What are the best ways for telecoms to shape and launch A2P messaging services for enterprises, reduce time to market and improve revenue? How to add agility and flexibility when playing in the dynamic A2P SMS market?
Business models and technical implementation can be quite different for telecoms, depending on the country and region they operate in, as well as their size. Also, enterprises speak a different language; implementation scenarios they may require and business goals they want to achieve are diverse.
Recent A2P messaging workshop hosted by Infobip in Dubai addressed some of these topics, having gathered over 100 professionals from 35 telecoms operators and specialist companies from around the world.
A2P and P2P SMS are two very different worlds. A2P SMS has seen tremendous changes and evolution over the years; it emerged as a completely new market, very much different from the older P2P SMS market that MNOs were used to. Telecom operators need to address this new market on a whole new level. Enterprise messaging has its own set of rules, technologies and business models that, when combined, provide value for businesses in engaging consumers and adding security.
Even though telecoms have had a rich portfolio of enterprise clients, they often lacked key ingredients needed to provide them A2P messaging services. Cross-sale opportunity seems more than clear, and yet it rarely lives up to its full potential.
A2P SMS messaging niche implies both technical and operational challenge. Dedicated software solutions, 24/7 technical support, engineering consultancy - these are highly specialised areas in an otherwise specialised industry, and generally mobile operators were thin on the kind of expertise necessary to meet these needs.
So it comes as no surprise that - inside telecoms themselves - calls for agility in addressing the A2P SMS opportunity have been louder in recent years.
Enterprise partnership was one of the possible implementation models examined at the conference. Under this model, telecoms and specialised messaging providers are uniting their key strengths to shape and market the robust and flexible A2P SMS technology to large enterprises.
With messaging providers handling the technical and operational intricacies of professional SMS and covering the infrastructure and sales outlay, operators have a low-risk and no-capex proposition in a potentially very lucrative industry.
A step further from the client-vendor model, partnerships enable superior understanding of the client’s needs, a prerequisite for successful implementation of technologies. The relationship extends beyond technology, allowing partners to share business insights and develop new services much faster.
Network protection and high end solutions that provide complete traffic transparency and visibility are always a hot topic. As the industry moves towards an encompassing understanding of A2P messaging dynamics, cost control, accurate revenue and expenditure assessments are becoming the new standard for both ends of the spectrum.
How to improve network security and monetize A2P messaging traffic is a lasting concern for operators - monitoring and monetising the entire scope of traffic generated on their network helps reach revenue projections and leaves a lasting impact on service-level satisfaction of their entire subscriber base.
Ground-breaking Business-as-a-Service model is increasingly debated as the natural next stage in the progression of cloud services in general. According to some, cloud providers will continue to add modular operational elements on top of the infrastructure, platform and software that have already moved to the cloud. By layering specialist client care, sales, admin and operational resources on top of their network, MNOs can reach unprecedented levels of service quality for their A2P messaging business.
When fully applied to A2P messaging sphere, BaaS results in the ability for telecoms to outsource their complete A2P messaging business, including sales, onboarding and support processes, and just split the acquired revenue at the end of each month. This approach allows the operators to focus on their core business and add revenue from A2P messaging flowing through their network; without risk, capital expenditures or additional burden to their day-to-day operation.
According to one of the conference delegates Jason Bryan, whose team at Roaming Consulting conducted a survey on A2P SMS vendors, revenue increase is the most important criteria for operators when choosing a vendor, followed by global reach and security.
Transparency Market Research study puts the value of the global A2P SMS market at US$53.07 billion in 2013. From 2014-2020 a CAGR of 4.2% is expected, with the total market value expected to spike to US$70.32 billion in 2020.