SMS Text Messaging Provides Alternative to Smartphones

In the greater office world, email is the catch-all form of communication for everything we do. Email is how we make company announcements, how we brainstorm important initiatives, and even how we say hello in the morning most days.

Though, there is a world outside email. Many organizations, such as medical facilities, public service organizations (police, fire department), and others have employees that are almost never at a computer desk. And even in more typical businesses, there are plenty of employees (technicians, sales staff, human resources) that are often away from the desk for hours at a time. So, how do you communicate critical, to-the-minute information with these individuals? For many organizations, it's still through email. Only now, you're accessing Outlook through a BlackBerry.

I learned about an interesting solution today that falls into something of a middle ground—in other words, mobile communication without the cost of smartphones. This solution is Globaltel Media's enterprise SMS technology.

How the Technology Works
Basically, using Globaltel Media's Web Services API, organizations can set up an infrastructure that communicates important information through text messages. The whole system can be managed on a computer, and then all of these text messages can be stored, sorted, and managed. The messages are also encrypted, so security is in check. Any cell phone with SMS can receive the messages, so an organization shouldn't need to actually purchase devices for most employees.

GlobalTel's technology is also applicable for external communication, much like sales emails or Twitter feeds. So, for instance, a company could use the technology to send promotions or coupons through SMS.

"A lot of these infrastructure-based companies have struggled with getting into wireless," said Robert Sanchez, CEO of Globaltel Media. "This is really their way to get into wireless, whether it's with customer support or clients or marketing. This is the best way to do it without having to buy a frequency, license, or partnering up with one carrier that can't do it all."

Pricing for the solution starts at $500/month for 10,000 text messages, and then adds 2 cents per additional message. So, if you send one company announcement to 50 employees, that would count as 50 messages. Additional discounts for high-volume messaging are available.

Not for Everyone
OK, I'll admit, most organizations with a strong, vested interest in mobile will probably prefer to build a managed smartphone infrastructure—that way, your mobile users have email, web browsing, the whole nine yards. But, for organizations that have a need for this form of communication but can't afford the costs of setting up this infrastructure, the enterprise SMS route provides an interesting workaround.

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