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In our 5 minutes with profiles, MEF members talk about their business, their aspirations for the future and the wider mobile industry. This week, VP of Business Development and Marketing Ira Cohen introduces MMDSmart.

When did MMDSmart launch and what growth have you seen?

We began operations eight years ago as a voice carrier and added messaging about three years ago. Not an easy market for a new player to penetrate, but our team came from the industry, and believed that if we provided good quality, flexibility in finding creative solutions and financial stability we would carve our niche.

We also paid our bills on time which isn’t always the case for small carriers. That’s why our tagline is “Connect. Engage. Smile.”. Our partners are always smiling because they know that they will be paid on time!

We’re now connected with many Tier 1 networks around the globe, and have over 300 active interconnections from more than 100 countries.

We have close to 75 employees in our offices in Kiev, Ukraine, Nizhny Novgorod, Russia, Hong Kong, and Tel Aviv, but we’re not that small anymore but also not too big. It’s one of our strengths and one of the reasons why large organizations like to work with us. We’re very creative in finding solutions for our partners, and have a very flat decision making process, so they get answers quickly. That’s actually how we got into the messaging business, and our Fax over IP product, as a response to requests from our partners.

What does MMDSmart do?

We’re in the process of transitioning away from being a carrier into our more natural role as a VAS provider. At the core of this is our smart messaging platform, a results driven messaging solution, which we’re currently piloting and will commercially launch next year.

With our experience as a carrier, industry scope, and messaging expertise, we are able to help organizations analyze their existing communications strategies, and create a smart messaging strategy which complements and enhances their communications and marketing.

mmdSmart messaging can increase engagement of a mobile app, drive greater engagement and conversion and enhance the ongoing customer experience. It ensures that organizations are sending exactly the right messages in the perfect context and at the most opportune time which requires careful planning of the timing and content, message delivery, and conversion tracking.

For example, if no direct route is available, we monitor real delivery and choose the best available route. To drive higher engagement and conversion, we can use multi-channel messaging until the desired action is achieved.

Our tested smart delivery system has been proven to increase conversion while lowering campaign costs. As proof that we put our money where our mouth is, we offer multi-tiered pricing including a payment option only if the desired result or action is achieved.

Where do you see yourselves in three years’ time?

In three years we expect smart messaging to be widely available in the messaging industry as more enterprises seek to maximize their messaging investment. As the smart messaging pioneers we would like to be one of the leading companies in the space, in partnership with other companies in the messaging world.

What aspect of mobile is most exciting to you right now?

We’re most excited about the increasing adoption of mobile first strategies. Although we’ve seen a tremendous increase in mobile spend over the last five years, we think that we’re still only in the inception stage. While the early adopters have forged the way for many other organizations to embrace a mobile strategy, very few companies have truly adopted a mobile first strategy. And, there are still many traditional industries that have not internalized the shift to mobile.

We see a significant opportunity in helping these organizations develop a mobile strategy that contributes to their organizational goals.

What’s the most critical issue that will hit mobile within the next 12 months?

Some of us at MMDSmart have backgrounds in disruptive technology. We learnt that the first rule of disruptive technology is that all disruptive technologies are at some point displaced by newer disruptive technologies. In the long run this is the most critical issue facing mobile. But, in the short run, we’d need to cite spam, fraud, and security issues.

If people are wary of using their mobile devices due to security concerns, this could have a devastating effect on the trust that people have for their personal mobile devices.

Apart from your own, which mobile companies are the ones to watch in the year ahead?

While they’re not necessarily mobile companies, we think that Google, Apple, Amazon and Facebook are the companies to watch, simply because with their size, budgets and installed user bases, they immediately make inroads in any aspect of the mobile business that they decide to target. Some examples: Google’s recent launch of “Click to Message” in mobile ads will have a significant impact; Amazon adding Echo functionality to mobile devices for search applications, and Google’s own personal assistant response.

Ira Cohen

VP, Business Development and Marketing


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