When you started sending SMS to people in more countries, you thought that using multiple providers would give you more reliability and lower costs. Now you’ve realized that managing multiple providers is only giving you headaches. When messages aren’t going through in one country, you have to remember who you were dealing with for that country. You can’t negotiate better pricing because your business is spread out across several providers; you don’t generate enough business with any single provider to reach an economy of scale.
Maybe it’s time to think about finding a provider who has all the coverage you need, can be your single point of contact, and you can take advantage of economies of scale for not just better pricing, but more efficient delivery as well.
Here’s why consolidating with one provider is a smart strategy for global messaging.
One country now, but more countries later, you’re covered
Think you don’t need a global provider because you only send messages to one country? Think again. You might only need to send SMS messages to one country now, but what about down the road? Wouldn’t it be much easier to start and keep working with one company who you can grow with instead of needing to shop around for another SMS provider when you want to expand to other countries? SMS providers with global coverage don’t cost more than smaller providers; they cost less. Global providers have better agreements around the world that mean you get a great deal whether you’re sending to one country or one hundred.
And then there are all the other benefits of a company who has the scale and systems to be a global messaging provider: redundancy, support, infrastructure, insight, and flexible APIs.
Redundancy is built in
Small providers might have one or two ways to deliver messages in a particular country. It’s complicated to get agreements with carriers and mobile network operators in different countries, so smaller providers pick one way to deliver messages and possibly a back up through another provider and stop there. Large providers work and negotiate at a global scale. A single connection with a carrier isn’t enough to serve their customers. Reliability comes from redundancy. Redundancy comes from having direct connections to several operators in each country plus alternate connections to fall back on.
As counterintuitive as it seems, a single, large SMS provider is more reliable because to serve their customers they must maintain near-perfect delivery rates. You can’t do that if you don’t have redundancy.
Less work to integrate into your systems
Each provider you work with will have their own way to connect and create an SMS on their system. For your developers this means learning another API (the way programs talk to each other) and integrating that new API into your systems. Using more than one API means your app is more complicated so it can send messages through different providers for different countries. The more complex an app is the more more prone to bugs it is. The more bugs and complexity, the longer it takes to release new features and fix things that are broken.
Using a single provider means using one API so everything in your app becomes easier to manage. If there is a bug in your app, your developers don’t have to first try to figure out which API is the problem, they know where to start looking right away. When your developers need expert support, they have one place to go for the solution and won’t get different companies blaming each other for a problem.
Consistent support, deep experience, and a trusted partner who understands your business
When you work with a single company, it’s not just your developers who get better support, you do too. A single account manager learns about your business, your goals, and your needs. Global messaging providers have experts around the world an account manager can ask to give you the best advice regardless of which country you need help with. Your account manager sees the big picture. They work with you to know which countries you want to reach and how best to help you.
Working with a single messaging provider who covers all the countries you want to be in, means you are working with a company with the depth and breadth to overcome any obstacle you might face.
And when issues come, your provider has the complete picture of your business at hand. They can often solve a problem before you’re even aware of it and proactively fix it. When you have connections spread around different solution providers, no one can see the whole picture. When a problem arises, one partner’s solution could cause a problem somewhere else and cost you money. A single provider has the unified view to fix a problem and not cause a cascade of other issues in its wake.
Economies of scale don’t just save money
When you think about economies of scale, saving money is usually your first thought. True, economies of scale often do mean reduced cost, but scale means much more than just saving money. Economies of scale also mean simplifying your entire messaging infrastructure.
Let’s say you want to send a message to five different countries. If you’re using three different providers to cover those countries that’s three different websites to visit to set up the campaign. That’s setting up the message three different times (each time you could make a mistake). That’s tracking delivery across three different reporting systems and three different data sets to integrate into your system. This doesn’t even cover making sure you follow SMS message regulations in the five different countries or managing different short and long codes you might need.
With a single provider you have one portal to set up your campaign, one place to enter the message, one place to set up numbers for all the countries, and when the campaign is done, a singular, transparent report.
Which would you rather do? Visit and manage your campaign on three sites or one?
A single, global provider means fewer headaches
Until recently there wasn’t a lot of choice for global SMS campaigns. Often, you had to use a different provider for different countries. Many people thought using multiple providers reduced risk by not having a single point of failure—you could always switch to a different provider, unless the other providers didn’t have access to that country.
In reality, a single global provider gives you access to a redundant messaging infrastructure built to deliver messages anywhere in the world. You get a single point of contact for support and advice about your messaging strategy. And with economies of scale you get the most cost effective solutions that also save you the hassle of repeating work across several different providers.