Podcast 72: TADSummit Innovators, Fabrizio Salanitri, Horisen

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Fabrizio Salanitri is the CEO of Horisen (pronounced horizon). Horisen is a pure product house, they develop state-of-the-art messaging solutions, delivered hosted or on-premise. This is a fun discussion that shines a light on a shift happening in the messaging ecosystem, led by Horisen.

An example situation, a carrier agrees a gateway or firewall deal with an SMS aggregator, and while the revenue targets are met for the carrier, the experience for its customers can be left wanting. Horisen solves this problem by enabling a carrier to become the A2P messaging provider for its network, working directly with brands for running messaging campaigns. This delivers the best solution for the brand, the carrier, and customers. They have about 200 customers, including Deutsche Telekom, Tele2, and Orange. Interestingly, these carrier are some of the most vocal on the tricks from some SMS aggregators (who also brand themselves CPaaS/CPast).

The thing that shines through in this interview is Fabrizio’s moral code. What is happening is SMS is being impaired for short-term monetary gain, and driving brands to other messaging channels including something as sub-par as email.

Fabrizio is doing what is right for the whole SMS ecosystem. Spam, AIT (Artificially Inflated Traffic), scamming OTP (One Time Passcode) messages, inflated A2P SMS prices for businesses, and impairing traffic to shift brands’ routing tables are a few of the SMS ecosystem’s misdeeds.

Horisen is 25 years old and is a vendor neutral messaging product house across SMS, business messaging (multi channel messaging, e.g. WhatsApp, RCS, Viber, LINE, etc.), and SS7 (long live SS7!).

They are not part of the MEF (Mobile Ecosystem Forum).

With Horisen a carrier / Mobile Network Operator can take control over A2P SMS on its network, run a clean business, and have almost zero spam.

There’s an interesting discussion between Johnny and Fabrizio on whether the gateway / firewall deals should be considered negatively. Johnny views that carriers are allowed to close whatever deals meet their business objectives. A gateway deal enables a carrier to focus elsewhere, while the aggregator meets the agreed revenue targets. While Fabrizio makes the point that competition is good for the whole ecosystem, and carriers should consider their mobile A2P customers’ (consumer and enterprise) experiences, and the health of the overall ecosystem. And the longevity of the SMS ecosystem as WhatsApp is most definitive avoiding spam, and messaging is becoming ever more diverse.

Let’s hope Horisen becomes the future of the SMS industry, as if we accept the current situation on SMS, it will become the messaging channel of last resort. This also overlaps the point we made in Podcast 71: Change is only going to come from the carriers, the messaging monopolies want things to continue, the politically appointed FCC is limited by partisan 4 year terms. The only entity that can be customer focused in the long term are the carriers, and TMO-US could lead the charge for its customers and own benefit.

We hope to see Fabrizio at TADSummit on 22-23 Oct in Long Island City.

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