9mobile, the leading telecom operator in Nigeria, in association with Google, and Kirusa, a global leader in communication solutions over data networks for consumers and enterprises, recently hosted a workshop in Lagos for Mobile Network Operators (MNOs), Aggregators, and brands to introduce Rich Communication Services (RCS), and showcase how RCS Business Messaging (RBM) is revolutionizing enterprise communication with their consumers. The workshop was attended by over 50 attendees, including representatives from MTN, Airtel, Glo, GTB, Zenith Bank, Unity Bank, Accion Microfinance, Interswitch, and Infobip, among others.
Touted as the next-generation native messaging evolution for Android users, RCS is an update to SMS, offering features for enhanced smartphone messaging on Android such as high-resolution photo and video sharing, location sharing, group chats, read receipts, etc., all of which are not available on SMS. It is changing Person-to-Person (P2P) as well as Application-to-Person (A2P) messaging. For individuals, RCS opens up the possibility of rich media interactions with any other mobile subscriber using the native messaging app on the phone. Enterprises, on the other hand, are opened to an opportunity to engage with their smartphone customers using RBM, RCS’s offering for enterprises which is used for business-to-consumer communication to provide a richer and interactive brand experience, complete with verified senders and brand logos.
At the workshop, 9mobile announced that they had chosen Google’s Jibe platform for offering RCS, and had chosen Kirusa for managing their RBM services in Nigeria, including directories, onboarding, verification, and APIs to send OTP’s over RCS. Google demonstrated their Jibe platform, including their Dialogflow bot creation tool, while Kirusa demonstrated the RCS directory (available at www.dotgo.com) and the partners.dotgo.com portal for aggregators to launch RBM bots on 9mobile.
“We are excited to see Kirusa and 9mobile leading the way by launching the first RCS agents in Nigeria on Google’s RCS MAAP platform. Bringing modern messaging to everyone on Android is important to us and we look forward to supporting Kirusa and 9mobile further,” said Johanna Kollar, Partnerships Lead, Communication Products, EMEA, Google.
Bola Afuye, Head of Digital Media, 9mobile said, “We are glad to be the front-runners not just in Nigeria, but in all of Africa to launch RCS and RBM. RCS opens up newer avenues for brands to communicate with their customers. This workshop demonstrated how carriers can benefit from RCS and leverage it to offer innovative services to their subscribers and have engaging conversations with their customers.”
“We are delighted to be a part of the workshop hosted by Google to showcase the possibilities of RCS for the Nigerian market. Through this workshop, we want to enhance the usage and adoption of RBM by brands in Nigeria, as it provides convenience and value to consumers. By providing RBM agents, brands are empowered to improve overall customer experience and satisfaction,” said Inderpal Singh Mumick, Founder, Chairman and, CEO of Kirusa.
Google has been playing a significant role in marshaling the adoption of RCS across the globe. Taking the lead to transform enterprise messaging experiences on Android with RCS, Google launched its RBM Early Access Program in 2017. The Program aims to help enterprises build agents that take advantage of RCS features and engage with their audiences better. 9mobile is the first operator in Nigeria to launch RCS, and the first operator in the world to provide an RCS bot, named my9mobile, for providing customer support, and also the first operator in the world to make missed call alert and voicemail available using an RCS Agent.