Humble text kingpin for trusted customer comms: Soprano Design

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By Richard Favero, Soprano Design Founder and Executive Chairman

We’re communicating with each other more than ever before. WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger and Instagram have become king for keeping connected replacing traditional mail but for me, text messaging still reigns supreme.

It has been nearly 27 years since the first text message was sent and the way we connect and interact with each other was changed forever more. In many ways, the text message is like a digital post-it note. It works best when the message is kept short and to the point. It’s also arguably one of the most efficient ways for businesses to communicate with their customers, employees and suppliers.

It’s also why, in the United States alone, more than nine trillion SMS messages are sent each year and the number continues to grow. Over the ten years up until 2017, the volume sent each month has increased by nearly 8,000 percent. That’s a pretty enviable growth rate for any platform.

So, what’s driving this growth? Aside from most of us being on our mobiles almost constantly, it’s also effective with 90 percent of messages read within three minutes of receipt. Also, you’re seven times more likely to respond to a text compared to an email. Our mobile number has become an essential part of our identity which is why so many businesses, government organisations, finance companies and health care providers are investing and utilising our mobile-based technology to connect with people.

It’s also why earlier this month we launched Soprano Connect, new digital interactive channels designed specifically to keep pace with customer demand for increased interoperability and two-way interactivity between enterprise and social messaging platforms. Our early adopter customers and telco partners in the United States, Europe, Asia Pacific and Australia are now trialing it across WhatsApp and Rich Communications Services (RCS) ahead of our global launch in a few weeks.

The need for stronger customer relationships was the original catalyst for our creation of a trusted mobile interaction system back in 1994. Twentyfive years later it remains king alongside ensuring the right person receives the right information at the right time with our software. Our software makes trusted mobile interactions easy, adaptable, secure and low risk. It is a great promise to offer and we’re now on track to achieve our strongest year to date with our global messaging volumes set to exceed seven billion in 2020 – nearly 40% year-on-year volume growth since 2018.

Removing barriers for distribution and risks around delivery means clients can focus fully on messaging content. The process is simple too we integrate their data with our messaging solution, creating a seamless experience for the end receiver.

And while we’re delivering the information, for all intents and purposes, it is on behalf of a person’s bank, heath care provider, a government agency or a favourite retailer providing confidence and greater engagement between the two parties.

What next for the text?

Looking to the next 10 years, we’ll no doubt see further changes in technology. And while the fundamental need for communication will stay the same, the way we go about delivering that information will change, smartphones are not going anywhere. We will see only more mobile interactions which we’re focused on harnessing. We’re continuing to grow the number of text messages we send for our customers, improving their communication with clients, maintaining privacy and enhancing our solutions to keep pace with technology opportunities and keep messaging efficient, effective and relevant.

The team at Soprano gets a real thrill out of the size and scale of the problems we solve on behalf of our clients. We are continually constructing solutions based on our customer needs such as better interoperability between clients and their customers. Even if that delivery is based around the humble text.

Richard Favero is Founder and Executive Chairman of Soprano Design, a global software design firm that delivers trusted mobile interactions via its cloud-based mobile communication platform.

Macquarie Telecom to offer Apple mobility products, services to Australian mid-market businesses

Macquarie Telecom is set to target Australian mid-market enterprises with a range of mobility offerings, following what the telco tipped as “a landmark deal with Apple.

Macquarie Telecom said it will offer both bespoke and off-the-shelf iOS apps for business with world-class products like iPhone and iPad.

“This offering will help mid-sized businesses in Australia experience the power and value of Apple,” said Luke Clifton, Group Executive, Macquarie Telecom. “We’re backing the best devices for business coupled with native apps that will see our customers become more mobile, increase productivity and solve more business problems.”

The offering will initially focus on the delivery of core Apple products and business apps, before expanding to deliver a device enrolment program integrated with Apple Business Manager, in order to streamline the on-boarding process for customers.

“We’re aligning with the best technology providers to meet our customers’ evolving needs,” added Clifton. “Mobility used to be an afterthought, but that is changing as enterprises’ needs change. This move will see business mobility become a business-leading area of our company.”

“We’re developing relationships and building our business in a way that improves customer service, creates more local jobs and helps businesses innovate,” he said.

Apple devices will be available within Macquarie’s portfolio from 23 August 2019.


Application-Specific Networking firm NetFoundry joined forces with Singapore-based cloud consulting firm Cloud Comrade in a bid to expand its cloud computing range omtp the Singapore and Southeast Asia region.

According to NetFoundry,  a AWS Marketplace technology provider, the partnership allows businesses to become cloud-native and deliver maximum business value and security from their applications to successfully embrace, migrate and execute cloud solutions throughout Southeast Asia. 

“Together we are bridging a gap in connectivity, security and technology across Singapore & Southeast Asia,” said Dipesh Ranjan, Head of Asia Pacific at NetFoundry.

“As businesses experience the next digital transformation, they face delays, budget overruns, unnecessary complexity, and scope creep due to deficiencies of connectivity and app security,” Netfoundry said, adding that as businesses face the next digital revolution, they will need to confront delays, budget overruns, unnecessary complexity, and scope creep due to deficiencies of connectivity and app security.  

The application-specific networking firm said the Cloud Comrade offering now included NetFoundry’s capability to provide private and direct overlay networks over the internet are quick to deploy, highly secure and performant and requires no propriety hardware.

All of this, done quickly, efficiently, and securely via their partnership with AWS.

The partnership will be on display in Cloud Comrade’s booth (#S7) at AWS Summit Singapore, April 10 & 11. 









US application-specific networking firm NetFoundry has teamed with Dubai-based specialized managed services provider BalanceOn in a bid to expand its networking suite into the Middle East and Africa region.

The firms will collaborate to provide what they billed as a raft of secure and cost-sensitive, smart connectivity services to enable their customers to become cloud-native and digital.

“Together we are bringing a leap in connectivity, security and technology across the Middle East and Africa,” said Michael Kochanik, Global Head of Revenue and Alliances at NetFoundry.

BalanceOn said it had found that a growing number of customers face business challenges due to connectivity and connecting distributed apps synonymous with digital transformation – e.g. multi, hybrid and cloud-native apps, internet-distributed apps (IoT) and B2B or connected supply chain.

“The problem is that while legacy networking is fine for legacy use cases, it was not built to effectively deliver these “agile” applications across “hybrid” topologies,” BalanceOn added. “Legacy WAN and internet for distributed apps blocks innovation and the business benefits from a variety of issues including long timelines to implement, proprietory hardware, complex and error-prone architectures, compromised performance, increased ‘attack surfaces’ and risk, incompatible with DevOps and “infrastructure as code” as well as potentially higher than expected costs.”

Riverbed flags key improvements in cloud performance visibility

Riverbed has announced the latest release of its Digital Experience Management (DEM) offering Riverbed SteelCentral, introducing key improvements to dramatically boost the performance of cloud applications.

According to the firm, the new release fundamentally changes performance management for cloud architectures, providing  greater visibility of cloud native apps and cloud-based networks — by adding new Application Performance Management (APM) and Network Performance Management (NPM) capabilities.

“Cloud adoption is enabling massive business transformation and tremendous growth for today’s digital business, but it also creates huge visibility gaps and span of control challenges for organisations.” said Riverbed. “While hybrid architectures are a reality for most modern enterprises and cloud is now considered an extension of the enterprise infrastructure, the majority of performance management tools available in the market are incapable of providing unified and user-centric visibility for hybrid cloud environments and the user’s digital experience.”

In the 2018 State of Cloud Monitoring Survey recently conducted by Riverbed, IT network and cloud business decision makers shared their difficulties with 92% of participants stating they faced challenges with performance management in their cloud environment, and 60% of participants stated that their end users experienced cloud performance issues first before companies knew about them.

“As cloud adoption has become ubiquitous, cloud deployments and the applications themselves have become increasingly complex and distributed. Ensuring performance of the end-user experience, apps, networks and cloud vendors themselves is a daunting challenge,” said Mike Sargent, SVP and GM for SteelCentral at Riverbed. “This latest release of Riverbed SteelCentral delivers rich visibility into both the application and network performance of hybrid and cloud environments, as well as the most comprehensive approach to truly measure and manage the digital experience.””

Improvements of the new SteelCentral release include:

·       Packet visibility in the cloud – the new release of a AppResponse Cloud solution collects and analyses packet information for Amazon Web Services (AWS) deployments.

·       Flow visibility in the cloud – SteelCentral NetProfiler’s capabilities extended to monitor flow across cloud environments and between the cloud and the enterprise.

·       App visibility for today’s cloud native apps – introduction of AppInternals integrations with Kubernetes, Pivotal Cloud Foundry and Red Hat OpenShift to help companies maintain visibility as applications are developed and implemented in the cloud, and manage the complexity of the modern multi-stack app ecosystem.

ATO picks Melbourne app developer Elegant Media for new staff induction program

The Australian Taxation Office (ATO) has selected Melbourne-based IT and services firm Elegant Media to develop an app to deliver ATO staff induction program activities for new employees.

“We live and breathe App development and really pride ourselves on being the only Australian App development company to have ISO 9001 Accreditation,” said Elegant Media co-founder and CEO Anushka Bandara.

Elegant Media co-founder and CEO Anushka Bandara

“We have worked hard to put in place systems to ensure we consistently provide products and services which meet client and regulatory requirements. Securing the opportunity to work with such a significant organisation like the ATO is very rewarding,” Bandara added.

The firm said that according to training and development industry experts, most organisations realise that for training to be the most effective, it needs to be delivered to employees directly into their workplace where they are engaged in their work.

“This enables employees to learn while on the job and also reduces loss of time and resources when training is undertaken out of the workplace,” added Bandara

“The ATO App development project is a pilot initiative which will result in the delivery of an App that can be used by all new staff members to undertake their induction program with the ATO,” Bandara said. “The App will be versatile and able to be used on devices such as an iPhone, iPad, Android phone or Android tablet.”

“The app will include a range of different modules and easy to follow messaging, prompts and informational videos,” said Bandara. “Hopefully if all goes well, we will be able to expand the functionality and scope of the App to incorporate other activities as well.”

The ATO Training and Development App is expected to be completed and implemented for use across the organisation by September 2018.