In our 5 minutes with profiles, MEF members talk about their business, their aspirations for the future and the wider mobile industry. This week, Dr. Piet Streicher, MD of BulkSMS.com.
What does BulkSMS do?
BulkSMS is a global A2P SMS messaging service provider offering innovative solutions, enabling our customers to communicate their short and relevant messages using self-service or API products.
We offer large, medium and small organisations in the commercial, public, government and non-profit sectors, the ability to send person–to-person, application-to-person and application-to-application SMS messages. Our SMS gateway connects to over 900 mobile networks.
When did you launch and what growth have you seen?
We launched our SMS business in 2000 from our garage off the back of a wind alert system we developed to alert us when the weather conditions were perfect for windsurfing. We realised that automated SMS alerts had a far greater commercial potential than just sending a simple “The wind is optimal” message.
We now operate from offices on two continents – a head office in Cape Town and an office in the UK – and deliver messages for more than 30,000 clients worldwide.
We have seen continual year on year growth since inception. Currently, our fastest growing solution is our SMS API, which over the last five years, has increased significantly, not only in the number of customers making use of it, but also in the volumes sent via this channel in both developed and developing markets.
What are your business goals?
We believe that SMS is an invaluable messaging tool due to its ability to effectively cut through the clutter of a noisy communication space. One of our goals is to advocate best practice and principles through the education of our clients, particularly on the benefits, advantages and the value that SMS can add when used correctly.
We aim to integrate seamlessly into our clients’ communications strategies to improve the service they provide their customers. Whether through marketing, OTP or transactional messaging, our clients are able to confidently and easily get their message across.
Where do you see your business in three years’ time?
As with previous years, we anticipate to see a continual growth in A2P SMS messaging. Because of the accessibility and reach of SMS, we believe that this mechanism will remain an effective and successful way of communicating short and important messages. SMS messaging also carries a significant cost, relative to other communications channels, which is why these messages will continue to be of value and relevance to both the sender and receiver.
To add to this, SMS messages are short so recipients are more likely to read them. It is for these reasons that we believe SMS, and companies that provide an SMS service, will continue to have a role to play in the current and future communications space.
As an SMS gateway provider we look to evolve our services and functionality in ways that continue to add value to our clients.
What aspect of mobile is most exciting to you right now?
RCS Business Messaging is on our radar as an exciting extension of the current SMS communication landscape. Before RCS was a possibility, we began testing rich messaging with our Mobi-gram feature and have seen a positive uptake of this feature by our clients.
Although exciting, RCS is not without its challenges. For it to reach its full potential, network operators and device manufacturers will need to work together to ensure that RCS will operate across all networks globally and on all mobile devices. While some important strides have been made in seeking this interoperability, recent indications are that the RCS space will remain fragmented. This, however, creates the opportunity for messaging providers to aggregate channels.
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