5th - Dec - 2018

CLX 10th Birthday Part Six: The Future

Stand by for video chat, conversations over rich-media messaging and entirely new enterprise use cases. Oh, and billions more ‘old school’ SMS alerts. Henrik Sandell charts the future according to CLX. 

Ten years ago, we launched CLX because we believed that SMS was such a strong communication channel for enterprises. We still do. 

Sure, there are now plenty more options when it comes to communication: voice, video, rich media messaging including RCS, Viber, Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp and more. I’ll come back to those in a moment. But SMS is still the only messaging channel that pretty much everyone in the world can use. This ubiquity was uniquely powerful in 2008. Today it’s no different. 

For example, my kids would probably not use SMS to chat with each other. But to get alerts from an enterprise? Absolutely. And think about those other channels – they often work in tandem with text. A video call with your doctor would probably start with a reminder sent by SMS.  

So we still believe in the power of text. We send more than 25 billion mobile messages a year, but think we can do a lot more. However, the emergence of other channels does present opportunities. When there are multiple options, someone has to orchestrate it – especially with the complexity of regulations like GDPR. People want to talk to enterprises on various channels, but they don’t want fragmented conversations, and both end-users and enterprises would prefer not to share the consumer data with ad financed online communities. We can help with that.  

And with new channels come completely new products, some of which can drive entirely new sectors. For example, our voice products have successfully been launched to the ride sharing industry with a specific feature letting passengers and drivers call each other, but masking the true phone number. By anonymizing voice calls we increase privacy and improve customer experience.  

Modern ride hailing companies are not just ‘a car that picks you up’. It’s all the real-time communication that happens around the pick up. In fact, many of the world’s biggest companies are dependent on innovative embedded communications to drive digital transformation and improve customer satisfaction. It’s very exciting to support these businesses with communication services and grow together with them.  

Of course, these improvements are only possible because comms have become software. To be honest, we didn’t foresee this CPaaS (Communications Platform as a Service) revolution in 2008, but we’ve embraced it. CPaaS enables businesses to quickly and easily integrate communications capabilities like voice, video, and messaging into their own applications. Ease of integration with the inherent scalability of cloud architectures has opened up the space to smaller customers, who previously could not access a robust global communications service.  

Many large digital natives have successfully built very innovative global services supported by CPaaS providers like CLX, and it’s exciting to see increased interest from developers around the world.  

Mobile messaging has a massive potential. Messaging apps like WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, WeChat and others enables a significantly richer feature set beyond standard SMS. Recently these channels have more actively opened up for businesses. Enterprises can send verified rich media messages that include easy-to-use action buttons, high-resolution images, QR codes, applications and videos.  

Still, messaging applications need to be installed on a phone, with notifications enabled to be successful. The ubiquity of SMS, it works with everyone everywhere, is a very important reason why it’s such a big hit. There are numerous messaging applications, and popularity depends among other things on geography and age. Besides fragmentation, a potentially critical challenge for enterprises includes control over user data – messaging applications are proprietary platforms.  

Rich Communication Services (RCS) is a rich-media messaging service launched a few years ago as an industry initiative, it’s supported by mobile network operators worldwide. RCS is pre-installed on phones, being native is obviously a big advantage, and with Google becoming one of the biggest champions of RCS we have seen uptake accelerating significantly.  

Add personalization and rich-media messaging becomes even more engaging. Personalization enables an enterprise to tailor its communication, making a true one-to-one connection with target consumers. Among other things, we enable mobile operators to significantly reduce churn by sending a personalized video welcoming message to new subscribers.  

New rich-media messaging channels are built for conversations, not just sending information one way. This can enable improved customer interaction, but conversations also provide a challenge for enterprises  – how to efficiently and appropriately handle customer input. Enterprises are increasing their investment in mobile messaging, many brands are focusing less on apps and concentrating in this area. As a global leader in mobile messaging, this is really exciting news for CLX.  

Ten years on from the launch of CLX, there’s so much to be excited about. The world’s most innovative companies are looking for a partner to help them enrich their services with comms.   

We’re perfectly positioned to help. 

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