2016: A Look Back At A Wonderful Year

71

Hi there! It’s already 2017, and we are all starting a new trip around the Sun in this wonderful pale blue ship that we call Earth. We are absolutely grateful of having you onboard with us for the past year, so we felt like sharing with you what happened with the PortaText team and company throughout 2016; the good things, the bad things, and of course our goals for this new year.

This is actually the content of our internal talk “The State Of PortaText: 2016“, please feel free to see the slides to know more. We hope you enjoy this post, as you are an important part of it.

The Beginning

2016 was the actual kick off for PortaText as a standalone company. A garage project named “ExSMS” (meaning Elixir SMS, because our platform is based on the Elixir language) became “PortaText”. We sealed a strategic partnership with PicallEx to provide A2P for many call centers in the US and South America.

Listen up, world: Here we are!

We realized that we had something to say, so we started to communicate with the outside world.

New Blog & Website

Our new beautiful website was launched (check it out at https://www.portatext.com/), and also our blog (where you are currently reading this, of course).

Presence in Different Social Networks

Also our official accounts at major social networks were created, like Twitter (@PortaText), FaceBook (@PortaText), LinkedIn (https://www.linkedin.com/company/portatext), and Google+ (https://plus.google.com/100839630078402933419). Thank you so much to all our followers, people, and companies that interacted with us during this fruitful year!

Mission Statement

A mission statement is a must in any organization. It guides you through your day, week, and year and keeps you on the right track when devising and materializing new features. In case you missed it, here’s ours:

“To help create better, stronger, and long lasting bonds of trust and confidence, between businesses and customers by using dedicated LVNs for 2-way SMS. These LVNs thus become a vital part of the company identity.”

“To offer a great user panel and REST API, and to be the bridge between carriers and not-so-sophisticated companies that want to use SMS, but don’t have the resources to develop a complete solution by themselves.”

New Services, Promotions, and Brochures

We added new plans to our repertoire (Basic, Bronze, Silver, and Gold), and also new services like PortaSMS, that allows you to add SMS capabilities to your current (existing) landline US number (local, national, or toll free).

Our REST API documentation and our FAQ are now available in English and Spanish, and we also now have a ticket system that you can use by sending an email to support@portatext.com.

We also added new services like Number Inspect, Number Verify, CNAM database lookups, SMS Simulator, Automatic Opt-out detection in LVNs, new notifications and SNS integration.

And last but not least, we created the best user panel ever 🙂

Uiiishh what a busy year!

Open Source

We publicly release our SDKs for PHP, NodeJS, and Ruby, and we also created some other free and open source projects that you can see at our GitHub account. We also contributed to other projects by opening pull requests and bug reports, yay!

No one can do it alone

It was a great year for networking. We were at LAWC 2016 (The Latin American Wholesale Congress), closed deals with major players and carriers of the industry, we added new routes, and we also sponsored our first NGO, Doral Pro Health for their health events.

Some tough challenges during this year

During 2016 we faced some challenges that we had to overcome. Some of them we are still dealing with.

SPAM

Some of our first customers thought that they could SPAM people with SMS. So we had to educate them in how to do marketing in the right way. Sadly, some didn’t want to play ball, so we had to let them go.

Marketing

The budget for marketing was small, so promoting our service was difficult. This is one of the things we want to tackle during the next year.

A2P Evangelization

One of the things that we love about SMS is to use it for A2P. We worked really hard with all our customers and helped them “ride the wave”. They now love it! 🙂

Some numbers for 2016

We clearly grew during 2016, and we have some numbers to back this statement, check them out! Comparing with 2015, we ended up with:

  • +325% inbound messages
  • +689% outbound messages
  • +170% customers

Goals For 2017

For 2017 we have setup some ambitious goals, and to have them written here make us commit even more to accomplish them.

Bigger Teams

We’re always looking to incorporate new rock starts to our team. We will be looking for backend developers, marketing people, and more, stay tuned!

Sign up, Autoprovisioning

Sooner rather than earlier you will be able to create your account automagically from our website, and also search for and buy LVNs (or DIDs) on your own.

Online marketing

In this new year we want to increase our marketing budget, we need more of you guys using our services, so we will get out there and look for you 🙂 Adwords, Facebook Ads, and more will be some of our tools.

Increase traffic

We did a good job this year, but we want more! We want more traffic, for both inbound and outbound messages so that will definitely be a good challenge to tackle right from the start.

More Open Source

You know we support open source, so we want to contribute more, by creating new projects and/or opening new bug reports and/or pull requests to the projects we already use and love.

Latin America

We made some very good friends and clients in Latin America that are eager to add SMS capabilities to their projects, so fasten your seat belt, because we’re going in!

Status webpage

Honesty and transparency are some of our core values. Soon you will be able to know about our platform status at https://status.portatext.com/.

Sponsor more NGOs

One of the things we like is to try to make the world a better place. During 2017 we will be on the look out for NGOs, schools, Universities, and any other kind of non-profit organization to sponsor, that want to use SMS as a new channel to communicate with people.

Telephony campaigns support

Right now we are in beta, but we want to officially launch Telephony support during the next year.

All in all

We want to THANK YOU for a wonderful year. We want more. We wish you a Merry Christmas, and a Happy New Year.  See you on 2017 🙂 As always, don’t hesitate to contact us with any questions.

Cheers!

— The PortaText Team.