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Small, medium and large businesses are increasingly looking to SMS technology
as a channel for business communications due to its direct benefits in
increasing operational efficiencies. This has spurred on technology providers
to start integrating SMS capabilities into their software business solutions.
Maxxor Software Services, an entrepreneurial black-empowered Cape Town based
firm, is an example of a technology provider that has risen to the occasion and
embedded SMS technology within its software solutions. Maxxor’s integrated
messaging service is designed to help their clients businesses stay in touch
with a large database of contacts without the hassle of having to purchase or
manage their own communications systems or infrastructure.
“Maxxor focuses on providing small and medium sized businesses and corporations
with a value added approach that applies technology to satisfy business needs
and to solve business problems. Our Enterprise Messaging solution incorporates
bulk SMS capabilities to provide a fully integrated business communications
solution,” says Shana Kassiem, CEO of Maxxor Software Services.
The key reason why Maxxor selected SMS messaging for its software services is
that SMS provides a cost-effective and near instantaneous channel for internal
and external business communications to targeted contacts. In so doing, SMS
offers businesses a better means to automate numerous business processes,
including the management of customer relationships and billing operations. The
messaging service can be accessed from any computer connected to the Internet
and provides contact management functionality.
As a business communication tool, SMS has a further benefit in that, while a
growing number of people in South Africa have Internet access, more people have
access to a cellphone than they do to email. Also, people can easily receive
SMS’s when away from the office. As a messaging software solution, the sending
of SMS messages includes several features: sending to individuals, multiple
recipients or even groups of contacts, the ability to personalise a message,
the scheduling of messages for sending at a future date and time, and the
receipt of replies to a message in an inbox.
“It is encouraging to see the trend toward software as a service model
advancing SMS technology. Maxxor’s vote of confidence in SMS messaging shows
how the usefulness and ease-of-use of SMS technology for businesses
communications is being integrated into the day-to-day operations of small,
medium and large organisations,” says Dr Pieter Streicher, managing director of
BulkSMS.com, a global SMS messaging provider headquartered in Cape Town.
Reaching a contact list of some 50,000 individuals is made easy with the
availability of SMS technology. An SMS message, for instance, could be used to
send a notification or alert for an automated process – such as when a server
experiences downtime due to systems maintenance. It can also be used to inform
delegates of a workshop date or location change or notify customers of a sales
promotion or special offer.
In further illustrating the benefits of SMS, Kassiem noted that, “If the client
has a financial software application then incorporating SMS will allow them to
link to their database and automate monthly account payment notifications.”
SMS provides a means of communicating with staff, for instance sending a
meeting reminder or passing on of a telephone message to a colleague who is out
of the office. It can also be used, for example, during a recruitment process
to confirm interview appointments with job seekers.
Maxxor itself uses SMS internally to send messages to its staff as well as to
communicate with their clients. According to Kassiem, “When we use SMS we have
a faster response time and better communication with our clients. SMS
communications has made us as a software solutions business much more
According to Kassiem, SMS provides a significant opportunity for communicating
with small businesses. Larger organisations should look to SMS notifications
when sending regular communications about networking events or tender
opportunities to small businesses. These SMS messages could be used to alert
business owners of a new email with further information and will allow them to
not miss out on a business or networking opportunity.
“The upside of using SMS for business communications in any organisation is
that it is really straightforward to quickly send a message from an Internet
enabled messaging application to a single person or an entire contact list.
Businesses are able to send a short message that conveys important information
to a particular recipient or group of recipients. This empowers recipients to
act timeously on the message,” said Dr Streicher.