Learn about enterprise SMS software

SMS API SMS Automation

Enterprise SMS Software

Enterprise SMS software can encompass a wide-ranging set of sophisticated features and capabilities but, contrary to the marketing efforts of SMS Software vendors, there is no industrial standard for what should and should not be included within a corporate SMS platform. However, a serious SMS software application should include the following overarching capabilities to cater for the sophisticated corporate IT environment.

Enterprise Grade Security

  • Secure channel for SMPP
  • HTTPS
  • Azure Stack security
  • Disaster recovery
  • Pen tested and code scanned
  • 24-Hour system monitoring

Process Automation

  • SMS alerts
  • Automated reporting via SMS
  • Email to SMS
  • SMS to Email with text parsing and triggered process automation
  • Easy to define business rules engine

Cross System Integration

  • Connectors for ERP, CRM, bespoke or industry specific applications
  • Web services connectivity
  • Data transformation
  • Flat file import routines

Workflow

  • Binary Yes/No decisions
  • Decision tree/routing capabilities

How do you identify the right corporate SMS platform for your organisation?

For IT or marketing professionals, the temptation is of course to jump straight into a product and start testing the features of a given SMS system. This is great if you just want to evaluate user experience from the off, but this shouldn’t be the foundation of your procurement decision. ToucanText takes a more business process-led approach to SMS solution proposals and recommends that organisations looking to evaluate enterprise SMS software should:

1. Define the ‘trigger points’ for executing an enterprise SMS service

Identifying business rules that will start your SMS communications are critical. For example, will the SMS communication be a scheduled-based event e.g. It is a Friday afternoon and your organisation needs to drive evening footfall to venues throughout a specific geographical region? In this instance, the enterprise SMS software would not only require scheduling functionality but also cross database querying capabilities that can apply complex database query criteria.

Alternatively, you may be looking for a corporate SMS software solution that can dynamically monitor your other business systems for trigger points or exceptions. For example, your organisation may have a number of slow moving stock items recorded in your ERP system and you would like SMS communications to be dynamically sent to previous purchasers or new prospects alike. All this is possible with the right corporate SMS solution.

Below is the free-to-use template to document all the sources of data that could trigger an SMS communication.

2. Map out your business processes which will pass through an enterprise SMS gateway

The larger the organisation the more dependencies or business rules will need to be adhered to. For example, an SMS marketing or bulk SMS campaign could be determined by a scheduled event, database trigger or external API call. But what else needs to happen? Should the corporate SMS solution be complimented by a triggered email marketing campaign? Do you want the resulting SMS software database log to be retrieved and written back into your customer relationship management applications for return on investment analysis or compliance purposes?

The danger of implementing an enterprise SMS solution without first mapping out the ‘before’ and ‘after’ scenarios could result in the creation of new data silos or critical failure points e.g. GDPR compliance in the European Union. Be careful.

3. Devise a list of enterprise SMS platform features you will actually use

You should not allow yourself to be wowed by SMS platform features that you won’t use or need. Take MMS for example. It can be horrifically expensive to use, can deliver very little value, but in a product demonstration environment it can look amazing. More often than not, many ‘flashy’ corporate SMS solution features are not used, but the organisation will end up contributing to their ongoing availability through maintenance or subscription fees.

We advise potential clients of our enterprise SMS software to make a list using the following simple criteria:

ToucanTable

Feature nameIs there an existing business driver for this feature?How do we intend to measure value?
e.g. MMSYesRevenue / Cost Reduction / Customer Satisfaction
e.g. VoiceYesRevenue / Cost Reduction / Customer Satisfaction
e.g. Another FeatureYesRevenue / Cost Reduction / Customer Satisfaction

Below is the free-to-use template to document all the features, company drivers and the value of SMS communications.

4. Categorise SMS communications as either transactional, business critical or marketing specific

Very few SMS providers openly admit that there is a price difference in SMS transmission costs depending on the type of SMS communications you send. In reality, the SMS industry is not too dissimilar from the email marketing sector in so far that transactional SMS needs to be more secure and reliable and therefore can cost more to route. Conversely, bulk SMS marketing campaigns, by their very nature, are less business critical and are price sensitive due to the volume often required. These forms of SMS marketing campaigns can often be routed via a different network which can result in slow or lower delivery rates.

The type of SMS messages you want to send will be a major factor in determining the range of SMS providers you can evaluate and the price per message you ultimately pay. Below is a short example checklist that you can expand for your message types:

SMS MessageTransaction / Business Critical / Marketing
eCommerce Purchase NotificationTransactional
Server Room NotificationBusiness Critical
Promotional CodeMarketing
Stock Level WarningsBusiness Critical

Below is the free-to-use template to document your organisation’s SMS message types.

When you have a clear list of the types of SMS communications you intend to use, you will be able to identify the right SMS provider for you and your organisation. In fact, it is not uncommon for corporate SMS buyers to engage with two SMS providers if they have multiple requirements.

Enterprise Text Messaging. Where does ToucanText sit in the market?

Two of the four ToucanText offerings sit within the enterprise SMS software space because of their flexibility or out-of-the-box features. These products include:

i. SMS Automation

SMS Automation is our flagship solution and is an industrial strength integration and business process automation platform which enables you to automatically send transactional SMS and business SMS communications. It can also incorporate sophisticated workflow approval processes so that bulk SMS message communications can incorporate ‘safeguards.’ For example, if a customer raises a customer support ticket in one business system they will either be dynamically removed from the next bulk SMS communication or you will be asked to authorise their removal.

Our SMS Automation software has been used for over two decades and can pull and push data to 99% of business applications. Common vendor applications we integrate SMS Automation with include:

  • SAP
  • Microsoft Dynamics
  • Sage (Global and Local Product Sets)
  • Epicor
  • Access
  • And many, many CRM, Support, WMS, Logistic and vertical specific solutions.

What are the headline features of the SMS Automation platform?

  • Code free SMS automation
  • Workflow and complex rules engine
  • Database connectivity via ODBC and OLEDB
  • Database trigger tools
  • Web Service Connectivity (REST or SOAP)
  • Dedicated ERP and CRM connectors (certified by vendors)
  • Industrial strength security (regular penetration testing and code scanned)
  • Error trapping and audit logs
  • Multi end point capabilities (email, SMS, API driven applications)

ii. SMS API

This SMS API is designed for corporate organisations with in-house development resources that wish to embed SMS capabilities into functionality they build. The SMS API offers a set of libraries to allow you to integrate our API into your code in minutes. These include:

  • C#
  • C# Async
  • HTTP
  • PHP SDK
  • VB.NET
  • VB.NET Async

automation example

ToucanText Enterprise SMS Software FAQs

  1. Can I see a non-sales demonstration of SMS Automation
  2. Yes, please contact us via info@toucantext.com or call 0330 998 0022 to arrange a demonstration.

  3. Can I access a trial SMS API account?
  4. Yes, please visit https://www.toucantext.com/developers/ and create an account.

  5. Can SMS Automation support multi-channel communications?
  6. Yes, but its not tied down to ‘our’ preferred delivery mechanisms. If you use Hubspot, Mailchimp, Marketo etc we can simply push your complimentary processes through these applications.

  7. Do you integrate with Salesforce?
  8. Yes, and practically any other business system.

  9. How do you manage database log growth?
  10. Not only does the platform dynamically manage database log growth, it can push the data to other systems, network locations or file storage systems.

  11. How is the product deployed?
  12. SMS Automation can be self-deployed or deployed by ToucanText. The SMS API is self-deployment only.

  13. Do you supply inbound numbers and short codes?
  14. Yes, we supply inbound numbers and shared or dedicated short codes.

For more information on how to integrate SMS into your apps or business systems, call 0330 998 0022 or email info@toucantext.com.

ToucanText Brochure - SMS Services for Business

Our global network enables you to connect to over 7 billion people, across 195 countries, via 1600 direct-to-carrier and Tier 1 connections, guaranteeing global outreach..

Download Brochure

From your desktop to someone's pocket

Get started with a free business trial