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GCI Snaps Up Packet Media

GCI has acquired Packet Media for an undisclosed sum. The acquisition is GCI’s third this year and follows its purchase of Outsourcery’s assets on 16 June 2016.

Mike Constantine, Chief Technology Officer (CTO) at GCI stated, “Packet Media has some great parallels with our own business and this acquisition further strengthens our capability. But what we are particularly excited about is their enterprise grade SMS messaging platform and its associated Management Information (MI) reporting capability.

This new GCI SMS messaging service fills an important gap in our portfolio and helps us differentiate our proposition – particularly for the multi-touch contact centre environment. The capability blends nicely with our other core Cloud and UC services – Skype for Business, Azure and PCI DSS. Simply put, it means that we have a compelling contact centre solution which provides the full spectrum of services – network, CRM database management (Azure), telephony (Skype), payment card security (PCI DSS) and efficient customer communications straight to your smartphone (SMS).

Julian Gallimore, Managing Director at Packet Media added, “I am delighted that the work we started at Packet Media will continue to accelerate with GCI’s greater resource and reach. In simple terms, SMS is what email used to be. The stats are compelling: while emails now clutter inboxes (many unopened) SMS messages are on average viewed within 3 minutes of receipt. Response rates too are far better: it takes an average person 90 minutes to respond to email, but only 90 seconds to respond to text.

We are not at all surprised to note that a recent white paper by Portio Research commented, “Application to Person (A2P) connects more people than any other platform in human history, making SMS the ideal mechanism for businesses to use to communicate with their customers.”

We believe the deployment opportunities are endless: from patient prescription reminders, to service renewal notices, to sales and marketing messaging – all fully trackable and MI reportable.

There is also huge synergy with GCI’s contact centre and UCaaS services. This new SMS service provides significant sales opportunity in a sector that GCI is already well engaged with. It’s also a sector that is continually looking for new ways to improve its customer service experience while simultaneously reducing costs. The timing for GCI’s new SMS service and the enhancements we are developing to differentiate it further could not be better.”

Adrian Thirkill CEO at GCI picks up the timing point, “Our recent acquisitions have been designed to accelerate our capabilities and differentiate our services and solutions portfolio. In the last 12 weeks alone we have not only gained some first class platforms, but we have also considerably strengthened the depth and breadth of our technical resource – our people. The combination of talented empowered staff and great platforms will enable us to bring some really exciting new services to market in the months ahead – particularly cloud-based services and those associated with unified communications (UCaaS).

This new SMS capability is most definitely another ‘critical addition’ in our UCaaS portfolio. The acquisition also underpins our commitment to offer something different to an enterprise and reseller channel saturated with tired ‘same old’ products and services.

If the stats are to be believed, approximately 23 billion text messages are sent worldwide daily with a staggering 98% open rate. So, there is clearly a demand for this service and we believe that’s because email and internet based communications have strayed from being helpful customer comms to irritating advertising overload – adblockers for tablets and smartphones is a high growth business! SMS is still mainly untainted, helpful and concise. That’s the reason for its success and the reason it’s a great fit in our UCaaS portfolio. The timing is perfect.”

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David Dungay

Editor - Comms Business Magazine