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How to select and use an SMS archiving solution

Sean Stapleton

Email has been the default mode of business communication for decades, and it doesn’t look like that will be changing anytime soon.

However, studies are showing that its effectiveness could be waning, and many companies have adopted text messaging as a more efficient channel for certain types of communication.

Despite the popularity of email, many do go unopened. A recent analysis by MailChimp found the average open rate for all industries is slightly greater than 21 percent. Due to numbers like this, and the popularity of text messaging, many companies are embracing the latter. And those that do are seeing success.

A study by the business communications provider Flowroute recently revealed that 82 percent of people open a business text message within five minutes. When you consider that most people always keep their phone within arm’s reach, it's easy to see why text, or Short Message Service (SMS) messaging is slowly becoming a preferred channel of business communication.

The COVID-19 pandemic has likely accelerated the adoption of business text messaging. As a fast and agile mode of communication, text messaging helped people quickly navigate the unprecedented rate of change unleashed by COVID.

Companies Need an SMS Archiving Solution

With more business being done over text, more companies now need a system to archive these messages.

Text messages are particularly susceptible to being lost or deleted. While most email platforms have Trash and Search features that help to retain emails, text messaging systems are mostly built on the idea of messages being disposable. In a business context, the loss or deletion of a very important text message exchange could have devastating consequences; especially in the event of an audit or legal discovery situation.

Remaining Compliant

Regulations from the SEC, FINRA, and others demand that businesses keep all records of official communications. While most companies that fall under these regulations recognize the importance of keeping emails, some are unaware that these regulations apply to SMS messages as well. A quick text exchange with the client may not seem as official as sending an email, but both forms of communication are equally admissible in the eyes of regulators.

Research shows that many companies are struggling to keep up with these regulations. By some estimates, only about half of all business communications are archived. Countless text messages, social media posts, official web pages, and other pieces of business communication are lost each year by non-compliant companies.

Obviously, the biggest reason to adopt SMS archiving software is to remain compliant. While financial services companies may be focused on regulations from the SEC, government agencies should be focused on complying with the Freedom of Information Act and other regulations related to public sector transparency.

Minimizing Liability

Minimizing liability is probably the second biggest reason for companies to adopt an SMS archiving solution. When a crime is committed or an organization is the subject of legal action, the messages stored in a text archive can make all the difference in a legal outcome.

As with recorded phone calls and emails, text messages are commonly entered into evidence for criminal and civil court proceedings. Therefore, it's critical for companies to archive their text communications. While text communications could be evidence of guilt, an ethically run company should be worried about not having evidence to combat false claims.

A company looking to minimize liability with an SMS archiving solution should look at platforms that can guarantee authenticity, provide effective search capabilities, and offer a complete audit trail.

Support HR Functions

A text message archive can be useful when it comes to onboarding new employees. Text messages can capture tribal knowledge for later reference by company trainers. Archived text messages can also serve as examples of effective business communications.

An archive can be useful when it comes to administering corrective action, as archived messages can reveal improper or inefficient behavior from employees. Texts cannot prove employee conduct, but they can serve as a strong indicator, and as a resource for corrective action.

A Source of Business Insight

SMS archiving software may be mostly seen as a means of remaining compliant and mitigating legal risk, but companies are increasingly seeing it as a strategic asset.

Every organization generates a massive amount of data every day, and companies are finding that this data can be a major source of business insight. Analytics is now as important a business function as customer service.

A good SMS archiving solution provides the ability to analyze and gain insights from archived messages. For example, an analysis of archived content can reveal the source of misunderstandings, employee engagement, and the strength of internal communications.

How MirrorWeb Can Help

We understand that an SMS archiving solution is just one aspect of an overall business archive strategy. Some companies use different solutions for different archiving purposes. Often, the individual parts of an ad hoc system don’t work well together.

At MirrorWeb, we can provide your organization with a comprehensive archiving solution. We can offer your company a singular platform that allows you to remain compliant, minimize risk, support HR functions, and gain new insights. Please contact us today to learn more about our overall platform and individual solutions.

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