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New “konnect” solutions to enhance communication between businesses, customers, says Kirusa CEO

A new service developed by Kirusa, a global leading company that engages in providing messaging and voice solutions over data networks, would help in fostering better communication between businesses and their customers.

Known as “Kirusa konnect”, the solution is expected to further increase companies’ engagements with customers beyond the traditional SMS, to include other channels like voice messaging and data messaging, Inderpal Mumick, CEO of the value-added service providing firm said.

“We saw a need from both consumers and business perspectives that they would also want to communicate over the voice channel by making phone calls and data messaging channel hence, the need for development of Kirusa konnect to help in bridging this communication gap,” Mumick said at a news parley in the firm’s office in Lagos.

Kirusa konnect which has recently been launched in Nigeria—its biggest market where over half of its calls and messaging transactions happen—offers a comprehensive suite of inbound and outbound communication tools, which enable users to connect with their target audience via mobile phones.

With the firm’s inbound tools, businesses are open to various services including SnapCall, a platform that allows customers to reach out simply by giving a missed call with acknowledgement SMS sent immediately with the requested information; IVR, a customized solutions that allow their customers to dial-in and listen to information about their business, products and services at the same time, allow them to leave a feedback; and lastly, the Inbound SMS which enables customers to send SMS to request information, register a vote or receive a call back.

For Konnect’s outbound tools, businesses and enterprises can enjoy services including the firms Outbound Dialler (OBD), a service that creates opportunities for personalizing business communication; SMS Tagging that allows businesses tag promotional messages along with transactional messages in order to get better visibility and more effective communication with a larger audience base; and the SMS Campaign, which allows companies send text messages to their entire customer base in a cost-effective manner.

Kirusa connect, which long kicked off in the Ghana market and has a lot of success stories to its record, according to Mumick, includes the Vodafone Foundation, when the charity organisation, used the service to educate the people of Ghana about Ebola disease and its precaution. Also, a Ghanaian reality TV show, that used it during its voting processes.

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According to Mumick, the platform can be used by both large enterprises and Small and medium scale enterprises across all sectors including banking, e-commerce, transportation, aviation, Fast Moving Consumer Goods (FMCG), building, insurance and pension.

Kirusa Konnect works through an Application Programming Interfaces (APIs) that can run on, using existing software hence, businesses that have software developers can build their chatbox and make them run over different type of data messaging apps like the Rich Communication Services (RCS), SnapCalls and messages. “However, if they do not have their software developers and they want to run a chatbox, we can provide them with the software to deliver chatbox for them,” he said.

Established in 2001, with headquarter based in New Jersey, United States, Kirusa sees over 3 billion calls and messaging transactions from its over  100 million monthly users.

Aside “konnect”, Kirusa has the InstaVoice, a unique cloud-based, call completion solution that enables users to get voicemails, missed call alerts, and notification of reachability; and the “Kirusa Channels”, an exclusive celebrity-fan engagement platform that allows fans connect with their favourite celebrities.  Both solutions have gained widespread acceptance in Nigeria as well as in other African countries. In 2014, its InstaVoice service was a finalist for the Best Mobile App category of the AfricaCom Awards.

Africa is Kirusa’s biggest market, accounting for over 95 per cent of its monthly calls and messaging transactions, according to Mumick. Of the 3.5 billion transactions reported last month, Nigeria raked in more than half, making the West African nation critical to its business.

In Nigeria, its InstaVoice service is provided in partnership with telecommunication giants MTN, Airtel and 9Mobile, after it got licensed by the Nigeria communications commission (NCC), in 2018, to offer value-added services to the telecommunications industry.

Mumick said the new “konnect solution” would benefit the telecommunication industry in the form of increased traffic since the solution would further make other industries use communication services to further increase their engagements with their customers.

“What we are doing is that we abstracting and making more easily, at a lower cost and at a faster pace for business to utilize communication services and the result will be more engagement with their customers. Off course, the telecommunication service providers like MTN and the likes would also benefit because their traffic would go up,” Mumick said.

Since inception in 2001, Kirusa has continued to introduce innovations and developed that define the next generation telecom experience. The firm has made three acquisition deals with a total funding amount of $31.8 million, based on BusinessDay data. In 2015, Kirusa was rated one of the top 25 emerging technology companies by the Smart Techie magazine.

Mumick, who in 2017 was named amongst outstanding 50 Asian Americans in business, noted that going by the firm’s long track records, messages of enterprises on its platforms are not stored as messaging operates based on the messaging app used, while the calls are based on the telecommunication provider used.

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