More Than You Might Expect Behind SMS APIs

Garrett Wilkin
Nov. 21 2011, 09:58AM EST

When I saw three new SMS APIs, Kinross, Oventus & Txttools added to our index I thought that I might as well dive into this telephony area a little more deeply.  A few minutes of clicking and I learned just how ignorant I was about this space.  My previous understanding of the texting service provider arena was based on limited exposure. I had only heard of Tropo & Twilio and I assumed that they were the main players with other SMS sites simply wrapping around them.  It seems that just the opposite is true, and that there is a lot of fragmentation in this area.

SMS API releases often come from the SMS gateway operators.  There are a lot of SMS operators out there, and consequently a lot of SMS APIs.  In some cases SMS APIs are offered by the same companies that send technicians up cell phone towers.  This was a surprise to me.  The Oventus API falls into this category.  It is offered as a service of PageOne, a UK Telecomm company.  This API is unique in that is supports 7 combinations of data formats and protocols which is a clear strategy widespread integration and adoption.

Both Txttools and Kinross are more software based offerings.   Txttools includes a lot of the same features as Oventus such as group messaging.  It feels like another SMS API with out key distinguishing features, except the promise of fanatical support on their website.  Kinross is a bit more unique and seemingly a much smaller operation.  It’s an Android application that strives to enhance the usefulness of text messaging for business communication.  The primary value add in their system is the standardization of messages through templates.  These templates provide structure so that routine messages such as order invoices, appointments or work orders can be sent in a constant format.  This is coupled with a centralized system that can produce PDFs and other reporting formats.

There are well over 100 SMS messaging APIs in our index now which means this is a fairly mature space, but of course there’s always room for innovation.

Garrett Wilkin

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samwize

My company (Hoiio) is one of the hundreds that provides SMS API.

Yeah it is a mature market and developers are spoilt for choice, so API providers got to innovate and provide more than just basic SMS.