The potential applications of A2P messaging are set to drive change in emerging markets in 2016, according to Infobip's Silvio Kutic...
Which developing or emerging markets (regions / countries) do you cover?
We have operations established in Africa, Asia-Pacific, Latin America and CIS, with regional offices in Johannesburg, Lagos, Buenos Aires, Moscow, Sao Paulo, Kuala Lumpur, Mumbai and Shenzhen, and smaller offices in other countries. We serve software and internet companies, banks, marketing and media companies and A2P SMS resellers, addressing their needs for a reliable end-to-end messaging connectivity, enterprise messaging solutions and flexible APIs. To telecoms we provide A2P SMS monetisation and SMS filtering solutions.
What are your main hardware and/or services focus areas?
Our core asset is our proprietary A2P SMS platform; by connecting to it, companies can enable direct mobile alerts, notifications, consumer communication and 2-factor authentication – all with advanced reporting, ongoing development and 24/7 tech support. Our focus areas also include voice and mobile number validation services, multi-channel communications and campaign management tools. In the telecoms portfolio, we’re focusing on the innovative Business-as-a-Service partnership model and SMS firewall solutions.
What are the top market and customer trends that will drive change in your area during 2016, and why?
In the telecoms sector, growing awareness of the A2P messaging opportunities will drive change and enable faster implementation of solutions and partnerships. Telecoms will be approaching the A2P messaging market on a whole new level, as they look to adopt technical, operational, sales and marketing components necessary to successfully monetise their A2P messaging capacities.
Ongoing investment and R&D in the A2P SMS area will result in further technological refinements – platform stability, security and uptime, processing speed, advanced reporting features, SaaS layer improvements etc. Demands of enterprises for the multi-channel communication capacity will push extra resources towards further development and refinement of this capability.
As a result, A2P messaging solutions will keep expanding to include different messaging and communications channels (voice, chat, push notifications, SMS message, email etc.), easy to operate campaign management tools, and the ability to automatically route messages depending on the recipient’s mobile device type and/or preference.
What are the solutions that will make the greatest impact in your area during 2016, and why?
So far the key developments in A2P messaging were focused on telecoms connectivity, infrastructure, and back end systems. In 2016 A2P messaging will see key improvements in the front end layer, giving the A2P messaging platform a new face and improved UX.
The new front-end is crucial for a better utilization of evolved reporting, as well as real-time industry comparisons and recommendations, which is often key to improving messaging campaigns and getting the most out of messaging projects of any kind.
What changes need to be made to speed up developments and what can hold them back?
Mobile operators are the key component in the A2P messaging industry success and we will continue to evangelise the benefits it brings to their bottom line. A2P SMS is not the operators’ core business and the specialised processes and technologies needed to deploy and run an A2P SMS business are often seen as cost and resource prohibitive. That’s where the specialised A2P SMS companies need to focus their efforts – in developing flexible and innovative business models that can be easily implemented without capital outlay or resource allocation.
Which technologies will be the most important in emerging markets in 2016?
OTT; Big data; enterprise cloud; SaaS; operator data; mobile data; consumer apps.
OTT will see continuous growth, especially through developing new ways to monetise, and introducing new features and services, ranging from money transfer to integration of other services (e.g. ride ordering, m-commerce etc.).
Enterprises will seek to improve efficiency and multiple facets of their customer communication, continuing their orientation towards cloud services as the most cost-effective solution.
Mobile data will continue its surge in data-hungry emerging markets, which are the next big driver of mobile services worldwide.
Closely linked are consumer apps, which will innovate to bring new services and more choice to mobile users in developing markets.
Silvio Kutic is the Founder and CEO of Infobip.