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Nowadays is an advanced technological age in transmitting information with globally such as SMS, email, telecommunication. Almost every business or organizations have used these technologies for contacting the consumer or stakeholder as the marketing strategies.
If these new technologies are not used in a company, the organization may lose profits and customer loyalty since it does not communicate effectively with consumers by providing newsletter services to tell and remind them of the latest product or promotion.
Secondly the company also will incur higher costs in using multimedia advertisement on television, radio, and magazine. For the organizations that only using the multimedia for promoting the advertisement through the television, radio or magazine it was not so efficient to increase the awareness of the consumer because in it cannot sure all the information can pass to the entire consumer. So, it is not only can lose the awareness of consumer and issues of wasting cost for these advertisements.
After finish in this analysis and the research of solutions to overcome these problems, using the SMS messages via newsletters is a good choice to increase the customer loyalty and improves the CRM (Customer Relationship Management). Therefore in this final year project will have the SMS application module for sending newsletters which contain the latest promotion or product information to increase customer awareness and the relationship among organization.
2 Concept and Introduction of SMS
Short Message Services it is also known as SMS that was frequently used by people for delivering or retrieve the short message from another person by using a mobile phone. (developerhome 2004-2011) Nowadays, SMS is widely used and almost everyone will able to use it.
Originally, the SMS is a part of the Global System for Mobile Communications (GSM) specification in transferring or delivery of the alphanumeric messages to mobile phone over a wireless network (activexpert 2012).
The maximum length of single SMS can be in 160 characters and 140 bytes of text that was contained words, numbers or an alphanumeric combination (activexpert 2012). Besides, if wanted to send foreign languages such as Arabic, Korean and other that are require 16-bit encoding so it will be limited to 70 characters (Retford B., Schwartz J 2007 Pg 6-7/52).
SMS can be read and received concurrently with GSM voice, Data and Fax calls. This is possible because while voice, Data and Fax calls take over a dedicated radio channel for the duration of the call, short messages travel over and above the radio channel using the signaling path. And some users of SMS rarely if ever get a busy or engaged signal as they can do during peak network usage times. (activexpert 2012)
2.1 Short Message Service Center
The Short Message Service Center (SMSC) is acting for handling the flow of SMS on a wireless network. Generally, when a mobile phone sends an SMS message, it will store in SMSC. After that, the SMSC will handle and manage these messages when a user sends a text message to another user which delivers it to the destination user when they are available. It will store the SMS message while the message has failed to send to a destination, and it will continue forward the messages again after it is available. (developerhome 2004-2011)
2.2 SMS Gateway
According to the SMSC is mainly used to store SMS and forwarding the services that are developed by different companies with used their own communication protocol (developerhome 2004-2011). For example the Nokia is used the CIMD (Computer Interface to Message Distribution) as the SMS protocol, in other hand CMG (Computer Management Group) which is also focused on telecommunications and computing was used the EMI(External Machine Interface) as the SMSC protocol. Both two SMSC cannot be connected because they do not support a common SMSC protocol.
In the solution that can solve this problem is an SMS gateway is required to place between two SMSCs to allow different wireless carriers to interconnect to each other SMSCs (developerhome 2004-2011). Depending to the figure 1 at below, the SMS gateway acts as a relay between two SMSCs in route the SMS messages to another SMS gateway or SMSC for providing features in inter-operator messaging.
Figure 1. SMS Gateway as a relay at center between two SMSC (Illustrate from developerhome)
2.3 Inter-operator SMS Messages
The inter-operator SMS message is stated as the messages are from the different SMSC network. For example, two users are using a different mobile phone service of wireless network operator such as CIMD, CMG, CDMA and other (developerhome 2004-2011). From this situation, it included two wireless networks with exchange message therefore this SMS message is called as inter-operator SMS messages.
3 Type of SMS Gateway
3.1 SMS Aggregators
This is a general gateway that used by most SMS service providers and it does not access beyond the SMSCs and route packets up to the message Centre (Anshul Thakur 2012). For the mainly purpose is to offer a gateway to both send and receive messages content (MobileMarketer 2010). The characteristic of this gateway is giving sending a bulk message that was cheaper than sending individual message to multiple mobile numbers (Anshul Thakur 2012).
3.2 SS7 Providers
The SS7(Signalling System No. 7) Provider is purpose to fetch up the drawback of SMS Aggregator with providing a valid destination number in service for message delivery. The characteristic of this gateway is more complex and requires a lot of infrastructure such as required to install this service (Anshul Thakur 2012). In other hand this gateway it can allow SMS messages sent directly to or from recipients without having passed through the SMS-C of other mobile operators. Which means it can possible to avoid delays and message losses by offering full delivery guarantees of messages and optimized routing (kiberlain 2010).
4 Comparison between SMS application with Gateway and without Gateway
4.1 SMS application without SMS Gateway
For the following figure 2 is showing that the SMS application without using the SMS gateway that have in four SMSC that are developed from different vendor with using different protocols. If the text messaging application is needed to connect to all the SMSCs which mean that it is required to support all the SMSCs protocols that are specified. In the result, if without using SMS gateway then the developer should spend more time in development and the text messaging application will also more complexity.
Figure 2. SMS Application without Gateway (Illustrate from developerhome)
4.2 SMS application with SMS Gateway
According to figure 3 below is showing that the SMS application with SMS Gateway. The main purpose of implementing the SMS gateway is to handle the connections to the SMSCs. Therefore the SMS application only needs to connect to the SMS gateway because the SMS gateway it can support in many SMSCs therefore the developer only just need to modify the settings of the SMS gateway which in add the support type of SMSCs. As the result, implement the SMS gateway is greatly shortened the SMS application's development time in the final project.
Figure 3. SMS Application with Gateway (Illustrate from developerhome)
5 Application to Final Year Project
5.1 Introduce in Final Year Project
In this final year project which is purpose providing the sales and services for the customers and staffs like sales modules is for calculating the total sales and print receipt to the customers and on the other hand it also have the management and maintenance module to the staffs like the staff module is for convenience in maintaining the staff information.
The newsletter module which is also included in this final year project that is responsible to send the SMS messages which is contain the latest product promotion information to the customer via newsletter. In this module it is important to implement in this final year project is not only to overcome the problem from the problem statement and also to improve the CRM of the organization.
5.1.1 What is CRM
CRM (Customer Relationship Management) which is a specific way to organize and maintain the relation among the customers and organizations. It is widely implemented in most of the organizations which are involved in using some technology to organize, automate and synchronize the business processes for example in this final year project were using the SMS Application for keep track the customer relationship with sending the newsletter to increase the awareness and satisfaction of the customers.
CRM is important to the business it is because CRM can bring many advantages to the organization such as increase performance and efficiency for example using SMS message is fast and direct to the customer, decrease in overall costs and increase profitability or revenue are comparing use SMS message via newsletter among multimedia advertisement is more saving the cost and also more efficient and reliable in increase the revenue of the organization because using SMS message via newsletter is direct inform to customer for increase the awareness and can also avoid the problem in fail passing latest information for customer.
5.2 Product Selection
The application that was chosen to implement the final year project with sending the newsletter via SMS is the OZEKI NG SMS GATEWAY. In this application is one of the famous applications to implement in sending and receiving SMS messages that can help organizations overcome the problem that state at the problem statement.
The mainly reason in selection in this application is when success implements in this application it will increase and help in maximize productivity of IT such as reducing the complexity of creating, deploying and managing the mobile applications because the Ozeki Ng is a free open source application in allowing the developer to customize the services, adding new features and redesigning. It also can give supporting to the developers with a rich, flexible, modern development environment like to provide free source code, user guide, and free download resources.
Secondly, Ozeki Ng can support in multiple platform of application such as ASP SMS, HTTP SMS, SQL SMS, C-Sharp SMS Application and other. So, it can select which type of language application by the developer that was familiar for them to implement the SMS application services in the project.
5.3 Advantage in implementation of application
The implementation of this application is used to overcome the problem from problem statement are the organization is required to use a suitable communication application like SMS, email and other communication that can directly communicate or keep track to awareness of consumer. Firstly, it can send SMS as a newsletter with directly pass the latest information of the organization to the consumers that have registered for newsletter services. It is more reliable comparing with used advertisement via media because it can directly inform to customer and also avoid to the possibility of miss out the advertisement hour.
Secondly, using SMS application to send SMS in the newsletter that will always on everywhere because nowadays it was all-round of the world having its own mobile devices as the mainly convenient communication devices (Retford B., Schwartz J 2007 Pg 21-23/52).
On the other hand, it can help organization saving the cost of the advertisement cost because makes an advertisement via media is more expensive than using SMS via newsletter.
In addition, using SMS can guarantee delivery of notifications and alerts to one or more consumers with a reliable and low-cost communication method for short message delivery at the same times. In other hand, SMS application also can easily be integrated with Internet-based or other data applications with provider another source of revenue and the creation of new services for service providers.
5.4 Disadvantages Sending newsletters via SMS
The text messages are limited in maximum 160 characters only therefore it may cannot provide the fully and clearly described in the new promotion information at newsletter through sending SMS (Retford B, Schwart J 2007.pg 16-17).
Secondly, SMS text messaging does not support sending media including videos, pictures, and so on. Even though can use an alternative application such as EMS (Enhanced Messaging Service) to overcome this problem but it also may not be able read or transfer successfully to the end user. So that, it will affect and caused the customer cannot read in the newsletter through this SMS service (developerhome 2004-2011).
5.5 Implementation of Java SMS Application
5.5.1 Introduction of Application
The Java SMS Application is used to connect to Ozeki NG SMS Gateway directly for sending the newsletter via SMS from Java application. In this application containing in three methods in sending SMS are sending SMS using a database, sending SMS using HTTP and sending SMS using the Ozeki Java SMS SDK.
In the final year project it will implement the SMS application with using HTTP. In the reason in using this implementation is in this project it is a short-lived process which is for doing some things will complete quickly or short running processes. In addition, HTTP is the simplest method and good choice for sending SMS messages to another mobile phone because Java language has native methods call to submit the HTTP request (Ozeki Ng SMS Gateway 2010-2012). For the following figure 4 is the architecture of Sending SMS using the HTTP that showing both can be interacted with each other via HTTP request.
Figure 4 How to send SMS via HTTP request (illustrate by Ozeki NG SMS Gateway)
5.5.2 Simple Sample Code Application
Figure 5 Sample source code (illustrate by Ozeki Ng SMS Gateway)
Description of sample code
The definition source code of "http://127.0.0.1:9501/api?action= sendmessage&" is the IP address or host name of the computer that from the Ozeki Ng SMS Gateway that are already installed. In addition the 127.0.0.1 is a local loopback address that is used when connecting to the SMS software from the same computer. For the number 9501 is a default port number of the SMS gateway (Ozeki Ng SMS Gateway 2010-2012).
The purpose of username and password are used to authenticate the users after sending the SMS message it will be sent in the name of the authenticated user. Recipient and originator are specified in recipient phone number and the sender address. After that, for the messagetype and messagedata are specified in the type of the SMS message data such as the text message will be plain text as the message data and for other message types it will be an XML as the default or HTML document. In other hand the messagedata is the text or the data of the SMS message that are need send to the recipient (Ozeki Ng SMS Gateway 2010-2012). .
Lastly, the serviceprovider is specifying the name of the GSM modem or IP SMS service provider connection that is used for sending messages and responseformat is to specify the type of the parameter that will return a web page if it is sent successfully by the gateway after the gateway submits the SMS message. Furthermore, the content of webpage will also same format with the responseformat parameter (Ozeki Ng SMS Gateway 2010-2012).