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Scarlett Woodford, Research Analyst at Juniper Research shares her top ten insights from their latest CPaaS (Communications-Platform-as-a-Service) research, which takes a deep dive into SMS business messaging, RCS business messaging and OTT business messaging, and examines how the sectors are responding to the post Covid business environment.

Growth in Rich Media Messaging to Continue Despite Impact of COVID-19

The COVID-19 pandemic has delayed investment into innovative technologies, such as RCS, as corporations re-evaluate current expenditure amidst economic uncertainty. Despite this, RCS technologies continue to gain traction with traffic volumes steadily increasing, albeit at a slower rate than previously expected.

Rich Media Messaging to Support Demand for Online Retail Services

Mobile business messaging traffic attributable to the retail sector will grow by 20% this year alone. Consumers’ increased reliance on online retail services during the pandemic has been the primary cause of growth this year. To fully capitalise on this, brands must create novel retail experiences through rich media content, subsequently driving consumer demand.

Emulation of the Messaging Application Ecosystem in the Far East Signals Vendor Opportunities

In order to mirror the success of rich media messaging in the Asia Pacific region, messaging vendors in Europe and North America should follow business models adopted by their counterparts in China, South Korea, and Japan. The strength of China’s OTT messaging application ecosystem is driven by the popularity of WeChat, with the app supporting integrations that cover all aspects of daily life, and enabling businesses to create an official account and interact with customers directly on the app.

  Mobile channels are as important as ever for brands and enterprises to connect with customers, as CPaaS providers have emerged to offer comprehensive platforms that centralise the management of multiple mobile communication technologies.

Contextual Chatbots to Aid Customer Service Automation

Chatbots based on machine learning can be deployed in rich media messaging applications to streamline customer service solutions, answering basic enquiries whilst fielding complex issues to human agents. By expanding the scope of user input that a chatbot can understand, machine learning is key to minimising disruptions in the conversational flow, therefore reducing the time taken to respond to customers with the aim of increasing consumer satisfaction.

RCS Support Will Steer Enterprise Customers to CPaaS Solutions

Enterprises will increasingly rely on CPaaS and MaaS (Messaging-as-a-Service) vendors who can help create commercially successful RCS campaigns, as the market trend of conversational commerce continues to gain traction. Using CPaaS or MaaS platforms, enterprises can interact with their customers in a richer way over multiple communication channels, including RCS, whilst minimising initial investment.

Ticketing Will Emerge as a Key Sector Targeted by Messaging Vendors

As international travel restrictions are lifted and events are rescheduled, the volume of rich media messages used for ticketing purposes will increase, as service providers send booking confirmations, notifications, and reminders to customers. Therefore, messaging vendors offering a targeted ticketing solution with relevant value-added services, including in-app payments, will be in a strong position to capitalise on sector growth post-pandemic.

North America Continues to Lead the Adoption of RCS

The US and Canada are leading deployments of rich media business messaging. North America’s adoption of RCS messaging has been driven by the establishment of the CCMI (Cross Carrier Messaging Initiative) and Google’s roll-out of RCS services within the US. North America’s leading adoption of RCS technology has been recognised by the GSMA, which has awarded the US with ‘gold status’ for RCS readiness.

CPaaS Players to Drive Omnichannel Communication Approach

Mobile channels are as important as ever for brands and enterprises to connect with customers, as CPaaS providers have emerged to offer comprehensive platforms that centralise the management of multiple mobile communication technologies. The introduction of rich media messaging, payment capabilities and integrated chatbots will be key for CPaaS providers attracting the brands and enterprises to their platforms over the next five years.

Simple Monetisation Models Needed to Ensure Smooth Transition to RCS

In order to ease brands and enterprises through the transition from SMS to RCS, network operators must ensure that their chosen monetisation model is relatively simple, to encourage brands and enterprises to explore the capabilities of RCS. This must be done via an event-based model similar to how SMS business messaging operates today.

OTT Messaging Ecosystem Fragmentation Will Remain

The fragmentation of the OTT messaging space will remain over the next five years, with applications such as Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp, WeChat, Viber, Telegram, LINE and KakaoTalk remaining popular in different geographic regions. CPaaS vendors must ensure support for a wide range of messaging applications, in order to account for this and increase global reach.

Juniper Research’s latest CPaaS (Communications-Platform-as-a-Service) research provides a comprehensive assessment of this growing model in the communications space, covering the market for SMS business messaging, RCS business messaging and OTT business messaging. For more insights from this research, please download our free whitepaper: How CPaaS Needs to Evolve SMS, OTT & RCS.

Scarlett Woodford

Research Analyst