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Vodafone renews partnership with Soprano for enterprise SMS
Thu, 21st May 2020
FYI, this story is more than a year old

Australia-based Soprano Design, a cloud-based enterprise messaging solutions provider, has renewed its strategic partnership with Vodafone New Zealand.

Since Soprano and Vodafone began working together in 2016, demand for cloud-based mobile messaging services has continued to surge.

In the past 12 months, the volume of messages sent by Soprano in New Zealand has doubled with the Vodafone partnership playing a major role in driving this growth.

It's not just New Zealand where mobile voice and text messaging is making its presence known. According to industry analyst IDC, the worldwide communications platform-as-a-service (CPaaS) market is forecast to grow from $3.3 billion in 2018 to $17.2 billion in 2023.

Soprano NZ business development representative Clint Latour says he's delighted Vodafone has extended the partnership, adding the strength of the relationship has been a major factor in fast-tracking Soprano's market share. 

“Soprano is committed to ensuring the right person receives the right information at the right time and we have built our reputation on enabling intelligent and trusted mobile interactions. In the past 12 months, the volume of messages Soprano has sent in New Zealand has doubled and our successful partnership with Vodafone has been a major contributor. Vodafone has a reputation for delivering best-of-breed innovation and we are proud to be Vodafone's partner in New Zealand,” he says.

Vodafone New Zealand enterprise director Lindsay Zwart says the relationship with Soprano is built on trust and efficiency.

“Soprano's solution plugs seamlessly into our network systems, enabling us to keep up with evolving enterprise customer needs. Their platform is scalable - a capability that has been key for a lot of our customers over the last couple of months as they increase communication with their staff and customers throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Soprano works closely with Vodafone in several regions globally, giving them a strong understanding of our business and changing industry needs,” added Zwart. “They have a dedicated product delivery team working with us 24/7 to help us respond quickly to new feature requests as they come through and deliver a great customer experience.”

When looking at future market opportunities, Latour says text messaging or SMS is now a key channel for customer-care communication and Soprano is working closely with Vodafone New Zealand to develop messaging solutions that will greatly improve business outcomes. 

“We're also seeing a growth in demand for our Communications Platform as a Service (CPaaS) solution elsewhere. With the recent COVID-19 outbreak in New Zealand and globally, organisations are now realizing the importance of stakeholder engagements, and urgently looking for solutions to improve their communications strategy. Businesses are starting to realise that the post-COVID-19 world will be very different.

“A robust communications service is needed for marketing messages, business continuity planning and other digital transformation projects that have become urgent. A CPaaS solution is no longer a competitive differentiator, but a necessity to survive.”

Industry analyst Gartner reports that the open and response rates for SMS are now as high as 98% and 45% respectively while emails have just 20% open rates and 6% for responses. 

Mobile messaging has rapidly become a mainstream channel for those seeking to engage with customers in a quick and cost-effective way.

Soprano chair and founder Richard Favero agrees with the figures saying the business now has more than 3,400 enterprise customers and regional offices in Europe, North America, South America, New Zealand and Southeast Asia (supported by a head office in Sydney).

“Globally, in the past year, we've gone from sending three billion mobile messages annually to more than five billion annually. That growth has largely been driven by many of our business customers who are re-evaluating priorities and procuring essential internal and B2C rapid-response, staff-safety and customer notification tools that can keep people connected and informed. They have also been developing new communication technology initiatives to cope with new pressures in areas like logistics, supply chain and courier services.”

Favero says Soprano is also seeing a rise in critical texts, especially in times of emergency, with vital information sent instantly to staff, customers, students or other population groups.

“Operating in a world that keeps us physically isolated, means our need to communicate to maintain and build relationships or deliver mission-critical information has never been more important.