The growth of SMS (short message service) is nothing short of extraordinary. Telstra reports around 80 million SMSes are sent across its GSM and CDMA networks per month, while globally that figure is up around 360 billion per year across GSM networks alone. Given these statistics, it's not surprising an Australian company has developed a system that it says will allow small and medium enterprises to send SMSes to individuals or groups via their work PC.
The system encompasses a desktop cellular modem, a software interface and the relevant adapters. According to the manufacturer, Call Direct, the system can be set up in minutes with users placing their own SIM card into the modem and sending and receiving messages of up to 160 characters. Messages are billed directly by their existing mobile provider at the usual rate.
Dubbed Office SMS, the standalone system will retail from $699. As yet, Office SMS cannot be deployed on a company's local area network.
Existing SMS-from-PC solutions to date involve users sending messages through a Web portal, which generally means there is no reply path for the mobile user. However, Michael Ash, director of Call Direct, said Office SMS is faster than using a portal, easier than using the key pad of a mobile phone and lets users keep a record of SMS messages. For business purposes, the record feature poses the significant advantage of being able to maintain an audit trail for sent/received messages.
In the early phase, Ash said Call Direct is looking for resellers to take the product to market. However, he said the company is in discussions with distributors to establish an exclusive agreement.http://www.call-direct.com.au/officeSMS.htm