I have been rather busy with events all around the world of late and this week continued in the same vein, this time with the Mobile Ecosystem Forum (MEF) and their members over in Kista, just outside Stockholm in Sweden. In many ways it felt as if things had come full circle; those of you who know me well will be nodding furiously at my next few words…
Business Messaging, and everything that underpins it to make it as successful as possible (authoritative global number data included of course!) is my favourite sector in Telecoms. Most of us have roles that do not afford us the luxury of seeing something through from beginning to end, being at the coalface of things, actively working things through hands-on. We might touch a part or two of any end-to-end process along the way, but I have to say it was good revisiting Tele2’s global HQ in Kista after so many years. Tele2 is a mobile network operator group and they kindly hosted the Nordics Leadership Forum event on June 12th. And they just happen to be a current partner of ours today and a direct client of mine in the past. I helped Tele2 on their CPaaS journey every step of the way and it is amazing to see how much their enterprise messaging business has grown, having partnered with Infobip c. 7 years ago... And it was my first trip back to Tele2 since.

The Nordic countries are a real hive of telecommunications innovation. Indeed, Tele2’s HQ just happens to be located right next to Ericsson’s global HQ. Nokia from Finland has a special place in my heart – or more accurately their 6310i phone which came out in 2002 does. The battery lasted for days, it was light, intuitive to use and if you dropped it, the worst thing that seemed to happen was the battery flying off when it hit the ground from time to time. It was like a cat with nine lives and travelled the world with me.
Preceding our full day of panel discussions interspersed with networking opportunities came the MEF Meet-Up networking event held on June 11th at the Radisson Blu Royal Viking hotel which is located in a supremely central location in Stockholm. You literally fall out of the central station and it’s there. Infobip sponsored that and a really great evening provided THE perfect opportunity to network in a comfortable environment with decision makers from around the region. Plus, there was a strong contingent from the UK too! It didn’t take five minutes before the topic of the loss of trust in Business Messaging came up and unfortunately this set the scene for June 12th.

I’m genuinely a ‘glass is half full’ individual but I have to admit that when it comes to A2P SMS (in particular) I’ve got to say our industry as a whole has an awful lot to do to regain the trust of stakeholders across the world. It really pains me to write this as SMS is truly special and to be treasured: it’s shaping up to be the first and last genuinely ubiquitous mobile digital channel in history. The spectre of the Artificial Inflation of Traffic (AIT) in particular is an important cause of this distrust but we as an industry absolutely can collaborate effectively and deliver practical solutions to counter this and other threats.  
I had the pleasure of running the XConnect sponsored panel on June 12th which put the fact that Business Messaging is only used by a small percentage of organisations globally under the microscope. With my panellists, we looked at exactly why this is and (you guessed it) the word ‘trust’ came up more than a few times.

Here at XConnect we have no shareholders. Much of our client base uses us to be able to route their SMS and Voice more efficiently but we’re seeing a real uptick in our concrete data being used to fight fraud on many fronts. We’re also developing a solution to help combat AIT too so stay tuned for more on that from XConnect soon.

If you’re not already an XConnect client and would like to hear more about us, our journey and how we can help your business, then please do contact us at sales@xconnect.net!
Next week I will be joining the Comms Council UK at their AGM and Summer Forum event in London to moderate a session looking at the future of Business Messaging.
No rest for the wicked, clearly - what have I done now?!