Email is one of the oldest and most widely used internet applications as it is both cheap and fast (instant). However, we, in India seem to be missing out this great opportunity for two main reasons:
- Fixed-line and PC penetration is very low in India and mostly concentrated in the urban areas.
- The cost of a personal computer and internet connectivity is very high which makes it nonviable for majority of the population.
The Opportunity: TRAI conducted a study in May 2012 on the mobile phone subscribers in India, which said that the mobile subscribers have now touched 919.17 million. Another report also said “Almost 60% of the world’s first 3.5 billion mobile phone subscribers came from emerging markets like India, and most market analysts predict that the majority of the next billion users will come from India.” This large base of mobile access device offers a perfect platform for Mobile Email Communication.
Blackberry was a default choice amongst business users globally. Preferred over others for its push mail feature, till its market share started slipping to Android and iPhone. Blackberry’s proprietary standards have become somewhat of a disadvantage over phones that use Open Standards such as IMAP and POP to access mail and provide a cheaper option. Users are gradually switching over to lesser costly and feature rich options like Android smartphones.
We estimate that on an average, Blackberry users comprise of 1-5% of the total users in an enterprise. This leaves out a majority of 95% mobile users who would need an alternate solution to take advantage of this email mobility.
The two most viable solutions for this group are:
1. Using Open Standards such as IMAP and POP to access email over smartphones.
2. Use of SMS alerts to receive email messages on the most basic phones.
Connect Xf Email Server allows mobile email connectivity for all types of Smart Phones like Nokia, Blackberry, Samsung, iPhone et.al over standard SMTP/ IMAP/ POP protocols. It works with any service provider (needing only a GPRS service).
The Email to SMS and SMS to Email feature in Connect Xf Email Server can be used to provide tremendous flexibility and increase in effectiveness to the vast majority of the work force that use basic mobile phones. The user can choose to send a summary of the email to chosen recipients on their mobile as SMS. The server will automatically summarize the email, compose an SMS, determine the mobile number of the recipients from the address book and send it using the chosen service provider. The mobile workforce can also choose to send a short email by composing an SMS in a pre-defined format, send it to the short code/long code, which the server will convert to email.
This feature can e.g. enable the field staff of an enterprise to receive alerts and communicate back using a simple mobile phone, with a complete record of the information exchanged stored in the sender and recipients mail boxes.
Mithi Connect answers the growing market demand from mobile email users who require more enterprise-like email capabilities, but do not want the technical complexities or high costs associated with email mobility.
Ashok is working on both, the channel program and the direct-to-customer sales at Mithi. Instrumental in building partnerships with large system integrators and ISPs such as HCL, Wipro, CMC etc. Ashok still loves selling directly to customers.