Enterprise level companies are using SMS messaging for both customer and employee communications. In fact, a study last year showed 89% of enterprises use or plan to use SMS messaging starting this year.
That’s great news! But often these companies will investigate building their own technical solutions rather than outsource aspects of the business. So, an organisation that decides to use SMS messaging as a core part of their communications, may think about building their own SMS gateway. If your company is one of these, read on to see three reasons why building an SMS gateway in-house isn’t the best route for most enterprises.
It's Not Your Focus Area
Whatever your business is, it probably isn’t anything to do with SMS messaging (otherwise, you’d already be a provider of some sort, wouldn’t you?). So, you have no in-house expertise in the subject area. Could you hire some experts in the field? Yes, of course you could. But do you really want to?
You see, there’s a lot more to the SMS industry than the technical challenges of building a gateway. Beyond the technical requirements, there are negotiations and agreements with the mobile operators and aggregators. There are also security and legal considerations when dealing with electronic communications.
So, you’ll need to hire people who know the industry from a variety of perspectives if you plan to build your own SMS solution. And personnel are just the beginning of your costs.
Technically speaking, there is a lot of research and development done by developers of SMS gateways. There are costs for hardware, development, maintenance, and training. And there are per message costs to send using Tier 1 routes because at some point, any gateway needs to interface with an SMS aggregator or mobile operator. There are fees in that process that can’t be avoided.
If that sounds like a lot of work and money, it is. Well, to do it properly it is.
Now consider the alternative: You pay a few pence per message sent. No facilities, hardware, personnel, or maintenance beyond what you already have for your own applications.
Integration is Simpler
Chances are you already have applications you use for internal or customer communications – email, telephone, scheduling systems, online support programs, it could be many applications actually. When you are planning to add SMS messaging to that mix, you may be thinking it’s just a matter of adding the functionality to your existing programs.
And that’s probably true. Reputable SMS service providers offer application programming interface (API) that let you connect to their service using your applications. This makes it a simple thing to connect to an existing gateway without worrying about the extra costs or personnel to develop or manage it. You maintain control over the applications, data, and costs. It’s simpler, safer and more economical than building your own system.
How to Choose a Provider
Hopefully, you’re convinced that going it alone isn’t the best choice – unless you’re already in the SMS industry. But I hinted above that not all SMS providers do things the “proper” way. The truth is that it’s fairly easy, and relatively inexpensive, to throw up an SMS service that uses suspect routes and shies away from security, reliability, and the law.
There are steps you can take though, to ensure a provider is legitimate and suitable for your needs. In our SMS Buyers Guide, you’ll find 9 questions you should ask of any provider before you sign a contract or begin integrating your applications.
Reputable companies won’t hesitate to answer these questions. They are quite simple and the Guide provides you with expected responses so you can get a sense whether or not they are what they say they are.
The Guide also includes a handy checklist to help you keep track of the answers from the various providers you research. The fastsms information is already filled out for you, and our experts are happy to answer any other questions you may have via live chat, email or phone.