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Take a look at some of the trends, tips, and current news unfolding in the business communication industry around the world.
Even though vets prefer to work with animals, they still need to communicate with humans to ensure that their practice runs smoothly and that their furry patients receive the care they need.
As we enter the last quarter of 2022, businesses are starting to assess where they did well, and where they can do better.
We’re living in a mobile-first world, which is why it’s no surprise that SMS remains one of the preferred communication tools in a business owner's toolkit.
No matter what business you're in, streamlining processes is a sure way to boost your productivity and increase revenue. And, fortunately for you, there are thousands of integrations and applications that can help you do just that.
Although texting might be a big no-no when in the classroom, it is a crucial tool in the education sector. From communication between staff and students, to keeping parents informed, SMS is a trusted, reliable, and cost-effective solution that is hard to beat.
There is little that customers find more frustrating than being put on hold or sitting in a long phone queue only to be transferred to the next agent as soon as they get through. In fact, according to a recent study, 93% of customer service teams believe that customer expectations are higher than before.
According to UNESCO, over 1.6 billion children were out of school at the peak of the Covid-19 pandemic, with close to half the world’s students still affected by partial or full school closures. While the effects of the pandemic have been devastating, it has been fascinating to see just how quickly the education system was able to adapt and meet the needs of learners. Learning is no longer only taking place in a classroom setting, but is now happening virtually, too!
Valentines Day has fast become a time of the year where businesses choose to spread the love and treat their customers to discounts, specials, and so much more. So if you’re in the business of spoiling your customers, and you want to make sure they don’t miss out, we’ve got a few tips and tricks to help you engage with your customers.
2022 is in full swing which means one thing, it’s time to connect with your customers, boost your revenue, and make 2022 a year to remember. Many business owners using SMS find that the time saving benefit frees them up to focus on what really matters – the growth of their business. If you’re not sure where to start, we’ve got some great tips, and they all use one simple tool - SMS!
The success of a political campaign relies hugely on engaging with a large number of people at the same time, effectively. While rallying offers a great way to engage with crowds, it doesn’t allow for one-on-one, personalised communication. And with Covid-19 reducing the numbers and regularity when it comes to gatherings, there needs to be a way to engage with your base quickly and reliably. Welcome SMS!
Managing shifts, monitoring attendance, confirming last minute schedule changes - all of this takes time. In many cases, shift management can be tedious and stressful. Which is exactly why including SMS in your communication funnel is an effective way to streamline shift management and make your job easier!
According to Shopify, 67% of shoppers made Black Friday purchases on mobile phones in 2020, which means that making SMS a part of your marketing campaigns this year is a no-brainer. If you’re not convinced yet, we’ve outlined a few reasons why SMS improves sales.
BulkSMS.com is now listed as an App Partner in the HubSpot App Marketplace. App Partners are independent software vendors who have built an integration with HubSpot and been accepted to the App Marketplace.
Reports show that today’s consumers are more demanding and less patient when looking for answers to their issues. Things like high call costs, long hold times and the frustration of dealing with multiple agents are all at the top of the list when it comes to customer pain points. Which is why adding a tool like SMS can help contact centres improve their service - making it easy and affordable for their customers to engage.
It is predicted that cyberattacks will cost companies $6 trillion by the end of 2021, and let’s face it, anyone with an internet connection is a potential target. This means every business with an online presence needs to add extra layers of security to protect their data and processes against attacks, breaches, and even unintentional staff errors.
POPIA compliance is part of the new normal for operating in the South African market. At BulkSMS.com, we have made every effort as a data processor to ensure we are POPIA compliance ready so that we can bolster your data protection efforts and help you comply with SMS industry regulations.
We all know that there are 24 hours in a day and of those, only 8 hours are considered acceptable ‘working hours’. But many times, staff at community organisations and SMEs end up putting in 10 hour, even 12 hour days to get the job done...
POPIA compliance is part of the new normal for businesses operating in the South African market. At BulkSMS.com, we wish to assure you that we are making every effort as a data processor to ensure we are POPIA compliance ready so that we can bolster your data protection efforts and help you comply with industry regulations.
For many non-essential businesses, the global lockdown has meant that they’ve had to shut their doors and hope for the best. But as the restrictions start to ease up, and business owners breathe a sigh of relief, reconnecting with customers is a top priority and SMS is the perfect tool for it.
The Wireless Application Service Providers’ Association (WASPA) operates a Do Not Contact (DNC) List which pertains to South African consumers. The purpose of this list is for consumers to request that SMS providers block their mobile numbers from receiving any direct marketing messages. The WASPA DNC List has a public interface and WASPA members can check lists of numbers against the DNC list using the WASPA Member Portal and/or the DNC API.
Over the last few years, we’ve noticed an increase in use of SMS by sport and community clubs. And we’re not surprised. Like many other industries, sport and community clubs rely on people, which means that effective communication and coordination is key!
If 2020 proved anything to us, it’s that SMS is one resilient platform that is here to stay! Even in the face of a global pandemic, it stood the test of time and became one of the most sought-after communication tools used by businesses around the world.
Although texting might be a big no-no when in the classroom, it is a crucial communication tool in the education industry. From communication between staff and students, to communication with parents, SMS is a trusted, reliable, and cost-effective solution that is hard to beat.
After the year we’ve all had, it’s almost impossible to believe that Black Friday is around the corner and that Christmas is looming. But we aren’t complaining! We love Black Friday, Cyber Monday and any chance we get to help our customers make the most of their marketing campaigns.
We are proud to be recognized as a leader in the SMS Marketing Category of the G2 Fall 2020 Grid Reports. Within this category, we placed 1st in the Mid-Market Implementation Index for SMS Marketing; 3rd in the Mid-Market Usability Index for SMS Marketing, and we placed in the Top 10 in the Overall Relationship Index for SMS Marketing & Usability Index for SMS Marketing.
For many businesses, Black Friday is one of the most lucrative times of the year. It offers the perfect opportunity to engage with customers, build brand loyalty and create hype around your products and services.
How can something like SMS aid in addressing and ensuring sustainable tourism? Well, when it comes to communicating with visitors, or local communities, SMS has proven to be the perfect tool to get the right message to the right people at the right time. In fact, SMS can - and is - being used around the world to promote, educate, and engage with locals and tourists around sustainable tourism.
SMS scams are common, you’ve probably even been on the receiving end of at least one SMS announcing that you’ve won $100 000.00 from a competition that you’ve never heard of. And while some scams are easy to spot, there are some that can easily be mistaken as legitimate.
Just as COVID-19 continues to change the way we live, it is also changing the way that we do business. We can no longer engage with one another as we once did, and even something as menial as passing a pen has the potential to start a chain reaction.
In times of crisis, SMS is one of the most powerful tools used by government and relief organisations to strengthen their risk management efforts. During a large-scale natural disaster or epidemic - such as COVID-19 - reliable and effective communication is crucial, which is why so many of these organisations turn to SMS.
As COVID-19 continues to spread across borders and countries, companies are changing the way they communicate with their customers and teams. It's no longer business-as-usual messaging notifying us of sales specials, or monthly payment reminders, we're now getting SMSes telling us to "stay inside and stay healthy”.
In business, it is all about carefully juggling resources to optimise operations and maximise profits - and the motor industry is no different. When used correctly, SMS improves efficiency, streamlines processes, and generates business. Here are a few ways that dealerships and workshops around the world use SMS to positively impact their bottom line.
We know that SMS is a great channel for getting short and important communications instantly to your customers. But did you know that you can include even more detailed info in that same SMS? Information like PDFs, event invites, invoices or even catalogues.
SMS is a cost-effective way to manage communications from one simple platform, helping many experts in the motor industry to deal with common challenges and become more efficient in their day-to-day operations.
SMS messaging allows for property brokers, agents, tenants, online property websites and customers to stay connected with buyers, sellers and tenants in real-time.
Technology is evolving the way we communicate, yet SMS remains an effective tool to get important information across, quickly and reliably.
From recruitment and contracts, to payroll and employee management; HR needs to constantly communicate with all staff. Many HR professionals have turned to SMS to keep their teams up to date and informed...
The way we communicate is constantly changing. We’ve gone from using smoke signals, telegrams and radio broadcasts to instant messaging, social media and RCS. And while how we communicate keeps changing, the one thing that hasn’t (and probably never will) is our need to communicate important information quickly.
Many businesses use SMS to market their services and products. It offers an effective way to engage with customers, letting them know more about your business and any upcoming offers or promotions that you are running. But for SMS marketing to be successful...
By now you would have heard that we are celebrating our 19th birthday. And to celebrate 19 years of getting your message across, we have decided to give 19 customers the chance to win.
The triathlon industry has seen tremendous growth in the UK over the past few years, offering people from all walks of life the chance to test their abilities in a multi-sporting event. Along with this growth comes interesting challenges for organisers...
Traditionally, the retail industry viewed SMS as a tool to send out promotional messages only, but as technology has progressed, so too has the use of SMS. What was once considered an outdated way to stay in touch, is now proving to be a vital tool in the monitoring of in-store systems and processes...
We're all aware that SMS as part of our personal daily communication has basically been replaced by chat applications such as Whatsapp and Facebook Messenger. Unfortunately, this obvious decline in person to person SMS messaging leads to the false notion that SMS is no longer relevant.
It’s no secret that SMS remains popular in developed countries. From one-time pins, automated delivery notifications and business to customer communications, SMS forms the core of many communication strategies across the globe...
In a world where brands target customers on the move, SMS remains an essential part of communication and marketing strategies. Over and above providing a simple and cost-effective way of communicating with customers, the benefits of SMS are hard to ignore.
BulkSMS.com recently announced its inclusion as a launch signatory of the new Trust in Enterprise Messaging (TEM) programme initiated by the global industry body, Mobile Ecosystem Forum (MEF).
To grow a business today means consistently engaging and interacting with potential and existing customers. Customers who not only demand good service, but expect regular communication too. These increasing expectations pose a continual challenge for small businesses to find familiar and accessible ways to interact with their customers...
In the increasingly competitive space of SMS technology, choosing the right SMS provider for your business demands more than a simple price comparison. Although cost is important, there are a number of other aspects that should be taken into account before settling with an SMS provider. These include things like reliability, scalability, experience...
Friday, 25 May 2018 is when the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR) come into effect. BulkSMS.com, which acts as both a data controller (in that we process client data) and a data processor (in delivering an SMS messaging service on behalf of our client) can confidently report that we are GDPR ready...
On December 3rd, 1992, the first ever SMS message was sent from Neil Papworth’s computer to Richard Jarvis’ mobile phone. It read “Merry Christmas” and Jarvis had no way of replying. Within a year, Nokia produced the first handset that enabled SMS messaging as a primary function...
BulkSMS is actively working towards GDPR compliance and will ensure all is in place before the enforcement date (25 May 2018).
Imagine this scenario. You’re waiting at the airport for a flight that has been delayed. You’re hungry, tired and all you want is to get to your hotel room, eat a hearty meal and relax. Then, you receive a text message from your hotel apologizing for the inconvenience caused by the late flight and asking what meal you would like ready for you when you arrive...
BulkSMS.com will be exhibiting at the B2B Marketing Expo being held at the ExCel London on the 21 & 22 March 2018. If you are in the area, please visit our stand 1170.
New rules for the direct marketing of short-term insurance using SMS messaging have been put in place in South Africa.
Communication is an integral part of any HR department's daily activities. From recruitment and contracts, to payroll and employee management; HR needs to constantly communicate with all staff. Keeping all staff members in the loop can be a time consuming...
The European Union’s General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR) will be in force from 25 May 2018. In preparing for GDPR, BulkSMS wishes to provide our clients with the assurance that we are working toward ensuring compliance with the GDPR prior to the regulation’s enforcement date.
In July 2017, the Wireless Application Service Providers’ Association (WASPA) released an updated Code of Conduct containing new clauses around premium rated services offered by SMS messaging providers. These clauses have been added to align WASPA’s Code of Conduct more...
One of most effective ways to obtain customer insights is to conduct surveys. One of the biggest struggles faced with conducting surveys is getting customers to complete them. If only there was a way that customers could send quick feedback via a platform that is both well-known and trusted.
In recent years, many businesses within the property and real estate industry have jumped aboard the mobile messaging bandwagon in order to improve sales and customer service. The reason? Bulk SMS messaging allows for property brokers, agents, tenants, online property websites and customers to stay connected with buyers, sellers and tenants in real-time.
Does it annoy you when someone misses their appointment? The wax is ready, or the nail polish laid out, everything is prepped, and, for whatever reason, your client does not arrive. Missed appointments are not only frustrating, they affect revenue and can also lead to a break down in the relationship between you and your client.
The e-Commerce industry is a diverse space fraught with opportunity. According to an article on Lemonstand, the global e-commerce sector is a trillion dollar industry that is affording amazing long term opportunities for businesses who are willing to reinvent the retail experience online.
Mobile messaging has seen tremendous growth in the financial industry over the last few years. Financial institutes are beginning to embrace the ubiquity of mobile technologies and are integrating SMS into their business communications.
At BulkSMS.com we love public holidays as much as you do. But we still would like to provide you with the awesome service you expect.
Retailing involves the buying and selling of goods or services through multiple channels to earn a profit. How does SMS fit in?
Dr. Pieter Streicher, managing director of BulkSMS.com, takes a look at why SMS is still relevant and gives a sneak-peak into what he expects for the SMS industry in 2017.
Sports event management requires effective coordination and communication right from the starting block which is why SMS is the perfect solution.
BulkSMS.com will be exhibiting at The Business Show, Olympia London on the 17th and 18th November. If you have any questions or would like a demonstration on any of our products, please stop by we would love to meet you.
Tackling mental ill-health is a major global challenge. More than 450 million suffer from mental illness globally (WHO 2015). Nearly 75% of the 450 million people worldwide diagnosed with a mental illness live in the developing world, and 85% of these people have no access to treatment . There is a critical need, therefore, to come up with new approaches to providing the right support and services to deal with the scale of the global mental health challenge.
Events management requires effective communication to ensure that the right people get the right message at the right time. SMS messaging can aid in streamlining your communication by keeping your staff and attendees informed at all times.
SMS messages are instant, reliable and personal; features which have demonstrated to be effective in improving interactions within the health and wellness sector.
SMS marketing can increase customer engagements and enhance brand experiences, but it is important to understand how to use this platform correctly in order to produce the most effective mobile marketing strategies.
Around the 5th of May 2016, AVG (the anti-virus product) released an update which now causes our Windows Desktop Messenger product to close unexpectedly when clicking on a sent message in the Sent Box.
Faced with the increased adoption of smartphones and instant messaging, SMS has been under major scrutiny from customers suggesting that IP-based messaging applications have killed the need for SMS messaging.
The Mobi-gram messaging feature is one of BulkSMS’s latest innovations that has proven to be a vital tool for enhancing the communication for many of our customers.
The communication requirements of educational institutions are diverse. Whether connecting to staff members, parents, pupils, or college students, the method needs to be reliable and efficient. These are the key reasons why SMS communications have proven to be a popular choice with schools and tertiary education providers.
We will be exhibiting at appsworld (London) and also visiting Navtech (Antwerp) next week.
The CTIA has updated the Short Code Monitoring Handbook to guide marketers in industry best practices to ensure consumer protection in the USA.
At the core of any successful business lies a prosperous business plan and a potent marketing strategy. When working with strategies for small to medium sized businesses where the pressure of success lies hugely on marketing campaigns, it can be daunting to create and implement any campaigns.
In South Africa, there has been much media attention on the cost to consumers for opting out from messages they considered as unwanted marketing messages from brands. Specifically, there is talk that wireless application service providers - who provide the SMS messaging platform used to relay communications sent by a client to a mobile number - are not meeting the requirements of section 11(5) the Consumer Protection Act (CPA) (2008), which states that consumers cannot be charged when requesting to opt-out from direct marketing messages.
As the needs of our customers have changed, we would like to note that we have extended our after hours support to include Sundays.
BulkSMS.com discusses the reasons why SMS remains the most trusted channel for business communication despite the rise in instant messaging applications.
Notification regarding cross banking transactions. Please transfer funds into the same bank for quicker SMS credit loading.
Dr Pieter Streicher, Managing Director at BulkSMS, explains how SMS is an effective channel for SMEs to create dynamic marketing campaigns and drive sales in today’s digital age.
22 years ago today, the first text message (reading ‘Merry Christmas’) was sent by Neil Papworth via Vodafone UK’s ‘GSM’ network. Since then the SMS has gone from strength to strength driven by mobile device accessibility and global user adoption.
Businesses rely on a number of different communication channels these days, online and offline. Dr Pieter Streicher, managing director at BulkSMS.com explains why the text message has stood the test of time and continues to play an important role in business communications.
Greenpop is a social business that believes green and sustainable living can be fun, popular and accessible for all. They believe in inspiring a greener, more conscious, inclusive movement and do this through tree planting projects, green events, education, social media and volunteerism.
While many in the developed world have begun to look down on the SMS as a somewhat outdated form of communicating – preferring instead to use instant messaging tools such as WhatsApp and BBM –SMS is playing an increasingly powerful role in developing countries where Internet access is either patchy or simply non-existent.
Businesses are finding it increasingly challenging to get hold of clients telephonically, even though most customers prefer personal contact when their input is required.
Whats the hot new messaging app that all the kids are using? Can WhatsApp keep its credibility after its multi-billion dollar acquisition by Facebook? Has Snapchat reached its popularity peak? What's the buzz on Telegram?
The issue of SMS interconnect rates has been a hot-button topic of late among mobile service providers and other industry players in South Africa, and is undoubtedly one that will not be solved in the short term.
Like any major sporting event organiser, the team at the Castle Triathlon Series are no strangers to the complexities of dealing with large numbers of people converging at a location for a short period of time. Castle Triathlon’s logistics are amplified by the fact that they run triathlons at five historic locations across the UK, France and Ireland. The UK and Irish castles and the French chateau provide a draw not just for the athletes but also for their families and friends who come to cheer them on.
As with almost every other sector under the 'technology' banner, the mobile industry is evolving at a rapid pace, and is constantly iterating to meet the demands of an increasingly large and sophisticated market. At BulkSMS.com, we keep a close eye on the changes that affect the end user, as well as the trends that we believe are shaping the industry.
New Sender ID ruling for SMS messages sent to Italy, A new resolution for sending SMS messaging to Italy came into effect on 15 October 2013. The rule requires that the senders of bulk SMS messages register their Sender ID with AGCOM, the Italian Communications Authority, as per AGCOM Resolution No.
The Federal Communications Commission has issued rules to ensure consumer protection in regard to commercial SMS messaging; that is the sending of marketing text messages to mobile phones. The Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) and CAN-SPAM Act are the applicable laws regulating marketing using SMS messaging in the United States of America.
Instant messaging (IM) applications have taken the world by storm. The likes of Skype, WhatsApp and Viber allow groups and individuals to ‘chat’ in real-time, exchange images, video clips and links to websites. IM has become widely accepted by consumers, particularly smartphone users, and nowadays people are constantly glued to their applications to keep up-to-date on the latest gossip and events.
Businesses that shrugged their shoulders in resignation at the thought of an increase in SMS costs thanks to the introduction of an A2P SMS interconnect fee are in for a pleasant surprise.
Some commentators on the state of the SMS messaging industry point to the death of SMS as a communications medium. This may be true for global consumer use of SMS messaging in the face of newer communication technologies but these prophecies of SMS’s doom are overstated when looking how SMS continues to be integral for business messaging.
Dash2do.com is a self-service online platform that provides inidivuals and businesses with services to create more time and improve efficiency. It bases its competitive advantage on the provision of customer service excellence. In pursuit of this strategy the company looked to BulkSMS.com’s text messaging solution which is now integral to the business on all levels from accepting bookings to assigning people to staff bookings, and finally billing the client for the work done. Bulk SMS is helping build trust in its brand as the ‘concierge service of choice’.
We’re living in a mobile age where texting is second nature to most people with a mobile phone and text messaging is increasingly used for business communications. Short message services (SMS) open up a number of capabilities for businesses of any size to deliver information to customers that keeps them in the loop and offers customer satisfaction. Dr Pieter Streicher, Managing Director of BulkSMS.com, a provider of messaging services to businesses, discusses the latest developments in SMS communications.
Keeping track of the latest version of impending legislation as it makes its way though the South African parliamentary system can be a nigh on impossible task. So prepping your business for upcoming law – such as the Protection of Personal Information (POPI) Bill – can be a challenging and stop-start affair.
2013 will be a pivotal year for the South African SMS industry as the issue of interconnect fees is resolved, and mobile networks charge each other for terminating application-to-person (A2P) SMS messages, doing away with the vagaries of the gentlemen's agreement between the operators that maintain the status quo. Technically, we're going to see SMS become a more dynamic communications medium incorporating rich media interactivity. Consumers using paid for mobile content subscription services are going to be better protected with double opt-in capabilities introduced by all the mobile operators.
BulkSMS.com highlights the benefits of texting in driving effective customer acquisition and relationship management strategies Text messaging is second nature to mobile users, a received technology that people understand. It is also quick, easy and low cost and as a business communications tool and its star is still rising.
This was the year when the SMS interconnect fee issue finally came to a head, with Cell C forcing the issue by breaking the existing gentlemen's agreement between the network operators. It also saw the opt-in/opt-out debate being settled with the forthcoming passing of the Protection of Personal Information Bill (POPI) happily key clauses were not as watered down as initially feared. And in a major step forward, Vodacom's double opt-in capabilities have had a dramatic impact on reducing the number of complaints about subscription service sign ups.
Companies should be careful of buying into the doomsday predictions around the demise of SMS. If they do they will risk missing out on the excellent business opportunities that the SMS channel offers them.
With mobile phone penetration now around 85% worldwide, the strategic use of SMS offers significant benefits for companies and organisations that can get it right. Dr Pieter Streicher, managing director of BulkSMS.com, a provider of two-way SMS communications services, believes that SMS helps to build relationships and create customer loyalty by offering timely and worthwhile information.
Despite SMS's amazing longevity and the ability to adapt it for a range of personal and business communication needs over the last two decades, SMS is not immune to misuse that may result in devaluing it as a communications channel. This is why it is imperative that businesses and consumers fight to maintain the integrity of SMS messaging or risk losing it due to inboxes overflowing with spam.
A Cape Town mom is more than a little displeased with her children’s primary school. During the recent heat wave in the Western Cape, the school cancelled athletics practice due to the extreme temperatures. The teachers went home and children, under the age of 13, had to wait alone outside the school in the heat until their parents picked them up at the time the sports practice was meant to end. The school had no way to alert the parents of the change of plans when they decided to cancel athletics at the last minute.
The Consumer Protection Act (CPA) allows sending unsolicited direct marketing communications (which is commonly seen as spam by many consumers) under certain conditions. However, if one looks more closely, it turns out that it is simply not possible to comply with these conditions with SMS communications.
2012 is the year the electronic communications opt-in vs opt-out debate is going to come to a head, and the fallout is going to have a significant impact on both businesses and consumers. Related telecommunication regulatory decisions are going to affect both the price of SMS, as well as the amount of SMS spam consumers receive every day – directly impacting the efficacy of the medium.
When Spanco, a power provider to the city of Nagpur in central India, was forced to start load shedding in October 2011 it was unable to send SMS notifications to the 225,000 customers who had provided their mobile numbers. According to an official from Spanco speaking to the Times of India, despite publicity about the load shedding many customers were still unaware of it and the company was inundated with calls from angry customers complaining about power cuts. In addition, the company was no longer able to send customers acknowledgements of bill payments or complaint reference numbers by SMS.
The latest South African crime statistics for 2010/2011, released earlier this month, could probably best be summarised as “improving, but could do better”. While there have been reductions in the murder and attempted murder rate, assault, robbery and attacks on policemen - fighting crime should still be at the top of South Africa’s agenda.
While a cat has nine lives, it seems that SMS has an infinite number of lives. So while the rise in mobile instant messaging (MIM) has been heralded as its end, a closer look shows that this rather increases SMS’s value in the corporate space.
In an increasingly energy conscious world, AdInfa has developed InSite, a technology solution that allows data centres to monitor their IT equipment energy consumption. This is crucial in providing a business case for optimising operational efficiencies and reducing energy bills and carbon footprint. The InSite system is enabled to send automated SMS alerts to companies when pre-determined or unpredicted critical events occur in the monitoring of their data centre infrastructure.
The Protection of Personal Information (POPI) Bill is at serious risk of being watered down to such an extent that it is rendered ineffective and meaningless when it comes to preventing consumers from receiving email and SMS spam.
It seems a bit crazy to call a technology that is coming up for its twentieth birthday a “veteran”. But if you consider the massive explosion of digital communications technology over the past few years, you start to realise just how long SMS has been around for.
As we’ve started to see in South Africa and across the rest of the continent, the potential for mobile-enabled healthcare is enormous. Evidence from the GSMA Mobile Health Summit held in Cape Town at the start of June shows that mobile operators are currently leading the pack in this space. Going forward, however, it is vital that the balance of power shifts from the mobile industry to the healthcare sector, to allow the burgeoning mHealth sector to reach its full potential.
SMS is the perfect emergency communications channel, right? People always have their phones with them, especially in an emergency; you can easily send one message to a number of people; and you can text when you can’t talk.
Over the last few years, South African legislation has slowly started catching up with electronic communications, and I had high hopes that the Protection of Personal Information Bill (POPI) would provide the final piece of the puzzle to both protect consumers and allow businesses to continue to market directly to people in an ethical way.
Communications technology, such as the internet and mobile phones, certainly make life easier, from online banking, to staying in touch, to news and weather on the go, and all the other benefits that have become such an integral part of our daily lives. Unfortunately, the same technology has also made it easier for criminals to prey on the young for purposes such as child trafficking.
Checkatrade.com, an online business information provider based in the United Kingdom, uses text messaging to contact their members.
There is no denying that the launch of a “do not contact registry” to allow South African customers to permanently opt-out of all unsolicited marketing communications is a massive step forward for consumer rights. But customers need to understand the limitations of the mechanism, companies need to be ready to comply with the new law, and especially smaller companies need to consider the implications of having to regularly query the database.
Today the early warning for a government in trouble seems to be when the rulers in question clamp down on electronic communication, especially Social Media and SMS. We’ve seen it happen across the African continent and further afield, starting with Mozambique and India in 2010, and then this year in Egypt, Tunisia and Cameroon. In fact Ethiopia got the ball rolling back in 2005, with a two-year SMS ban after election violence.
BulkSMS.com will have a stand at the Internet World exhibition taking place at Earls Court 2 in London from the 10th to the 12th May 2011. Please come and visit us at stand number E6082. We will be there from 9.30am to 5pm on the 10th and 11th of May and 9.30am to 4pm on the 12th of May. We will be showcasing and demonstrating the BulkSMS text messaging services including our new iPhone app.
Today, access to high-tech communications is accepted as integral to modern life. When the ability to communicate using a digital communication channel such as SMS is banned in a country for political reasons, people inside and outside that country take umbrage to the denial of services. Yet, these attempts by governments to limit communications are an indication of the power of mobile and Internet based technologies to help foster revolution.
Mobile payments for mobile subscription services are receiving much news of late due to negative consumer sentiment over unsolicited billings. An imminent change in the way that Vodacom customers sign up for third party mobile subscription services is good news for consumers and paves the way towards building increased confidence in mobile payments. Another important development is the recent law that states that mobile network operators should put in place the ability to block a handset from requesting any subscription services.
Time and time again SMS is the technological exception to the rule. Not only is it incredibly resistant to downward price pressure, which has seen it immune to the dramatic price drops in the tech world over the last 10 years, it also refuses to be usurped by newer technologies.
Romance has not died in the digital age. It seems to be blossoming according to a recent online survey about South African’s romantic mobile habits. In the spirit of Valentines Day, BulkSMS.com conducted a dipstick survey using a new media channel in January 2011. Of the fifty-one South Africans who responded, the majority were from the Western Cape and the remainder from Gauteng and the Eastern Cape. All respondents were aged between 18 to 50 years.
Rod Buck, a hang glider pilot and owner of Telespeed Weather Systems, runs Wendy Windblows, a weather data collection service that sends a text message or an email to relevant subscribers when predetermined weather conditions are met.
2011 Is the year South African consumers become amongst the best protected in the world thanks to two important new laws. Far from seeing this as a threat, businesses should see this as a huge opportunity for improved customer communications, especially if they have SMS included in the mix. This is one of the main trends we predict for 2011.
According to Clay Shirky, renowned digital media commentator, “communication tools don’t become socially interesting until they become technologically boring.” Now while I’ll never consider SMS boring, I’d argue that SMS has become so entrenched in our day-to-day lives that it meets this criterion, and has not only become socially interesting, but is impacting our society in significant ways.
Up until the beginning of the twentieth century, the island of Martha's Vineyard, off the east coast of the USA, had twenty times more Deaf inhabitants for its population size than the rest of the country. But the islanders didn’t consider this hereditary Deafness a disability because the entire community, both hearing and Deaf, were proficient in sign language and this removed any communication barriers and made being Deaf a non-issue.
While your cell phone has access to the same Internet that your PC has access to, it also carries a link to your phone bill and this combination affords new billing mechanisms to content providers. This change can catch consumers unaware and could result in unexpected cell phone charges.
When we were children the standing joke was that the kids, had to set the video machine for their non-technical parents. We’d grown up with video machines, while for our parents they were still new-fangled devices.
The fall-out from the recent ban of bulk SMS in India serves as a dramatic reminder about just how entrenched those 160 characters have become in the daily lives of both people and businesses the world over.
The high-profile Glenn Agliotti court case taking place in South Africa has once again highlighted the role cell phones and SMS play in the law. Unsurprisingly, because cell phones are such an essential part of our everyday lives, and track just about all of our movements and communications.
Mobile phone handset designers should look to social networking for inspiration to improve the management of communications on phones, says BulkSMS.com’s managing director, Pieter Streicher. He maintains that it is ridiculous that many aspects of the mobile phone user interface haven’t changed in ten years, especially when it comes to contact management and SMS functionality.
BulkSMS.com re-launched its website on the 19th June 2010 to reveal its new, yet still recognisable corporate identity. The website redesign also incorporates a number of changes to ensure an improved experience of the company's SMS messaging services and provides a better user experience for existing clients as well as new visitors to the BulkSMS.com website.
SMS, the happy accident of mobile technology that turns 17 this year, shows no sign of slowing down. In fact, maintains Pieter Streicher, managing director of BulkSMS.com, if anything, SMS is going to accelerate its stellar trajectory thanks to increased business adoption.
The spread of mass panic through SMS is unnecessary and people need to learn to look at information with a more critical eye. People in general are too quick to pass on information without checking if it originates from someone they trust. Propagating certain dubious and false information can often have devastating results. The origin of such messages is rarely known, but the intentions are often far from good.
Businesses will have to dramatically rethink their marketing and communication strategies once the Protection of Personal Information (PPI) Bill is enacted into law. Although there is debate around the anticipated date of the enactment of the PPI Bill, it is currently under review and may be passed into law as soon as next month by Parliament after having been approved by Cabinet in August 2009.
SMS language or ‘textspeak’ is taking a lot of flack for the general misuse of the English language today – both in spelling and grammar. But is it all negative? People are too quick to blame SMS technology for a rise in incorrect spelling and grammar use, and are failing to see the opportunities that can come from it.
SMS has become a trusted medium of communication for businesses and has added to the operational efficiency by enabling the sending of a quick and relevant message to a targeted database of contacts. But is the rise of social media sites like MySpace, Facebook, Twitter alongside instant messaging services offered by Skype, MSN and ICQ threatening the place of SMS messaging?
The introduction of a small interconnect fee for SMS messaging is essential in an environment where both businesses and consumers rely on SMS messaging for communication purposes. Currently, there is no SMS interconnect fee agreed between the three local network operators. On an international level, there are still several network operators that are not paying any SMS interconnect fees for terminating messages on local networks.
SMS technology allows for SMS messages to be sent from a modified alphanumeric sender ID. For example, SARS could send an SMS message to you, with the word SARS appearing at the top of the message instead of a numeric cellphone number.
According to Arrive Alive, an international survey amongst 837 drivers with cellphones found that almost half swerved or drifted into another lane, 23% had tailgated, 21% cut someone off and 18% nearly hit another vehicle while using the phone. In spite of these stats and laws to stop people talking or texting while driving, a large number still do.
In order to make our pricing structure more easily understood, BulkSMS is changing the pricing structure of SMS credits on www.bulksms.net. The cost of sending a text message from our messaging service will remain the same.
Did you bundle yourself and your kids up, ice skate to the car, drive slowly but steadily to the school, endangering the lives of your precious cargo as well as other motorists, only to arrive at the school and find out that the school has been closed for a “snow day”?
Around the world, people are increasingly conversing using SMS, and making fewer and fewer voice calls, particularly in the youth market. A recent Washington Post article looks at how the “texting generation doesn’t share boomers’ taste for talk”. Increasingly consumers are having interactive and effective asynchronous conversations, even though they are not in real time, via SMS.
Pieter Streicher, managing director of BulkSMS.com, says the possible reduction in mobile call charges will change consumer behaviour and stimulate SMS business communications.
Zero interconnect fee for SMS is a problem for the SA industry, says leading messaging service provider. In the midst of the national debate on interconnect charges between cellular operators few people realize that there is no interconnect charges between local operators on SMS. There are historical reasons for this. In the early days of GSM networks no one anticipated how popular SMS would become and its potential as a revenue stream was initially overlooked.
The advent of new communication tools like Facebook and Twitter, combined with the digital era information overload has led to some commentators predicting the death of sender-controlled communications, changing how businesses communicate with their customers.
Changes in consumer behaviour and technology are shaping cellphone use. One area that is increasingly gaining attention is how consumers are moving away from voicemail and towards SMS messaging.
Many schools have adopted bulk SMS messaging to improve communications with parents of school-goers. The traditional communication channels were all problematic in that notes sent to parents via learners often got lost; calling a number of parents telephonically can be very time consuming and; not all parents have access to e-mail and the internet.
Businesses confidence in SMS messaging continues to increase as messaging industry revenues are forecasted to grow despite the global downturn in the markets.
Consumers should begin treating their cellphone bill like they do their credit card statement and check all deductions. With the increase in ease of mobile payments, especially via premium rate SMS subscription services, consumers should scrutinise their bills just as they would their credit card statements. If not they may be shocked by unexpected cellphone charges at the end of a month.
SMS technology enables companies to increase efficiencies within their supply chain management and logistics operations. In using SMS for mission critical communications within extended business processes, companies are able to translate the implementation