get a spring in their step going into February and are more open to seasonal marketing messages. Traditionally, flowers and chocolate were the safe options for consumers, but times have moved on and they’re looking for new inspirations and new ways to show how far their love goes, and typically will research their gifts in order to get that must have one-off deal and value for money.

The time is now to entice your customers in and grow sales. Valentine’s Day promotions can increase online visits, purchases and footfall to stores. With the highest open rates and read rates when compared to any other marketing channel, SMS text messaging provides the best opportunities for retailers to ensure their message is read. A simple SMS can direct customers to your brand, website and in-store. Offer a something for nothing, for example promotional discounts or even just free delivery, and this can be enough to ensure customers buy from you rather than your competitors.

Many retailers are taking a further step beyond the traditional simple SMS text message. Retailers can send Coupons and Rich SMS messages which are on brand and can include product images, videos, calls-to-action, links to website and locations. These can have a huge impact on brand awareness and visitors, and ultimately, they have proven to increase sales by delivering engaging content straight to the customers mobile phone safe in the knowledge it will be read.

LINK Mobility UK can help you with your Valentine’s Day marketing communications through their innovative products and services such as our Coupons, Rich SMS and traditional SMS services. We can advise you on what will work best to meet your own requirements. Even if you don’t have GDPR compliant customer data, we can help! Using our Collect service you can collect specific customer data such as consent and permissions, preferences and also improve the number of sign-ups and responses which can be tied into a Coupon reward for completion. Contact LINK Mobility UK today.

Maximise Christmas activity with engaging SMS campaigns 

It is almost that time of year again… The count-down has already begun and the excitement is building! This ultimately means that time is fast running out for you to make an impact on your final sales figures for 2019!

What can you do to ensure you have a great final month of the year? How can you engage with customers, thank them for their valued custom over 2019 and encourage them to carry this through 2020?

Christmas is a jolly time when most people like to communicate and engage, so it is the perfect time to do so with your customers. 98% of SMS text messages are read within 3 minutes! This means that mobile marketing is undoubtably the best tool for reaching out to your customers with seasonal promotions and end of year offers on your products and services. Email marketing messages can sit unread in an inbox for weeks, be deleted unread or worse sit unseen in the junk mailbox!! SMS really is the fastest and most reliable communication tool for business.

Many shoppers will have made purchases during Black Friday and Cyber Monday and will now want to wait until the post-Christmas sales before opening their wallets again. However, the build-up to Christmas is a great time to engage when customers are in the mood to interact and have more time on their hands. Competitions and give-aways can really drive more traffic to your store and increase sales. Everyone likes the chance of winning a prize – especially at this time of year!

How should I engage with my customers during the holiday season?

You can now engage with customers using anything from a simple ‘Merry Christmas’ text message to a more personalised media rich message incorporating images, coupons, bar-codes, count-down timers, videos and much more. Mobile marketing is now much more than just 160 characters – it is forward thinking; it creates brand awareness and is an extension to your communications channels. SMS and OTT messaging services (Messenger, WhatsApp…) can really help customers to feel more connected to brands.

December Ideas:

It doesn’t stop on Christmas day; as the festive season continues, so should the engagement with your customers.

LINK Mobility have vast experience of helping major retailers deliver highly effective SMS campaigns. From traditional SMS, which is simple and extremely effective, to Rich SMS and Coupons. LINK Mobility helps you go beyond the traditional text message and provide the ability to deliver engaging, trackable media rich content. With LINK Mobility’s SMS marketing, you know your message will be read while the competition’s messages sit unread in an email inbox or junk mail. Contact us now so we can help ensure your Christmas campaign is a success.

Maximising Black Friday Customer Engagement with SMS

Black Friday is a great day for shoppers trying to grab bargains for their Christmas shopping. Shoppers are willing to spend a great deal on ‘bargains’ if they believe they are getting better value for money. As a result, Black Friday is also a great day for retailers, but in order to maximise the potential, retailers MUST prepare in advance.

More than half of all internet shopping transactions are made on mobile devices so it’s safe to assume that a large number of consumers will make their Black Friday purchases on their mobile. When you are sending marketing campaigns, you want to know that your message will be delivered and read and not lost amongst the myriad of emails from retailers vying for the shopper’s attention.

The most effective way of standing out from the crowd is by sending SMS text messages. Delivered directly to the shoppers’ handset within a matter of minutes and with an average read rate of 98%, SMS is a game changing way to communicate your Black Friday offers.

LINK Mobility have a wealth of experience in delivering successful retail SMS campaigns and over the years have gained significant knowledge on best practice for Black Friday campaigns and how to drive customers’ sales. From the simple and extremely effective traditional SMS, to Rich SMS and Coupons, going beyond the basic SMS providing the ability to deliver media rich content including images, coupons, bar codes, count-down timers, videos and more. With LINK Mobility, you know your message will be read as opposed to sitting in a crowded email inbox or junk mail folder. Contact us now so we can help you ensure your Black Friday campaign is a success.

LINK Conversations – a giant step into real-time conversational messaging

A revolution in B2B communications has just begun – it is time to make a shift from conventional messaging towards engaging and more personal customer dialogue. Let’s introduce LINK Conversations – it’s a new and strong product within our LINK Mobility portfolio. It enables real-time conversations between companies and their customers. (more…)

What GDPR changes in SMS marketing, or the honesty of the marketer

GDPR is a hot topic for marketers who mostly communicate with the market using collected customer databases. Especially in the area which specializes in working with databases – SMS and e-mail marketing. For a few months now there has been a discussion in this field about the changes that the new regulation will bring, which in fact emphasizes… the quality of the marketer’s work. (more…)

25 Years SMS!

Five Facts You Probably Didn’t Know About SMS

25 years ago, British engineer Neil Papworth sent the very first SMS from a computer to a mobile phone. Since then, SMS has become a firm part of our everyday communication – and it’s still going strong. Every MINUTE, more than 15,000,000 text messages are sent out worldwide!

Here are some interesting facts about SMS:

  1. The idea for SMS was already born in 1984 by Finnish Matti Makkonen who was then working for Nokia. As he was not really convinced this was a patentable invention, he did not apply for a patent – he did not earn a single penny with his innovation.

  2. Finally, on 3rd December 1992, it was Neil Papworth who sent the first SMS, simply saying “Merry Christmas” to Vodafone director Richard Jarvis. At that time, it was only possible to send an SMS from a computer to a phone. Sending an SMS from phone to phone and through different networks was first adapted in the late 90’s.

  3. The famous SMS “beep” for incoming text messages from Nokia is actually Morse code for “SMS”.

  4. As one SMS is limited to 160 characters and SMS flat rates did not exist at the beginning, people became creative: They created a new language, shortening words and sentences as much as possible, to get everything into a single SMS. This was the hour of birth for several short codes that are still used all over the world.

  5. In Malaysia, text messages like SMS are considered to be just another form of writing and thus approved for formal notices. Since 2003, it has been legal for a Muslim man to divorce his wife by only sending an SMS. In order to do so, he has to send the corresponding SMS three times.

 

RCS – what’s that?

5 quick ones with Guro Røed, Sales Director at LINK Mobility Group

Hi Guro. So LINK Mobility has been selected to participate in Google’s Early Access Program for RCS Business Messaging. Tell me more!
Guro Roed, Sales Director LINK Mobility – Hi, yes, super cool! As a leading mobile technology developer in Europe, we’re excited to be participating in Google’s Early Access Program for RCS business messaging. RCS or Rich Communication Services is a new standard for the “new generation of SMS”, which brings rich media messaging, interactivity and more to text messaging. RCS is an open standard supported by the GSMA, Google and mobile operators.

Why and how were we chosen?
– Thanks to our position in Europe and our strong customer portfolio. The fact that our company is based in the Nordic region, one of the world’s most digitized areas, is also a big advantage.

Cool! So what does this mean to our customers and end users?
– Yes! Our customers will be able to offer their recipients improved experiences and better communication with the ability to add 2-way dialogues, action buttons, videos, GIFs, audio files, maps and more, directly in the messaging channel. In addition, these messages are secured by verified sender, which means that the recipient of messages can always trust this communication.

What challenges do you see for RCS business messaging?
– RCS business messaging is an exciting new channel for businesses but it’s a completely new medium. Brands will need to learn how best to use the new capabilities and create rich, interactive conversational dialog flows. In addition, it’s early days for RCS so reach varies by region depending on mobile operators and mobile phone manufacturers. In the Nordics, Telenor has already committed to RCS and launched it on Person to Person level in Norway. We expect other regional operators to follow soon.

Can you call this communication of the future?
– SMS is today the world’s largest inbox and the most powerful medium, but it has its limitations as it only works with text and links today. Mobile users constantly demand a better experience when they interact with companies. We look forward to offering our customers messaging with richer content and new functionalities.

We believe in enabling a wide range of functionalities so that our customers can communicate smarter in the messaging channel. The future will be more conversational interfaces like RCS and less transaction based channels like e-mail.

For example, if you want to fly to NYC tomorrow, you will be able to write directly to Norwegian in you messaging app, buy and receive a ticket, all embedded in the messaging interface. This allows a stronger interaction between business and mobile users as well as it improves the user experience and making the interaction smoother and more engaging.

Keeping our customers ahead in a digital world and empowering them with smarter technologies to communicate is our mission.

The shift to mobile

“Mobile first,” said Eric Schmidt, a previous CEO of Google at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona in 2010. Just like that, a new term was created.

A term defining the mobile future – and the mobile shift on the horizon.

At the time, the term meant that Google’s developers would focus on expanding their mobile platform, and that new applications and functions would be developed for the mobile platform before being transported to computers.

This happened just 3 years after Apple launched the very first iPhone, which started the shift towards smartphones. This really showed how quickly the focus shifted from computers to mobile phones as the preferred digital platform.

In 2010, the percentage of the internet population[1] in Norway that owned a smartphone was at 46%. In the first quarter of 2016, it had climbed to a grand total of 81%.

Back then, we were talking about the mobile future – now, we are in the middle of the mobile shift.

A Google report titled “Micro moments, your guide to winning the shift to mobile” accounts for our smartphone habits – how our mobile presence should be to reach potential customers in their day-to-day mobile lives.

In that moment, Google defined yet another term that is vital to those of you who want to reach your crowd: mobile moments.

The report, which is based on a series of surveys[2], provides useful information about the mobile habits of the consumer, which can help you develop your mobile strategy.

Some important points from the report include

When we take these facts into consideration we know how tough the competition for the consumer’s time really is – so we have to utilize those mobile moments when they present themselves.

We no longer have the time needed for long messages – only fleeting seconds to capture the interest of potential customers.

One of the best ways to utilize these moments is to know the customer and understand what actually captures their attention.

The customers of today enter memberships, customer clubs, and informational channels that fit their interests. Using the right segmentation and the digital tracks that customers leave behind, organisations like a customer club can prove to be extremely efficient channels!

In addition to the information to the Google report, we know that:

This is your micro moment!

Text messaging is still the most accurate mobile channel – so it is only natural that you include it in your mobile marketing strategy. Solutions like the LINK SMS Gateway, LINK Customer Club, and LINK Engage

are examples of excellent tools that will allow you to be present in the right moment.

 

 

 

 

[1] Results apply to the internet-active population, which according to TNS Gallup encompasses about 95% of the Norwegian population as of 2013. Source: Medienorge

[2] Surveys carried out by, among others, Ipsos, Nielsen, Google, and adwords statistics

 

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