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ATL Communications, a toll-free RespOrg, and Zipwhip, a cloud texting company, announced Friday the launch of a new service called Textify that enables companies to text-enable their toll-free numbers.
“Textify offers an entirely new way to use text-based communications and toll-free numbers," said ATL Communications President Aelea Christofferson.
Zipwhip, which bills itself as a text carrier, is an internet development company that previously has produced texting technologies for desktops and business landlines. “The use of toll-free numbers for texting opens up a new world for us," said Zipwhip CEO John Lauer.
Toll-free texting allows existing toll-free numbers to send and receive text messages (SMS) send from web, desktop, mobile and other Internet-connected applications. Toll-free numbers are routed with U.S. wireless carriers the same way mobile numbers are; there is no carrier involvement and the service never touches the PSTN. Toll-free numbers are used to leverage well known vanity numbers like 1-800-FLOWERS. Control of these toll-free numbers must be verified to ensure it is the authorized company or end user requesting text enabling. As a RespOrg, ATL ensures this verification.
Textify customers can access and respond to the messages via a web app that resides on the Web or mobile device; APIs are available to call centers that want to integrate with their own system or ATL offers a turnkey Text Care app for call centers. Response texts can be sent manually or, by mid-October, automatically based on key words.
The first two companies to sign Textify contracts with ATL are IVRTechGroup.com, a provider of hosted call center and IVR applications, and X5 Solutions, a telecom carrier.
Christofferson said the toll-free texting service presently is available through channels on a wholesale basis, with pricing on a per-text and unlimited basis. The app, which can be white-labeled, is available on a variety of devices, including web, desktop, mobile phone and tablet.