Consider this in the bidding process - Part 2
Continuing last week’s discussion around things that companies must consider when selecting a global SMS messaging partner through a formal request for proposal, or bid, here are three more critical variables to point out. Again, these are based on our experience of customers turning to us after they tried the lowest cost tender.
Experience in the field
Experience leads to expertise. A potential SMS partner must have experience in the industry and have good relationships with network providers and hubs. Also, the SMS provider should have a product roadmap that elaborates their perspective of the market. These two variables provide insight into whether the SMS provider knows how to expand into new markets and has the capability to build on their technology.
They matter even more for business-critical messaging, as ripping and replacing APIs at scale isn’t a fun thing to do. So, a good partner has their eye on the industry; what’s the next phase of global, mass messaging? Businesses are ready to implement new features once there’s a use case –features like number lookup, omnichannel messaging, WhatsApp capabilities, Google RCS, etc. Customers shouldn’t be waiting on their SMS partner.
A mutually beneficial, long-term partnership is built on trust and it’s something the customer should feel good about. A 5% lower price can lead to more work for the customer in the future.
There are a couple aspects to transparency:
Pricing – As mentioned in the previous blog post, some providers might have fees in place, which aren't apparent at first glance. As negotiations tend to anchor around cost per SMS, which is understandable, other factors tend to be ignored. But these costs are usually significant in implementing and using a provider’s service.
Some questions to ask: What are the costs associated with integrating the software? How much time is required from our development team? Are there costs associated with having a personal account manager or support? Are there other costs associated with using the software, like monthly fees?
Complete analytics – Having access to instant and detailed delivery reports, which provide information about if, and when, messages are delivered and help analyze, organize, and track the performance of the service. However, analytics are only accurate if the provider is using legitimate routes (as discussed in the last blog.)
When outsourcing an important building block of your product or service, selecting a reputable and solvent partner is paramount. It is completely normal to request detailed financial information, like revenue and profits, to get a clear image of the provider’s solvency. It’s not uncommon to request credit reports from independent sources to understand how they’re working with their partners (mobile network providers & hubs,) and whether traffic will flow long-term.
There you have it. If there are any questions, please feel free to email our sales team: email@example.com