The business outcomes of navigating complexity in the CPaaS market
There is no doubt that the CPaaS market is complex on many levels. The seemingly simple connections that enterprise brands want to make to their customers can often involve a web of partners and delivery paths for messaging communications.
Typical traditional delivery methods of network communications are SMS, MMS, and latterly, RCS, but now also include application based messaging services, fashions and trends for which vary geographically and over time. Often too, networks and organizations are chained together to provide globe-spanning services.
Securing that intricately-detailed delivery network from infection from SPAM and phishing content is but a single aspect of maintaining the health of this global network. However, there are other aspects to the delivery network that are not only worthy of scrutiny but in some scenarios, are essential to the ongoing operations of organizations.
This article on TechHQ considers some of the possibilities for business advantage for operators, networks, delivery providers, and brands.
Tracking the flow
Brand-to-customer communications as part of campaigns may transit from the source enterprise through content aggregators, international transit networks, and the local mobile carrier’s infrastructure. Often, there are multiple paths and networks used at each stage of the delivery chain, and each offers different costs, performance metrics and may be bound by different legal concerns.
Analysis and optimization of attributes at the various points in the messaging delivery infrastructure yields significant business insight and, ultimately, business advantages.
Discover and compartmentalize
An obvious starting point is the ability to discover and understand the content that is being delivered. Discovering and analyzing the messaging structure uncovers patterns that indicate volumes and sending patterns, and identify where multiple sending brands are aggregated into a single connection or distributed over multiple connections.
From that point of insight, segmenting sending entities into reputable and non-reputable categories (for instance) allows the application of control that encourage behaviors that will benefit your business.
How the understanding of the behavior, once learned and understood, can be used to business advantage will vary, depending on where you are in the delivery chain, with CPaaS providers having a different view of value from a mobile carrier, for example.
Blocking SPAM and phishing-related content is critical from a security point-of-view, naturally, but also it is important to identify where content and brands are being aggregated into a single sending identity. Aggregation represents a business risk should a shared identity be used nefariously in the future. Reputational risk is, after all, a significant business risk, and reputable senders may suffer because of a single bad apple.
Nuances in acceptability
There are no simple black-and-white, good vs. bad content types beyond the obviously negative, like phishing messages, for example. Content in communications can vary by brand and, in some cases, may stray into content categories that are inappropriate or illegal to send to a particular geography.
For example, drugs, firearms, or political messages would be categorized as unacceptable by services in certain scenarios. To avoid these scenarios, it is important to verify the senders, categorize the campaign’s content, and definitively identify the sending entity or organization.
The point at which a national or international boundary is crossed can change the legality of the message: content may be acceptable in one state, country or province, but outright illegal in another.
The complexity of recipients’ business practices and policies can be demonstrated in the context of the current situation in the USA. The commercial SMS market is being reshaped at present, with the introduction of specific terminating criteria. These range from terminating fees, sending rate or classification restrictions, and contractual penalties for any policy violation.
Therefore, it’s critical for the sending network ecosystem to be in a position, and with the right tools, to adhere to the individual policies and procedures to enable commercial SMS messages’ successful delivery. Understanding the classification and sending rate limitations (which are different for each of the mobile carriers) is one element of concern. Another is ensuring that traffic is both properly declared and that the sending profile corresponds to the declaration. Both issues can be solved with said tools in place.
Baseline business benefits
Differentiated service is a cornerstone of competitive practice. Classifying and categorization of content offer significant commercial opportunities in this regard.
For example, in any given situation, there may be two delivery networks: one guarantees fast delivery via a direct connection to the terminating network and the other with a slower delivery via multiple paths, and perhaps only a 99% delivery guarantee. It would be possible to offer a differential service. What would you use this for?
This situation presents possibilities for different service tiers, with associated charge points. Time-sensitive content, OTP messages, or sensitive information like banking confirmation messaging may be suited to the direct, guaranteed-delivery connection tier. Conversely, a supermarket promotion code could use the slower, albeit cheaper path, and the brand would still benefit from a successful campaign — and would also appreciate the reduced cost.
Collected intelligence and carefully-structured services can substantially change financial returns and yet simultaneously improve the customers’ and brands’ experiences.
Right across the varied CPaaS market and delivery networks, data analysis and intelligence are changing the landscape to favor those in a position to use the dedicated technology platforms that are specifically created for this sector.
Examples of applications are seen in product mix analysis, product-, carrier-, and carrier partnership-management. The same platforms provide granular regulatory compliance and fraud management, plus, to come full circle, the ability to protect against ever-present SPAM and phishing content.
Learn more about Commercial Traffic Management by visiting AdaptiveMobile Security here.
30 November 2022
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