Is RCS the future of enterprise messaging? Can it stay free of spam? And why is messaging the best option for workplace collaboration? Oscar Gallego, Global Head of Smart Communication & Security at Vodafone, shares his views.

In the race to shape the future of mobile messaging, Vodafone is playing a central role. The operator has been one of the industry’s most enthusiastic supporters of RCS.

In fact, it has already launched the next-gen messaging platform in more than 10 of its operating regions. It has also run many A2P RCS trials with brands.

Oscar Gallego, Global Head of Smart Communication & Security at Vodafone, believes in RCS for many reasons. But above all, he sees the channel as providing the ‘cleanliness’ of SMS with all the rich features of specialist OTT messaging apps.

He says: “RCS fills the gaps in terms of experience and accessibility…customers are expecting the wow factor, and [SMS) messaging hasn’t kept up with apps in terms of the UX. RCS will help us make up that gap.”

Needless to say, the pressure is now on to ensure that RCS retains the premium sheen of SMS. “We need to make sure we don’t pollute the channel with spam,” he says.

  “We need verified entry points, brand verification, a better on-boarding process. We’re addressing it, but it’s a journey — especially because we know that as we get better, those who want to abuse the system will get better too.”

“The RCS inbox can’t become a spam folder. We need to keep investing. AI can’t solve this. Not yet. So we need verified entry points, brand verification, a better on-boarding process. We’re addressing it, but it’s a journey — especially because we know that as we get better, those who want to abuse the system will get better too.”

On a more general level, Gallego believes that mobile messaging — in all its forms — is now the dominant medium among users. People simply prefer it to other channels. It’s why they are bringing it into the workplace.

“In the enterprise arena messaging plays a fundamental role,” he says. “Imagine we are creating a startup and we need tools to communicate with colleagues and follow the process of the company. Developing an app for this is not a great idea. Messaging fills the space. You can get going fast, and create amazing experiences that fulfill your requirements with very little investment.”

However, there is an obvious vulnerability here. Enterprises need to know they can trust the channel their workers are using.

“It’s super important to understand the encryption level of your messages and to know where the messages are stored,” says Gallego.

“Don’t think end-to-end encryption is the answer because data can still be gathered in the client. You need to know if the client is keeping data — whether that’s usage data or the message content. It’s very important to be with someone who has a charter that says: your data is not relevant to me. I am not going to monetise it.”

This Executive Insights Video Series, in association with Netsfere looks at the future of messaging and business communications.

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