The bright future of RCS Business Messaging in Japan

The ascent of RCS in Japan has been nothing short of meteoric.  The Japanese operators (NTT Docomo, SoftBank and KDDI) have achieved something remarkable, which serves as an example to be emulated around the world: delivery platforms which are fully aligned through successful collaboration, marketed under the common brand +Message. The venture has yielded a five-fold increase in RCS users across Japan since June 2018, for a total today of more than 10 million. Since then, in June of this year, we’ve seen RCS provider 3Cinteractive team up with systems integrator and AI specialists, Automagi to help deploy RCS Business Messaging across Japan, allowing enterprises to benefit from richer customer communications including branding, multimedia, interactivity and analytics. “As one of the first countries to fully embrace RCS technology, the Japanese market is well on its way to becoming the global leader,” says Mike FitzGibbon, president of 3C.

A2P deployments of +Message have been particularly successful, with open rates of over 85%, and clickthrough rates above 40%, higher than comparable SMS campaigns. The use cases are naturally multiplying quickly – from alerts in the financial services sector, updates in smart metering, to safety information during disaster relief – and the scope for further diversification limitless. For Japanese companies who have taken note of the opportunities this opens up for enterprise, we have an invitation: save the date of Thursday 5 December, when our 29th RCS Business Messaging Awareness Lab takes place in Tokyo, between 10:00 and 17:00 at The Peninsula Hotel.

This RCS Awareness Lab intends to provide the Japanese Operators and RCS ecosystem a launch event and allow companies and brands new to RCS, a stronger understanding of how it works and what it can do for them and their customers. Attendees will hear from high-profile speakers on the state of play in RCS both regionally and globally, the business case for RCS Business Messaging, case studies and results of live brand campaigns, technical solutions to common challenges and how to achieve scale. In addition, attendees can learn more about the GSMA Universal Profile standard, the RCS ecosystem, handset adoption, customer experience, brand trials, commercial models, and of course privacy and security. Networking is a key focus in these GSMA Labs, with the importance to bring together leading players across the ecosystem, not only to attend industry events as members of the audience, but to mingle and form productive relationships on their own terms once they’re there.

For this RCS Lab, our sponsor Synchronoss is leading innovators in messaging, cloud, and IoT products, delivering a secure multi-channel communications platform covering RCS, SMS, and email, across Japan earlier this year. Mary Clark, CMO at Synchronoss spoke at last month’s RCS Business Messaging Seminar at MWC19 Los Angeles, revealing that research is showing strong appetite amongst consumers for what RCS has to offer. However, a correspondingly strong desire to avoid having to switch between multiple platforms for different purposes, or seeing RCS become a ‘broken channel’ by becoming a source of spam. Synchronoss accordingly urge operators to “lead from the front” in rich messaging, ensuring RCS can become the integrated one-stop-shop for mobile messaging while establishing a common understanding of acceptable usage standards early on.

We know plenty in the mobile industry agree with this appraisal – if you’d like to join that formative conversation, there’s no better way than coming along to next month’s Awareness Lab in Japan – please register your interest here.  Your contribution will allow you to help shape the future of RCS, from designing user experience to informing GSMA standards, and ensure an open ecosystem capable of realising RCS’ forecast global value of $74 billion by end of Q1 2020. We look forward to welcoming you there.