7th - Dec - 2017

RCS – The Future of Enterprise Messaging – Webinar Best Bits!

Thanks to everyone who joined our webinar on RCS – The Future of Enterprise Messaging yesterday. For those of you that couldn’t make it, don’t worry, this blog is going to run though all the key points discussed so you can learn the very latest on RCS and the impact on Enterprises and Operators alike!

Benefits of A2P RCS

CLX’s Rob Malcolm led with an overview on where RCS started. Turns out RCS was around even before the iPhone, so back in 2008 when it originally appeared, RCS was in fact way ahead of its time.

On the benefits of RCS Rob commented:

"Branding can be chosen, the ability to set the sender ID as a logo and for it not to be spoofed is a big deal.  Brands will like this because it fosters trust with consumers and negates spam."

Rob went on to say: “RCS is designed as a two-way interaction, this means Chat bots can be leveraged. Automating key functions like customer service will increase revenues and customer satisfaction.”

The benefits of RCS have been widely discussed in the market place, but one of the features that will make a big difference to businesses, marketers in particular, is that RCS enables analytics: read receipts and delivery receipts which will allow AB testing to gauge the success of campaigns.

The price is right

Ovum’s Pamela Clark-Dickson discussed whether the market was ready to take on RCS yet. With 64% of businesses stating that they don’t see any clear reason for using RCS in the recent CLX & Ovum report – The Future of Enterprise Messaging, there is clearly a need for further education in the market place.

Pamela commented that,

“the messaging industry has a bit of work to do – not all enterprises see the business benefits of RCS, so there’s a need to educate.”

This presents an opportunity for businesses to be the first to market, lead the way and show how RCS can benefit both consumers and enterprises, but the pricing structure and commercial model have to be right. Pamela comments:

“The commercial model is important.  Messaging ecosystems need revenues and suppliers need to be sensitive to price points.”

RCS as a revenue source

Symsoft’s Leif Östling outlined the industry concerns on RCS, with particular attention to monetization, complexity and global reach.

One of the main benefits of RCS raised by Leif was that, “Cloud based RCS solutions represent a reduced time to market from years to months”, coupled with the fact that they “represent reduced upfront investment”, and provide the opportunity for niche expertise to be introduced into areas where they might ordinarily be missing.

Leif also discussed how “messaging as a Platform (MaaP) in any revenue strategy would be essential once RCS launched”, and went on to say that “P2P messaging is not a revenue source, but A2P has huge potential to be.”

In the webinar Q&A session, some interesting points were raised, including the following:

Spoofing

What kind of protection will be available for RCS? Rob Malcolm fielded this question, commenting that,

“Every operator will require brand registration - evidence that the brand is who they say they are. This might cause flexibility issues, but fundamentally will head off spoofing. One key thing for me about this aspect of RCS, is that it could signal the end of spam – a major issue for consumers.”

In short, any brand wanting to use their logo and/or company name on RCS messages will need to register with Operators, to prove that they are who they say they are. With this registration process in place, both businesses and consumers are protected from spoofing and will be able to trust that RCS messages are coming from the source they say they are.

GDPR

No discussion on messaging or communications would be complete without reference to the GDPR and privacy, of course RCS is no exception.

On GDPR in relation to RCS and data privacy, Leif Östling commented,

“There are functions that handle privacy in the agreed RCS specifications.  If you are using a cloud service it has to provide basic capabilities to support GDPR, that comply with not storing data and consumer privacy.”

Whilst Rob Malcolm chipped in with

“Many countries in the EU already have data privacy laws.  One of the biggest challenges is where data is going to be stored, and that needs to be in-country where possible.”

So if you’re planning on rolling out RCS, you can be sure that data privacy compliance is something that has been considered in the RCS specifications, it’s just a matter of using a Cloud Service provider that can comply with data storage issues

SMS fall-back

If a handset is not capable of receiving RCS, then SMS will act as a fall-back to make sure that the message is delivered. The question came up: But how will businesses know if this fall-back works?

Rob jumped in and commented that

“With CLX’s intelligent API, we first determine if a handset is RCS enabled and online.  If not then you get an SMS."

An intelligent API is key to determining if RCS is enabled, and if the phone is online and capable of receiving the message in an RCS format. So this comes down to making sure you choose to work with a provider offers this level of service.

Predictions for the future

Pamela from Ovum contributed these comments on the current state of the RCS market and predictions for the future:

  • "RCS penetration is growing steadily, which is encouraging."

  • "The GSMA forecasts $74bn in annual revenues by 2024 in Messaging-as-a Platform (MaaP), and this will be driven by RCS."

Although what needs to be remembered is that there is still some distance to go in terms of networks and operators launching RCS, which will be “key to global growth”. Once more get on board with RCS, “there will be a tipping point between A2P SMS to A2P RCS”, and it is felt that RCS will then take off to enjoy the level of success it has always promised.

Our thanks go out to the speakers and moderator that did a superb job of uncovering this hot topic, and of course our thanks goes out to you, our audience.

For a recording of the RCS webinar, click here.

For a copy of CLX & Ovum’s report: The Future of Enterprise Messaging, click here.

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