The Next Battlefront in the Mobile Engagement Revolution

Remember when Application-to-Person (A2P) SMS was the bleeding edge of mobile customer engagement?  Those days are long gone — it’s now just “table stakes” for any mobile customer experience (CX).

The second innovation wave for mobile customer engagement came with Communications Platform as a Service (CPaaS). CPaaS offers the enterprise many more ways to expand and enrich that mobile customer experience.

CPaaS is becoming a major driver in enterprise businesses’ efforts to develop and pursue a more mature digital transformation strategy.  The customer experience aspect of that digital transformation has evolved from a necessary evil to a strategic imperative in today’s “experience-first” economy.

While A2P SMS globally has slowed to a 6% annual growth rate, the CPaaS market continues to grow at 40% annually. CPaaS service providers, like Syniverse and Twilio, have found success providing enterprises with the critical tools they need to transform their customer experiences into the strategic differentiators required to remain or emerge as key players in their respective industries.

At Syniverse, we now see a new battlefront forming in the mobile engagement revolution — and one we feel uniquely positioned to confront and win in.  As we do, we’ll continue to help enterprises perfect their digital transformation strategies and customer experience evolutions.

The next wave of CPaaS is upon us — causing the industry to pivot quickly
CPaaS market growth thus far has really been fueled by what we call “digital natives” — the upstart, new kids on the block looking to disintermediate the established, bricks-and-mortar companies of the world.  Digital natives include the over the top (OTT) players, fin tech customers, and the FAANG portfolio of tech stock companies such as Facebook, Apple, Amazon, Netflix and Google.

Digital natives are coders at heart.  They love do-it-yourself APIs to code to.  They wouldn’t have it any other way.

Well, it turns out that the digital natives didn’t take over the world.  They made a big impact, no doubt.  But there are plenty of bricks-and-mortar companies out there that survived the digital natives and are not made up of coders.  We call them the “digital adopters” and, it turns out, they’re quite often struggling with their own digital transformations.  So, they’re not so interested in building their mobile engagement applications from scratch.  They want help.  That’s where we come in.

This, in essence, is the next battlefront in the Mobile Engagement revolution.

Taking customers from digital adoption to digital transformation
Candid conversations with customers have shown pent up demand for customized, intelligent, and coordinated mobile engagement solutions that are perhaps long overdue for many of these Fortune 2000 bricks-and-mortar enterprises.  The COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated this demand as social distancing has now made mobile engagement the only means of customer interaction.  It is now literally a matter of survival for enterprises to drastically transform their mobile customer experiences.

At Syniverse, we focus intensely on becoming strategic partners to these digital adopter enterprises.  They rely on us to help them develop, tweak and expand their mobile customer engagement experiences.  We support them with a white-glove approach that allows them to focus on their businesses while we handle what we’re good at — mobile customer engagement.

While the digital adopters may have lagged behind the digital natives, that hasn’t stopped them from having a clear and advanced notion of how they want to digitally engage with their customers.

In fact, they are asking for customer engagement solutions that are increasingly sophisticated on numerous fronts, including:

  • A variety of pre-message checks to verify phone numbers and perform certain security checks (SIM Swap detection, for instance).
  • An ability to send messages via the customer’s preferred channel, with the capability to fall back to an alternate channel if the message does not get through.
  • An ability to coordinate a coherent “conversation” across multiple channels (the true meaning of omni-channel).
  • A solution that can “plug and play with how they do business today.”  These solutions must be able to connect and integrate with their existing ERP SaaS platforms, thus allowing those key systems to feed information to the CX solution that aids the customer, but also helps support feedback information that may come back from the customer.

Take, for example, if a customer wants to launch a customer survey campaign using Salesforce.  We have the ability to extract user data such as contact information or channel preferences, pass that data through a variety of filters to narrow down by geographical region or age, launch the campaign across their preferred channels, and then re-populate feedback received from customer back into the customer’s CRM database so they have a holistic view of the conversation going on with their customers at any given point.

Delivering these more sophisticated CX solutions will require an orchestration engine — something we’ve developed at Syniverse and that will be another critical component for success in this new battlefront.

So, while a rich CPaaS portfolio is absolutely required, the real value comes from leveraging orchestration to combine them with an extensive set of SaaS connectors and integrations for truly unique CX solutions.  And digital adopters need a co-creation partner to create and enhance these customized CX solutions on their behalf.  Syniverse is the ideal co-creation partner for this blossoming digital adopter mobile CX market.

Jeff serves as Vice President of Product Management, Cloud Messaging, for Syniverse. He manages a diverse portfolio composed of Syniverse’s industry-leading omnichannel Communications Platform as a Service (CPaaS) solution, secure private messaging, and mobile operator hubbing services for consumer messaging. Prior to Syniverse, Jeff served as Vice President of Product Management and Business Development at Tata Communications for several technologies, markets, and services, including enterprise mobility, internet of things (IoT) connectivity, session initiation protocol (SIP) trunking, wholesale voice, and application-to-person (A2P) messaging. He also held product management leadership positions with AT&T, AT&T Bell Labs, ITXC, Teleglobe and Vesta Technologies. He earned a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering at the State University of New York at Buffalo. He also holds an MBA from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania and a Master’s of Engineering from Cornell University.

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