MEF Director of Programmes James Williams shares an overview of the recent MEF CONNECTS Omnichannel, where over two days Members and guests gathered in London’s historic Inner Temple to discuss all aspects of the Omnichannel approach, share ideas and expand knowledge of this constantly evolving area. You can watch the whole event here on the MEF Website now.
Positive impact is ultimately what MEF membership is all about. I really can’t believe that it is exactly one year since I was moderating a session with Uber and Flacks Fit 24 talking about the power of business messaging. Uber needs no introduction but Flacks Fit 24 might just do. Flacks Fit is the gym I go to here in my home town of Bingley in the north of England. It’s a small independent organisation with precisely 131,000 times FEWER clients than Uber. But as we learnt last year, messaging used properly has the power to transform ANY organisation for the better. Including a small gym.
Traditionally, MEF CONNECTS Omnichannel – our flagship messaging event of the year – is the last major MEF event of the year but such was the appetite for in-person events during 2023, we went one further and put on a superb Wholesale focused event at Orange’s HQ in Paris. You’ll see more on that in other posts. Now back to this year’s Omnichannel event…
”Advance Your Business” was the tagline of the event and to be truly sustainable, business messaging has to do exactly that. With over 300 million listed businesses globally, the messaging industry has to do everything it can to be as inclusive as possible and allow even small organisations with very limited budget and little technical knowledge to leverage the omnichannel opportunity.”
Omnichannel 2023 was the fourth time the MEF team have put this event together and with its focus and stellar international cast of speakers, it has become a firm fixture in our events calendar. Thanks go this year to netnumber Global Data Services, Aegis Mobile, HAUD, LANCK Telecom, Rakuten Viber, Upstream and XConnect for their financial (sponsorship) support, making the event a reality. The location of The Honourable Society of the Inner Temple in London was superb and its history, dating back to the 14th century was the perfect foil to all the discussions we had about the channels at the bleeding edge of business messaging. What an amazing contrast!
”Advance Your Business” was the tagline of the event and to be truly sustainable, business messaging has to do exactly that. With over 300 million listed businesses globally, the messaging industry has to do everything it can to be as inclusive (in the strict meaning of the word) as possible and allow even small organisations with very limited budget and little technical knowledge to leverage the omnichannel opportunity. It really isn’t easy but we heard from many companies about how this is becoming something real. Still a lot of work to do, mind, but real visible improvement over the past year.
Strip away the noise, smoke and mirrors, and Application-to-Person (A2P) SMS – Business SMS – is still the bedrock upon which all omnichannel is built. Business SMS still brings in the most revenue and margin for the vast majority of players globally in omni, a fact that has to be recognised by all. Both research companies Mobilesquared and Juniper Research agreed that whilst A2P SMS has undoubted challenges right now in the shape of commercial model pressures and the resulting (it really does pain me to write…) rather ingenious fraud types proliferating.
Simply put, all at the event concurred that where A2P SMS is priced high, more fraud follows. It’s all about moderation then. Google, Meta and Viber were in the house and even with their richer channels on offer, SMS is still recognised as being important by them. Sure, A2P SMS revenues for two-factor authentication (2FA) related use cases might continue to decline but there are plenty more use cases for SMS beyond this. And huge headroom for A2P SMS growth if the industry manages it properly.
The ’T’ word (trust) came up time and again and its was great to learn far more about how exactly a whole host of MEF members are going about protecting industry stakeholders every moment of every day. It’s a tough fight and whilst this battle will surely never end, we as an industry do have a real shot at being one step ahead of the fraudsters.
Done right, business messaging has the power to transform any organisation and I strongly advise that you mark November 18th and 19th 2024 in your diaries now so you can attend MEF CONNECTS Omnichannel 2024. Whilst it is a hybrid event (both available in-person and online), the real value comes from being there in person to interact with the amazing folks that come along to share their vast insight. Earmark some travel budget for that now!
I’ve been involved with dozens of events over the past three years here at MEF but MEF CONNECTS Omnichannel 2023 was the last one for me that I put the content together for and led as December 15th is my last day as part of the MEF team. Omnichannel 2023 will remain an enduring memory of mine and I look forward very much to seeing so many of you from the other side of the house, as a MEF member, beginning 2024. LinkedIn will tell you more in the first week of January…
I’d like to thank the whole MEF team and you the members for having made the past three years fly by – after all time flies when you’re having fun!
Taking place at the prestigious event facilities of The Honourable Society Of The Inner Temple in London MEF CONNECTS Omnichannel brought together stakeholders from across the Messaging ecosystem globally for the perfect stage to review mobile engagement strategies, build new partnerships, identify new target audiences, integrate innovative ideas and expand knowledge of this constantly evolving area.