IMImobile SA Joins Google In A Move To Bring iMessage-like RCS Service In Africa

Google has been working with the mobile industry on an initiative to upgrade SMS through a universal standard called RCS, bringing more enhanced features to the standard messaging experience on mobile devices.

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African woman in a yellow shirt texting message with mobile phone
African woman in a yellow shirt texting message with mobile phone (Photo Credit: www.shutterstock.com)

IMImobile SA, part of IMImobile PLC – a cloud communications software and solutions provider – has joined Google’s Early Access Program for RCS (Rich Communication Services) business messaging offering in Africa.

RCS will allow millions of businesses in Africa to make use of more interactive messaging features such as branding and business verification, suggested reply buttons, rich card carousels and end-to-end payments.

The global messaging world is broken. It is now dominated by SMS, WhatsApp, FaceTime, iMessage, Facebook Messenger, Skype, Twitter DM, WeChat and more

Search giant Google wants to use SMS text messaging as a way to unite these messaging apps under the Android umbrella and this is termed Rich Communications Services or RCS.

Google has been working with the mobile industry on an initiative to upgrade SMS through a universal standard called RCS, bringing more enhanced features to the standard messaging experience on mobile devices.

Today, we’re taking a significant step toward making RCS messaging universally available to users across the world with 27 carriers and device manufacturers launching RCS to Android users with Google.

According to the GSMA, by 2020 the business messaging market is projected to reach $74 billion and 86% of smartphones will be RCS-enabled.

IMImobile PLC, who joined the Google’s Early Access Program for RCS Business Messaging in 2017 will be working through its African operations, IMImobile SA, based in Johannesburg to offer RCS business messaging to the wider African continent. For Google, working with mobile messaging specialists, like IMImobile SA, helps with the rollout of RCS business messaging across Africa, a continent with more than one billion people.

“We are very excited to offer RCS Business Messaging to our African customer base. RCS is a natural evolution of the traditional SMS communication and allows enterprises to significantly enhance mission-critical communication, notifications and alerts,” said Devon Meerholz, Chief Creative & Operations Officer at IMImobile SA. 

“As a leading provider of two-way messaging solutions, processing 42 billion messages annually, we expect a massive acceleration and growth of RCS in 2019, and our enterprise customers will benefit from having access to RCS Business Messaging through IMImobile SA.”

According to a recent Mobile Squared report, 63% of brands and businesses have already factored RCS into their future marketing and service communication activities. For IMImobile SA, RCS adds another promising communication channel to the evolving messaging ecosystem which can significantly enhance customer experience, service and interaction.

Google’s RCS business messaging supports the GSMA’s Universal Profile for interoperability across operator networks and devices.

Over the next month, IMImobile SA will drive awareness for RCS Business Messaging, test different use cases with clients and work with Google to support roadmap innovation and adoption.

Currently millions of businesses, service providers, and brands use SMS to communicate with their customers, whether they’re sending a bank fraud alert or package delivery notification.

“But while SMS provides a universal way for consumers to connect with businesses, the messages are limited to just plain text. RCS will upgrade today’s business messaging experience by enabling brands to send more useful and interactive messages,” Amir Sarhangi, Head of RCS, recently wrote in the company’s blog.

“For example, a message from your airline reminding you to check in for a flight can now take advantage of rich media and interactivity to provide a full check-in experience, complete with boarding pass, visual flight updates, and terminal maps on demand, all directly within the messaging experience.

“Businesses can also have a branded messaging experience with information about the business and the ability to share content like images, video clips and gifs.”

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