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Enterprises are faced with a plethora of choices and decisions when it comes to outbound and inbound communications. From a messaging perspective, SMS remains an important engagement channel for enterprises, as evidenced by continued growth in application-to-person (A2P) SMS traffic. However, organizations recognize that their customers are using multiple and more sophisticated messaging services; consequently, enterprises must be prepared to adapt their own infrastructure so that they are ready to converse with their customers in the preferred communications context for any given interaction. 

For the enterprise, that means closely monitoring trends in consumer communications behaviors and assessing the viability of emerging, relevant technologies such as RCS-based enhanced SMS/advanced messaging services, and chat bots for chat apps, social networks, and SMS.

Key messages

  • Organizational use of SMS as a customer communications channel continues to grow, and actionable SMS
    is becoming increasingly important to enterprises, with 23% of survey respondents stating that their use
    of two-way SMS had increased over the past 12 months.
  • Pricing elasticity continues to play a role in the A2P SMS ecosystem, with 54% of respondents saying that
    they would send more A2P SMS traffic if the per-message price of an A2P SMS were reduced.
  • Over a third of respondents, 36%, indicated their organizations would be interested in using an enhanced
    SMS/advanced messaging service, such as a service based on the GSM Association (GSMA)'s Rich
    Communications Services (RCS). Most of these respondents said they would be interested in the rich
    communications capabilities of such a service, including the ability to send images and videos; they would
    also be interested if such a service enabled a chat-bot-like interaction with their customers.
  • Most of the survey respondents who indicated that their organizations would be interested in using an
    enhanced SMS service said they expect to pay a premium to use it, with their preferred pricing model
    being to pay for a bundle of messages (for example, 10 messages) on a variable rate based on total
    messaging volumes.
  • A quarter of respondents said that their organizations were already using chat bots, with most having
    deployed chat bots via chat apps or social media.
  • A high proportion of respondents who said that their organizations had already deployed chat bots, said
    that their companies were already measuring the benefits of doing so in terms of improved customer
    service, increased revenues, and reduced churn.

Download the full whitepaper

Ovum's Enterprise Messaging Survey 2017, conducted in partnership with cloud communications provider CLX Communications and its subsidiary mobile solutions provider, Symsoft, canvassed 100 companies in seven countries: Brazil, China, France, Germany, India, the UK, and the US. The survey was conducted in May 2017.



  • Summary
  • Enterprise SMS Traffic grows alongside familiarity with use cases
  • Hope for RCS: Survey shows enterprise interest in enhanced SMS services
  • Chat bots are taking their place in customer service, across multiple channels
  • Conclusions
Mapping the Future of Enterprise Messaging: SMS, RCS, and Chat Bots Whitepaper

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