How to get ROI from your enterprise mobile messaging

With the popularity of peer-to-peer (P2P) messaging apps like WhatsApp and Skype, there’s an ongoing debate on the impact of P2P apps versus application-to-person (A2P) messaging technologies for the enterprise- particularly in regards to reliability, scalability and security.

A major new survey by IDC and commissioned by OpenMarket has found that businesses are starting to use mobile messaging for functions as varied as customer service, IT and security, human resources, operations and logistics, and sales and marketing. 62% of the global organisations surveyed said they have more than one mobile platform deployed, and over 78% have more than one platform for the same use case across various departments.

> See also: 7 million 18-30 year olds demand WhatsApp style customer service messaging from their banks

But, IDC warns, they could be negating any positive benefits through a siloed and disjointed approach to mobile strategy. This is especially worrying when you consider that 75% of organisations demand return on investment on their mobile messaging initiatives in less than year.

In order to make their investments count, enterprises must transition from them ‘one problem at a time,’ says IDC, to a flexible mobile messaging platform that supports multiple use cases across business functions. This means implementing a streamlined platform with global reach that can be leveraged for use cases company-wide.

To do this, 29.7% of enterprises are looking to partner with a mobile messaging specialist, and a majority desires a global provider.

‘With mobile devices in the hands of employees and customers who show a preference for messaging- based communications, businesses should focus on proven mobile communication formats such as SMS and MMS,’ said Robert Parker, group vice president, IDC Insights.

‘Enterprises must avoid deploying single use case products, and should seek comprehensive solutions that improve customer and employee communications across the business. To do so, they should select providers that have domain expertise, service flexibility, optimal professional services, and a knowledgeable customer service staff to ensure they are getting the proper support for all their mobile messaging initiatives.’

> See also: WhatsApp broke privacy law, data watchdogs claim

According to IDC, 70% of enterprises use mobile messaging for internal communications. However, the largest area for future growth in the adoption of SMS and MMS is customer experience-focused initiatives such as customer surveys, opening up SMS channels for customer support and providing valuable, time-sensitive alerts and reminders. 

‘This research validates the importance of traditional mobile messaging like SMS within the enterprise, while highlighting adoption and investment pitfalls that have limited ROI for far too long,’ said Jay Emmet, general manager of OpenMarket. ‘With billions of mobile subscribers across the globe, it is now the exception to see someone without a messaging-capable device, and enterprises must capitalize on this opportunity.’

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Ben Rossi

Ben was Vitesse Media's editorial director, leading content creation and editorial strategy across all Vitesse products, including its market-leading B2B and consumer magazines, websites, research and...

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