Wednesday, December 14, 2011

International Messaging Becomes Transparent

International SMS sending, simplified
Sending a text message to your friend in the UK is generally a pretty easy thing to do.  Bring up their name in your smartphone's address book or enter the number in the address field, then enter your message and hit "Send." QED, as they say. 

Sending messages from a short code, which is what enterprises and professional organizations of all stripes must use instead of a regular mobile number, has been much more problematic.  The short code system (explained in a video HERE) was created by the carriers in the U.S. to facilitate cross-carrier interoperability - which is a fancy way of saying that you would be able to send a message from one carrier to another.  It wasn't very long ago, in fact, that a Verizon user couldn't text an AT&T user. 


The short code system works very well for a lot of reasons but when sending messages from a short code to an international destination it was, for a long time, unduly complicated.  Different protocols, the need to know which carrier was on the receiving end of the message, the requirement to use different gateways and much more made it impractical to plan on sending messages to anyone overseas. 

This created a difficult situation for businesses that had a mix of domestic and international personnel or machinery (yes, we have customers that use SMS to control machines - it's a very inexpensive way of machine-to-machine communication). 

It took some work but we've resolved that problem.  Now TextPower customers don't have to do anything other than putting a plus sign ("+") and the country code before the mobile number that they want to send a text.  Whether our customers use our web-based "Express" application that includes groups, name tags and other handy features, or our powerful APIs that allow a much more granular level of control, it's now completely transparent to the sender. 

We take great pride in our technical team here but they really outdid themselves on this one.  We call it "transparent international sending" because it's so easy to use.

The world just got a little smaller - at least from a messaging company's perspective.