May 2014 - Mosaic NetworX

SMS Proxy Services: Creative Uses for Service, Marketing, and Corporate Communication

In the last year, a popular online classified service began offering SMS proxy service for listings. In the past, buyers and sellers could communicate via email using a proxy service that anonymized their email addresses. Negotiating a deal could take place safely behind a computer screen with the privacy of both parties intact. The problem was, however, that when it came time to actually meet up and finalize the transaction, both people often ended up exchanging cell phone numbers, anyway. Giving up such a personal detail meant that the veil of safety and security presented by the email relay was wiped away. Thankfully, the integration of SMS proxy services means that entire transactions can be conducted anonymously via cell phone. No longer do would-be buyers and sellers on the service need to worry that their private information is being collected by marketers or ill-intentioned individuals.

Text messaging on a QWERTY device

Text messaging is even more ubiquitous than email.

In short, SMS proxy services allow messages to appear to come from a number other than the real originating number. From classified listings, like that mentioned above, to dating services, SMS services provide privacy and anonymity through cell phone messaging. But the power of proxy services is much greater than simply giving people a layer of protection and privacy.

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Network Design Tips: 6 Best Practices for Deploying Your Network

It should come as no surprise that best-in-class solutions often include many different types of hardware and applications all working together to optimize a network. Sometimes servers are virtualized, sometimes they’re not. Sometimes they run in a data-center or colocation facility, and sometimes they’re just down the hall in a server room. Some applications run on the local machine, while others are web-based or accessible through a secure VPN. Building out a network that meets the needs of your growing business typically means a mosaic of software and systems unique to that network alone.

A well-designed network means considering how the network will grow in the future. Image courtesy of Wiki Commons.

Have you ever stopped to consider the practical impact of your network infrastructure on the business itself? From resource utilization to energy costs, and from the burden on support personnel to the ease of use for workers, the configuration of your network goes a long way in determining how far your business goes.  As a practical matter, the design of your network is every bit as critical as the hardware and software you are using. Good network design means increased operational efficiency, which directly translates to increased revenue, increased employee happiness, increased customer satisfaction…the list goes on and on.

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Dark Fiber and the Advent of Gigabit Service

Internet service providers are racing to provide ever-increasing bandwidth speeds to consumers and businesses alike. Providers from AT&T to Google to Cox Communications are offering gigabit ethernet in a number of metro areas in an effort to win long-term market share with both individual households and businesses of all sizes. But as is often the case, not everything is as it seems. Regulators and customers alike are wondering how telecom companies are able to provide increased bandwidth without large capital expenses and lengthy build-out processes.

Some reports indicate that these companies are able to provide faster internet speeds using existing architecture. This begs the question of why these speeds have been restricted (or completely absent) in recent years. But there is another answer as well: dark fiber.

Fiberoptic cable being laid

Laying fiber is expensive…but it’s already been done.
Image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

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Buffalo Bills NFL Football and Papa John’s Pizza – How Not To Use SMS Services

It seemed like a good idea at the time. The Buffalo Bills NFL football team seized on the rising popularity of cellphones and social media to better engage their fans. The strategy was simple: by connecting with fans using SMS services on game day, the team could highlight promotions and events that would enhance the fan experience. Or so the team thought. In reality, the zealous use of text messaging by the team to connect with fans extended past the limits of the law and resulted in a $3 million dollar settlement after a class action suit. The team stated that it would send no more than five text messages to opt-in subscribers of the service. When one recipient received 13 messages in a two week period, a class action suit was filed, and the team was ordered to pay out $3 million in damages.

This isn’t the only example of text message marketing being perceived as a nuisance and doing more harm than good over time. For example, Papa John’s Pizza paid out an unbelievable $16.335 million dollar settlement as the result of sending too many text messages offering pizza promotions. Not abiding by rules and regulations regarding SMS marketing can damage a company’s reputation and cost significant financial loss. Customers, clients, and fans that opt-in to promotions and news alerts do so with the expectation that the text messages they receive will be reasonable in volume. As with the Buffalo Bills, subscribers were promised a specific number of messages each week. When that limit wasn’t adhered to, trouble began.

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A New Era of Communication: SMS Services and the 2014 NFL Draft

At this year’s NFL draft, text messaging proved itself to be a key player. “Come get me” read Ha Ha Clinton-Dix’s text message to the Philadelphia Eagles the night before the draft. Michael Sam, the first openly gay football player eligible for the draft, received a congratulatory text message from supporter Jason Collins after being selected by the St. Louis Rams in the seventh round. And for fans, text message notifications kept everyone in the loop.

In recent years, text messaging has moved beyond the realm of personal communication and become integral to communication in professional settings, a fact that was prominently on display at the 2014 NFL draft. From Clinton-Dix’s text message to a team he hoped to play for to the alerts provided to fans who subscribed for updates whenever a draft selection was made, text messages delivered millions of updates and messages to fans, players, and teams this past weekend.

NFL draft

The NFL draft is big business and communicating with fans is key.
Image courtesy of Wiki Commons

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