With all the commotion surrounding Enterprise 2.0, social networking tools and video enhancements have received most of the attention in the enterprise software sector, leaving methods like text messaging and SMS on the back burner. Both sides arguing the benefits of Enterprise 2.0 have made convincing statements, and it is certainly true that social networking is extremely beneficial for small businesses, who communicate with their customers on a more personal level. Social networking platforms like Twitter and Facebook, while providing real-time status updates and some collaboration perks, for the most part create noise in the enterprise atmosphere—at least for now.
For those businesses looking to strengthen customer relationships without the distracting clamor of some social and collaboration tools, SoundBite Communications is offering a medium for keeping contact with customers throughout the relationship lifecycle—via via text messaging.
SoundBite provides multichannel communications solutions, and they’ve recently released two products to their SoundBite Engage platform: Dialog Engine, and Agent Text Portal. Dialog Engine enables automated text messaging conversations by implementing custom business logic, while Agent Text Portal allows sales agents to send text messages according to customizable business rules in the platform. Aside from allowing sales teams to stay in touch throughout the sales cycle, the idea is to have more robust conversation with clients, thereby improving the customer’s experience. SoundBite has also released a contact-center specific offering, Contact Center Text Messaging Solution, which improves productivity and lowers telephony costs.
The whole family of products extends the uses for text messaging and SMS, but I’m curious to see how popular this program will become. Surely text messaging abilities are auspicious tools for any salesman’s arsenal—because it’s true, having a means of staying in touch often is invaluable—and multichannel approaches are always good. But text messages can sometimes be invasive, and I’m interested to see how they play out in the enterprise sphere.