Finally! Avaya Messaging Service Brings Texting into the Business World
Everyone knows how popular texting is. Nearly 10 trillion text messages were sent last year. Of all U.S. cellphone owners, 80 percent of them use text messaging, also known as SMS (short message service). Its popularity among 18-24 year olds is the subject of many humorous comics and ads, as well as serious research: that cohort averages 4,000 text messages a month.
(This is a guest post by Mark Monday, Vice-President and General Manager for Collaboration Platforms at Avaya.)
Unsurprisingly, texting has become an essential collaboration tool for work, too. But texting remains a clumsy fit inside the office. Text messages from employee or customer to an employee may offer meaningful business information, contacts and schedules, but they almost always arrive to a personal mobile number; lack a corporate identity; and may or may not be attributable to a specific office location. This creates potential breaches of corporate security and compliance policies.
Mobilizing workers is a key goal for any business, but mobility without business identity or security is like walking down the street talking to oneself. Businesses can learn to live with BYOD as long as it is secure and provides an archive of the messages. Even mobile emails carry a corporate identity and security. Until now, texting did not live up to the standards set by lowly e-mail, and has not been ready for business.
The Avaya Messaging Service (AMS) enables true One Number communications for the SMS era. Employees at companies using Avaya Messaging Service can send texts and multimedia messages with photos or audio clips and have them appear to come from the worker’s office telephone extension. Those intra-office AMS messages are sent securely over an IP or cellular data network and encrypted. The recipient can be another employee using Avaya Messaging Service, or anyone in the world with a textable phone number. Moreover, anyone with a textable cell phone can now text your office phone number and have those messages displayed on your mobile phone, tablet or PC.
Avaya Messaging Service doesn’t require fancy technology. Any size business with conventional +1 Direct Inward Dial (DID) phone extensions can use Avaya Messaging Service. Based in the cloud, Avaya Messaging Service only requires workers to download a smartphone or PC client application. For IT, there’s no servers, no hardware, no maintenance, no installation. User apps are available for iOS, Android, Windows and the Mac operating systems. On your smartphone, the Avaya Messaging Service app will conveniently sit next to where you get your personal texts, while looking different enough so that there’s no confusion between personal texts and business texts.
The employee just downloads the app from the appropriate app store, enables the license from Avaya (each company has its own administration web site for easy activation and management) and customers or coworkers will immediately be able to text your office number. You’ll have a true One Number, which as I mentioned before, now bundles together your voice, fax and mobile phone numbers as well as your text messaging and instant messaging as well. Companies can also save on the cost of carrier-based text messaging plans because messages between co-workers only travel over the AMS network. Text messages originating from AMS only incur additional charges if sent to an international telephone number.
Besides being corporate identifiable, business texts have to be secure and ubiquitous. As mentioned earlier, Avaya Messaging Service provides a texting network in which all messages between users are encrypted, archived and attributable to a worker’s specific office telephone number. AMS also connects to workers’ existing corporate contact lists. And it supports all of the major mobile and PC platforms. Below is a
diagram depicting AMS, which any IT expert will vouch as being streamlined and simple:
There are would-be alternatives to Avaya Messaging Service. All lack key features, such as the ability to text non-subscribers, or limited security or lack of support for existing corporate DID numbering plans. Some use limited SMS short codes for one-way out messaging. All of these limitations create unnecessary friction that will rankle your employees and drive them back to plain old text messaging, costing your company more in the short and long run.
The Avaya Messaging Service is available for any enterprise whether it is an Avaya customer today or not. It is part of our mobile collaboration solution that helps businesses become more productive, responsive and better-equipped to grow and communicate. That’s due to AMS’s simplicity and low risk, both for the employee and the IT department. Contact Avaya and let us demonstrate how texting can become a valuable business collaboration tool for you, too.