Any Answers Answered: Ways to send SMS text messages from your PC

Reach clients via SMS textIt all started with an SMS text message from Nigel Harris's dentist, reminding him of a recent appointment. If dentists can reach clients quickly and effectively with text, why couldn't accountants, he wondered. IT Zone's John Stokdyk investigates the possibilities suggested by AccountingWEB members.


"This looks like a very effective way to get urgent messages to clients, especially sole traders who are always out of the office.

Continued...

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Comments

Text banking

ian339 | | Permalink

If you qualify for free banking - most do I think - FirstDirect offer free text messages for e.g. weekly mini-statements and balances below a limit.

Do you have a Vodafone contract

AnonymousUser | | Permalink

If you do and have Outlook (but not Outlook 2007) you can use their "text centre"

You send texts from your desktop using Outlook, the cost is billed via your current call plan under one of your existing mobile numbers.

And you choose whether they reply to your inbox or the mobile number you have used to setup the service.

Great for sending individual texts, contact numbers etc.

Unfortunately it does not work with Outlook 2007.

My Basic Instinct

Anonymous | | Permalink

Would be to do a google search for Free SMS text messaging? Some even let you buy an account for a premuim service.

Business Applications

dclark | | Permalink

For me, the most logical place for a business to put SMS capabilities is in the CRM or Accounts arena, where it assists the end customer communication

We already offer this with one of our solutions. Imagine a Jeweller getting a repair ready for a customer. Normally the jeweller attempts to ring the customer. This often takes more than one call. By linking a repair status to the ability to send a text message, as soon as a repair is 'ready for collection' the customer is sent a text. How convenient, if that person happens to be shopping at the time, to receive the text!

Our CRM solution (circa £100 per user) offers this based on almost anything in the system. For example, I could set a Public email folder used to receive particular email traffic to raise an SMS whenever an email arrives in that folder or I could set an Appointment to generate an SMS, or or I could base it on an activity that was generated by another system (for example we do link it to a payroll system that allows the user to send a text message when a payroll event happens - P35 submission done)

Kind Regards

Daniel Clark
Ryba Macaulay Ltd
info@ryba-macaulay.co.uk

Not only but also

mikewhit | | Permalink

There are also several websites that offer sending of SMS messages from application software via a programming-type interface (search for 'SMS gateway api') - think Visual Basic or scripting programs.

One example of this kind of use might be a 'mail merge' type of application that could SMS clients when the accounts submission receipt email from HMRC came in, "[Click here to inform Mr. X by text]" taking out the donkey-work.

Also, I guess, a daily run at 8:00 or 12:00 (or the day before) through the appointments diary to remind people of imminent/upcoming meetings !

I often hope that one day the online banking services will offer text messages to the customer when a given Event occurs, such as account balance dropping below a defined limit, or a particular credit made to the account.

:)

AnonymousUser | | Permalink

John

Always pleased to help

Simon

ksalter's picture

Text from PC

ksalter | | Permalink

Skype can also be used to send an SMS message. Needs credit on the account to do it though.

Blackberry

Anonymous | | Permalink

Any ideas for those on BES with fully synchronised contacts how best to offer this service?

John Stokdyk's picture

Nokia PC works well

John Stokdyk | | Permalink

After completing the article, I took the opportunity to download the Nokia PC application. It's a bit hefty at 30MB, but worth the effort - the texting interface is quick and easy and lets you pull numbers from your Outlook database. Synching with Outlook is also a great aid to ensure you keep good back-ups of numbers stored in your mobile - and vice versa. It's early days yet, but already the software has probably improved my mobile phone efficiency. Thanks Simon Lever for alerting me to it.

Thanks also to Nigel for posting such an interesting query - although he tells me that he's a Motorola user, so Nokia PC isn't much use for him.

John Stokdyk
Technology editor
AccountingWEB.co.uk