Bring Your Own Carrier for Business SMS in Microsoft Teams
This article by Elliot Mulley-Goodbarne was originally published here on UC Today
A lot of us will remember the time when SMS was the king of communication and the biggest problem with technology was school children writing essays with ‘txt spk’. Decades have moved on since then, and with that, the usage of text messaging has changed to become a tool for businesses as well as the place to send a quick message or check in with a loved one. According to the CTIA, 39 percent of businesses in the US are using text messaging to communicate with consumers with 53 percent of marketers using mobile messaging as part of their overall marketing strategy.
It’s not just from an enterprise perspective that SMS is being embraced. The support for texting is being reciprocated by the consumer, with 77 percent of the US population owning a smartphone and 76 percent already receiving text messages from businesses.
Those messages are often conversational from a bot for simple requests, often escalating to person-to-person conversations. That is a big reason why SmallBiz Trends found consumers are 4.5 times more likely to respond to a text than an email, and that response time is much quicker.
The popularity, and increasing use, of Microsoft Teams is well documented everywhere. For call integration from Teams to the PSTN the numbers are in the millions. TeamMate Technology believes that Teams also provides a great place to send and receive business text messages. With the introduction of the TeamMate SMS Connector, service providers can now bring an existing business SMS from any of the supported SMS Gateway providers to the user in Microsoft Teams.
“What we have found is many businesses and organizations using business texting also want to be accessible where they are working in Teams, and their service providers want to meet this demand with minimal disruption,” said Micah Singer, Managing Director, TeamMate Technology.
“In our TeamMate Connector 1.5 release, we allow our partners – service providers and distributors – to bring their own SMS provider’s phone numbers – Bandwidth, Inteliquent, Twilio. We automate the integration and allow texting between Teams and the SMS provider.”
Using SMS in Teams
Once integrated with their SMS numbers, Teams users can compose messages, select or add new recipients and receive Teams Activity Feed notifications on receipt of new messages.
TeamMate SMS Connector also embeds a branded Teams Application with historical text info and easier filtering for multiple numbers. All features are presented in Teams to create continuity for the user experience.
“Most service providers deliver business texts in a purpose-built app or desktop client. Like with phone calls, meetings and chat, there is demand to deliver this same service but into Microsoft Teams,” said Singer.
“With our solution, users don’t have to learn another app, they don’t have to learn another interface, they can use a platform they know and keep working with their existing service providers”