Using SMS technology in office enviroment

SMS messaging through the internet is already a great thing of its own, but now let's talk about the utilization of SMS technology specifically in the office environment. The functions this technology provides can easily be integrated to office life and mean a big relief. They can significantly improve the communication inside and outside the company.

First, I give you some overview about the technology you are about to implement. The description will explain the operational progress of this method, and how you can start it up.

For sending messages you most importantly need an SMS gateway to connect to the mobile network. This can be happened in two ways: with a GSM modem, or over the Internet. If you choose the appropriate software it will support both connections. Ozeki Message Server Next is probably the best of this type. By configuring more GSM modems and/or Internet (IP) connections you can achieve high performance and outstanding stability.

If you have a GSM modem connectivity it means that a GSM modem (or GSM phone) is attached to your PC with a phone to PC data cable. The modem has a SIM card which allows to connect to the GSM network. To setup this connection method, you need the following components:

SIM card + Modem + Data cable + Computer + SMS Gateway (SMS software)

In the case of having an Internet based connection (IP SMS connection) a TCP/IP link is used to connect to the Short Message Service Center (SMSC) of a mobile network or an SMS service provider. So you need to find an SMS service provider who can reach the mobile phones in your area and is able to provide SMS service through the Internet. In order to setup this solution you need the following prerequisites:

SMS Service Subscription + Internet connection + Computer + SMS Gateway

In general, when you make a decision whether you want to use an Internet SMS connection or a GSM modem the first and most important thing to check is the volume of SMS messages you expect to be sent or received in the system. If you will send or receive less then 12000 SMS messages per day a GSM modem will probably be a good option. If you will send or receive more, you should consider to use some kind of Internet SMS connection.

Before you choose from this two opportunities, you have to find the perfect SMS gateway which meets your requirements. As I mentioned before, I recommend Ozeki's product, not only because it supports both connections, from office aspect it has many utilizable functions, too. I review some of them now.

E-mail to sms

First of all, we have to mention the most important feature to improve office life: E-mail to SMS. It makes you able to notify your customers, business partners, or employees in SMS form about getting an e-mail from you. The SMS will contain just the right amount of information (for example the subject, or the first few words of the text) from what they can get to know what the e-mail is about. Even if it's an important meeting, a fancy sponsors' ball, or just a funny Christmas card from the boss (you), the recipient simply cannot miss it. Now, after discussing this feature's advantages, let's see the process itself.
  • The message from your used e-mail client is sent to the corporate server (for example: SMTP server).
  • From there it is forwarded to your SMS software.
  • The software will send the notification about your e-mail to the recipient's mobile phone in SMS form.

It only takes a few steps to get this method working – in case you have an SMS gateway.

Text to speech

This function enables you to hear your text messages in voice form. With a software containing this function your SMS texts can be received by your computer where the program converts them to speech.

SMS (text) -- computer (text) -- software (text -- speech) -- You (speech)

Let me demonstrate with a real-life example how this function can be utilized in office environment. Say there is an ice-cube distributor company that uses SMS technology in order to keep in touch with the employees. They transport ice countrywide and use an automatic SMS reader to get information from the drivers about their trip. If a driver arrives to the destination he sends an SMS to the center where it is read aloud automatically and the text also appears on a huge board. This way the operators get to know that the driver's journey was smooth and the product arrived in time. Because this process is automatic, the operators don't have to watch the monitor constantly, they will hear immediately if an SMS comes in.

Address book

In an address book you can gather all the important data about every people you want to get in touch or keep in touch. These people can be customers, employers, friends, or family members, too. You can make different groups for different people. It follows that you can send messages to all the members of one selected group at the same time. This selectivity makes communication way more efficient.

Address book in office

Two-factor authentication

Some exceptional sms softwares are able to protect your corporate IT environment against unauthenticated intruders. This kind of protection can be achieved by using two-factor authentication. SMS messages play a huge role in the authetication process:
  • User login with username and password
  • If the first step succeed, the user's mobile telephone number is looked up from a database (or active directory)
  • A one time password is generated and is sent to the user
  • User enters one time password
  • Authentication completed

It's good to know that the one time password is randomly generated from numbers and characters, and different at every time. This provides absolute security to your system.

Two factor authentication

Two-factor authentication process

If you would like to implement the mentioned advantages to your company's strategy, you should search for an SMS gateway that surely provides them. My opinion is that Ozeki Message Server Next is one of the bests and surely won't let you down.

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