Consumers are increasingly demanding a consistent and personalised service experience available 24/7 across their channel of choice. CSPs (Communication Service Providers) have long understood that providing a superior customer experience is the ticket to building a sustainable competitive advantage for themselves.
The ability to deliver such a superior user experience, while a priority for most service providers has been held back and blocked by the high cost of development both in time and money as well as the complexity of working in channel silos and dealing with different vendors.
At Wavenet, we have been able to understand the barriers to creating superior user experiences and address the need by creating cohesive self service experiences across legacy channels such as SMS, USSD and IVR, established digital channels such as Mobile Apps and emerging digital channels such as VPA and RCS.
Wavenet RCS : Driving revenue and continuous customer engagement with an evolved messaging experience
People by nature are social beings, communicating and sharing information with each other about anything that catches their interest. SMS (Short Messaging Service) laid the foundations for such communication to be reliable, simple and secure, helping Operators monetise any P2P(Peer to Peer) and A2P(Application to Peer) interactions. With the Telecom networks advancing to provision better data capabilities, external applications aptly named as “Over The Top” started leveraging the underlying Telecom infrastructure to provide media and function rich messaging and voice services.
In 2007, the GSMA started an initiative called RCS (Rich Communication Services) where Operators could offer users an enhanced messaging experience akin to what they have grown to expect from OTT apps. Although, progress has been made with RCS over the last decade, it wasn’t up until 2016, that a true revival took place in the mobile messaging space with RCS. GSMA is now working with Operators, vendors such as Wavenet and brands worldwide to accelerate the adoption of RCS specifically for the business to consumer space to enable MaaP (Messaging as a Platform) services.
Why RCS now?
When Google announced the acquisition of Jibe in 2015, many industry incumbents started to reevaluate RCS as a potential evolution to the Operator’s SMS. Google’s interest was to offer their 1.4 billion Android users (Source: GSMA), a unified and enriched messaging experience. In order to ensure the rapid adoption of RCS as the default choice of users for messaging, Google started baking in RCS natively to android handsets. Operators can easily leverage the baked in RCS clients, to concentrate their efforts on enabling RCS technology in their networks, for deeper customer engagement and increased revenue.
How can RCS help Operators grow their revenue and engage more with users?
Subscriber’s mobile activities present a great opportunity for Operators to extract value and grow their revenue. It is evident, that over 90% of a user’s mobile engagement is in services such as consuming content online, commerce etc(Source: GSMA) that are not controlled by Operators. Operators need an avenue by which more services can be provided and controlled directly by them on both legacy and IP networks. Mobile messaging is an ideal platform that Operators can explore to meet that need.
The impact that OTTs had on P2P mobile messaging is significant with growth swinging in favour of OTTs. However, an area that holds promise for Operators, is in A2P SMS messaging with projected growth of $74bn by 2021. This is because the penetration, credibility and trust offered by Operators cannot be matched by OTTs. Therefore, It makes commercial sense for Operators to evolve messaging from SMS to RCS based MaaP(Messaging as a Platform) especially for A2P messaging in order to protect and grow their revenue.
MaaP also facilitates Operators to provision the business to consumer messaging end-to-end, allowing Operators to claim the revenue pie completely. This is more favourable for Operators, than being limited to only receiving carrier charges when cloud based communication providers fulfill the message and voice based services for businesses such as Uber.
MaaP also addresses the limitations faced by brands with A2P messaging, where the interactions are restricted to pushing a promotional update or alert. Businesses understand that to gain a competitive advantage, it is key to engage and facilitate actions for their customers such as with promotions, conversational commerce and customer services. MaaP opens a universal messaging avenue where consumers can interact and transact with their brands, meeting the continuous need of people for information rich conversations and service fulfillment. This is in stark contrast to the increased overhead brands have to bear when using social media for updates, customer hotlines for customer services and mobile apps for transactions.
Monetisation and Customer engagement opportunities
Consumers expect a personalised and perceptive touch to their interactions with businesses. Businesses are also increasingly looking at AI to augment their services. The utilisation of plugins, chatbots and AI in MaaP, allows brands to fully provision real time consumer engagement, updates and conversational commerce.
MaaP can be used by Operators as well. For instance, an Operator can use MaaP to engage subscribers for zero credit services. This will help Operators to interact with the user at the point of need and offer useful solutions using hot buttons and cards, making the experience more personal and pleasant. It’s a win win situation for both the user and Operator.
Moreover, Operators can allow enterprise customers to deliver the experience of conversational commerce to the end users of their products and services. For example, the Operator can provision MaaP for Booking.com, enriching the everyday experience of users when they try to book a hotel.
How Wavenet enables MaaP for Operators
Wavenet’s Prime is a consolidated messaging platform capable of handling multiple message types such as P2P and A2P with built in resilience, scalability and operational ease.Prime facilitates both backward compatibility as well as adaptability to future ready solutions such as IP-SM gateway and RCS server.
As illustrated in the diagram, Prime can connect either to Wavenet’s RCS server or to any third party RCS server within the Operator’s network. The RCS server in turn communicates with the RCS clients already baked into user’s mobile devices to deliver the MaaP experience for fruitful branding activities, more fulfilling customer interactions and revenue growth for Operators and brands alike.
Wavenet Virtual Private Assistant in Self Care
Mobile subscribers are looking for instant responses and personalized services when interacting with Operators. Wavenet’s VPA(Virtual Personal Assistant), enables the the next generation of automated self-care services utilising the power of Google Assistant to help Operators provide their subscribers instant service fulfilment, on a 24/7 basis with a personalised user experience. It allows Android users to use their device inbuilt virtual assistant to interact with Operator services via speech or text and get an instant response.
Wavenet solution comes with built-in capability for Android “Google Virtual Assistant”
Natural language responses are delivered via the integration with Google language APIs.
Integration and orchestration of Operator Core functions are enabled through Fusion Orchestrator via REST APIs and pre-built connectors.