Despite some foot dragging, U.S. carriers have begun to roll out Rich Communication Services across their mobile networks. While RCS business messaging may get overlooked by many in the business world, savvy marketing departments and IT shops are beginning to see its power -- especially when combined with communications platform as a service.
Let's look at the technology behind RCS and CPaaS and see how businesses can take advantage of these emerging technologies.
Why RCS will become an important business messaging protocol
Before the RCS protocol became an option, mobile messaging largely fell into one of two categories. On one side is Short Message Service (SMS), which has been around for decades. On the other is a plethora of app-based instant messaging (IM) services, such as iMessage, WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger. While SMS can send text messages to anyone with a mobile phone number, app-based messaging tools require users to download an application, sign up for an account and limit the transmission of messages to only those who have done the same. Despite the added steps and smaller user base, app-based messaging services offer far more features and functionality compared to SMS, such as one-touch response, the ability to send larger file sizes and GPS location information.
Enter RCS. RCS business messaging offers all the functionality found in most IM platforms without having to be sure everyone with whom you wish to communicate is on the same messaging platform. For businesses that use messaging services to communicate important information to customers and employees, RCS is being viewed as a universal service that can reach the maximum number of people, while also giving users a rich, customizable and interactive multicarrier communications experience.
CPaaS as the orchestrator for RCS messaging
Rich communications is great, but businesses need a way to coordinate, orchestrate and automate messaging processes. It's here where CPaaS comes into play. CPaaS is a cloud-based platform that gives omnichannel control over all real-time communications, including voice, video and -- of course -- messaging.
Businesses typically use APIs to integrate various business applications with a CPaaS platform, which, in turn, uses a communications medium for direct or mass delivery to customers, business partners and employees. Customer engagement, ticketing, mobile payments, appointment reminders and interactive marketing are among the most common CPaaS business deployments.
Because RCS offers far more features when sending and receiving interactive messages, CPaaS platforms can create useful, creative and time-saving messages with full, centralized control across multiple business applications. As a result, RCS-based CPaaS is far more versatile than CPaaS deployments that rely solely on SMS.
Start preparing for RCS and CPaaS integrations now
While RCS business messaging continues to be adopted across major U.S. telecom carrier networks, now is the time to start looking at how RCS and CPaaS can be used inside your organization. The combination opens several new doors that can streamline internal business messaging processes, while also providing novel ways to engage new and existing customers in unique and memorable ways. It's safe to say that, once RCS becomes mainstream, it will be the go-to method for messaging -- and the management and coordination platform behind it will be CPaaS.