Due to its simplicity, convenience, and familiarity—messaging has become the primary channel of customer engagement for many businesses. With increasingly cluttered email inboxes, SMS messaging enables companies to provide instant value for enhanced business-customer relationships and transaction updates such as order confirmation, shipping/ delivery notifications, provide feedback, or get support. However, SMS is a legacy communication medium limited to the sheer brevity of texts coupled with a lack of rich media, which along with its susceptibility to fraud, makes it easy to come across as spam.
Brands are looking for new ways to communicate that overcome these limitations and allow them to automate customer communication by deploying chatbots to respond to customer queries. That said, Rich Communication Services (RCS), an upgrade to SMS, is set to revolutionize business messaging. Also referred to as SMS 2.0, it is a form of IP messaging that supports the sharing of high-resolution photos, videos, location, group chats, read receipts, suggested replies, among several other functions, through the native messaging app – the same app used to receive and send SMS. RCS is the messaging component of 5G and works on 3G and 4G networks that is currently available to over 600M monthly active users, globally.
While RCS was designed to transform business messaging— there are several adoption challenges as the APIs, platforms, and processes to enable brands to deliver RCS business messages to any mobile number in the world, as easily as they can deliver an SMS, are not yet available.
This is where Dotgo steps in, providing APIs and a cloud platform that allows developers to easily send rich conversational messages to any mobile in the world, regardless of the RCS infrastructure their mobile network operator (MNO) might be using. Dotgo’s APIs are used by brands directly; and increasingly by other cloud communication platforms that want to upgrade the business messaging experience for their customers. Examples of cloud communication providers, called CPaaS (Communication-Platforms-as-a- Service) include companies like Gupshup, Twilio, Sinch, Vonage Nexmo, Tata Communications, and GMS that provide APIs to brands.
Dotgo is led by a team of RCS experts with over two decades of experience in mobile and telecom technologies. Primary among them are Dr. Inderpal Mumick, the founder and CEO; Surinder Anand, founder and CTO; and Barinderpal Mumick, founder and VP Business Development. They were among the first to visualize some of the unique use cases of RCS Business Messaging, such as RichOTP®, RichSMS™, Rich Promotions, and Rich Notifications, and how to support them using APIs. They also saw the complexity of onboarding and delivering RCS messages across the globe and figured out how to abstract the backend complexity into simple APIs and processes, so that developers do not need to worry about that. Dr. Mumick has published over forty technical papers in leading research journals worldwide and authored over 35 issued US patents, several patent pending applications, and dozens of foreign patents.
Dotgo’s solution consists of a Cloud Messaging-as-a-Platform (MaaP) integrated with the RCS platforms from Google, the world’s largest provider of RCS infrastructure, as well as other RCS platforms deployed across the world. Using the Dotgo MaaP, the company provides several APIs and tools for developers to send RCS messages. Using the APIs and the platform,brands can migrate from old school SMS to RCS with trusted, secure, rich and conversational experience for their customers. Dotgo assists the CPaaS providers who are serving brands with SMS, to upgrade their infrastructure to support RCS. Currently, Dotgo has already partnered with some of the world’s biggest RCS providers, CPaaS providers and mobile network operators (MNOs), providing RCS connectivity to over 80 percent of the global RCS business messaging users, thereby establishing itself as an undisputed leader in the space.
We empower developers and brands by supporting them with the APIs, infrastructure, and services required to go live with rich business messaging; abstracting and hiding all the complexity from them – so that they can focus on their business
On the backend, Dotgo partners with MNOs to deliver RCS messages. Several MNOs even ask Dotgo to manage their entire RCS Business messaging service, and Dotgo has also been helping in transforming several markets into “country-complete” ones (where RCS business messaging is enabled on every carrier).
Dr. Mumick demonstrated a fascinating use case – RichOTP – that may well change the way one-time passwords (OTPs) are delivered in the future. The company provides a RichOTP API that lets anyone send OTPs in a secure, trusted, and branded manner. The result is a stunning “tap-to-authenticate” experience to complete a transaction or a login. Anyone can experience RichOTP by going to dotgo.com and creating an account. If you have an RCS capable device, you will receive a RichOTP, and can just tap to authenticate . The company says brands using RichOTP see up to 10 percent improvement in completion of transactions.
"We empower developers and brands by supporting them with the APIs, infrastructure, and services required to go live with rich business messaging; abstracting and hiding all the complexity from them – so they can focus on their business," explains Dr. Mumick. Once developers use the APIs to build chatbots that are a quintessential component of customer engagement, Dotgo also helps inbot discoverability by consumers, a growing concern for brands.
Dotgo Bot Store is the world's first and largest open directory of RCS and WhatsApp chatbots that enables brands to leverage their investments in developing bots by attaining more visibility and traffic. Users can discover, connect, and chat with bots by merely clicking the 'Connect Me' button of their preferred brands. So, visit dotgo.com and check whether your favorite brands have a chatbot presence.
To further illustrate the efficacy of Dotgo’s solutions, Dr. Mumick cites a case study where 9mobile, a leading mobile operator in Nigeria, approached them for assistance. 9mobile was Nigeria’s first operator to adopt RCS but did not know how to offer and monetize business messaging on RCS. 9mobile also sought to create an interactive conversational interface that responded immediately to common queries such as available data plans and airtime purchases. Dotgo successfully implemented the “Enin” bot using rich media cards, carousels, images, and suggested buttons—that quickly solved customer queries. In addition, the company enabled the brands and CPaaS providers to send RCS messages to 9mobile subscribers.
With RCS still in its infancy, Dotgo has been working with industry bodies like the GSMA and MEF to establish the frameworks and standards. The company is keen on maintaining its early lead on its competitors with continual investments and improvements of its cutting-edge APIs and tools. The founders have big dreams. They are focusing onlaunching RCS on a country-wide basis, and expanding into Europe, Americas, and Asia. Moreover, they are growing their worldwide connectivity to reach every RCS-enabled mobile number across the world. They just launched the Rich SMSTM that promises to rapidly accelerate the adoption of RCS, by delivering regular SMS messages over RCS channels to all RCS-enabled phones. Dr. Mumick sums up his vision: “Our goal is to make RCS business messaging, the standard mode of communication for brands and help them provide a rich experience for consumers.”
One question we had was how RCS compares to WhatsApp. Given that everyone has WhatsApp, why does one need RCS? Dr. Mumick explained that RCS messages are delivered in the built-in messages app on Android phones, the one that receives SMS messages. Despite the proliferation of WhatsApp, and the migration of most personal messaging to WhatsApp, business messaging is indeed growing on SMS, and should accelerate further with RCS. “Business messaging on RCS is far better than WhatsApp. For one, it is more secure – RCS messages are only delivered to the phone that has the SIM card. If the SIM is removed or disabled, then RCS messages stop being delivered, just as SMS messages stop being delivered. In contrast, WhatsApp messages can continue to be delivered even after the SIM is removed or disabled.” says Dr Mumick.
Regardless, the Company is also a WhatsApp partner, and offers WhatsApp Business messaging to its clients.