Don’t Shoot the SMS Messenger
Texting is without doubt the best medium to get an urgent message to a member of staff away from the office. Be it information about a client, or an urgent alert to a network failure or environmental alarm. In practice, it can be a case of crossing your fingers, and hoping the message is received.
In a business environment, the traditional method of sending a text message is to use a GSM modem, or an Internet based service provider, both methods have serious drawbacks.
Both methods rely on a contract or pre-payment scheme; these involve a large amount of administration.
Whilst Internet based SMS solutions are ideal for marketing and other non-time critical messages, they cannot be relied upon to deliver urgent business information, or alerts from a monitoring system. Often, message credits have to be purchased in advance, which are time limited and void if not used within a billing period. Internet based messaging should never be used to report network or connectivity problems, as the message will only be transmitted when the problem has been resolved.
GSM modems offer a more reliable solution, but the construction of modern buildings often result in difficulties finding a suitable location for reliable operation.
An emerging technology overcomes the limitations of the traditional methods of sending text messages. Fixed Line SMS is provided by normal telephone operators, and offers the reliability that is expected of a traditional telephone line. It also offers the advantage of showing the senders normal landline number.
Fixed Line SMS involves no contract or subscription, it is charged by the telephony provider just like any other call. The cost per message is similar to the minimum charge for a voice call.
Fixed Line SMS also offers the ability for a company to receive messages from a mobile phone without the use of a short code. Radio Stations and Estate Agents find this particularly beneficial.
As Simon Brierley from UK Radio Station 107 The Bee stated “When setting up our texting solution, I was keen to avoid the long speech for the presenter. 11 digit numbers don’t make good radio, but neither do the ‘start your message with’ and ‘calls cost xxx plus your standard operator charge’ messages that come with a short code option. With Fixed Line SMS it’s just ‘call or text’ the same number – simple for the listener and the presenter”
The solution that 107 The Bee selected was the Z-text SMS modem from UK company, NTS Telecom. This is supplied with a simple email like software programme and is also suitable for integration with network and environmental monitoring software.
Simon Brierley went on to say “Installation was a doddle – as long as you’ve got an analogue line that’s Caller Display enabled, it really is plug and play!”
The Z-text SMS modem has been integrated with a number of third party solutions, including; M:Science SMS Server, Homeseer Home Automation software, Openxtra Hotspot environmental monitoring, and Intellipool Network Monitor software.