Tanla, Microsoft tie-up on blockchain network for encrypted SMSes, emails for businesses

As the world is embroiled in privacy debate over WhatsApp’s policy change, India’s CPaaS (communication platform as a service) industry is gearing up to adopt end-to-end encryption of commercial mobile SMSes, emails, and all types of business communication between enterprises and service providers.

CPaaS provider Tanla Platforms, in partnership with Microsoft, has launched an edge-to-edge global blockchain network called ‘Wisely’ for sending encrypted SMSes directly from enterprises to telco operators, which claims to disrupt the existing aggregator model of commercial communication.

Initial industry reactions suggest, while encryption is the much-needed innovation in CPaaS, the business model of the industry will remain intact.

“Wisely, powered by Microsoft is a gamechanger for enterprises, mobile carriers, OTT players, marketers and industry regulators. With Wisely, user’s personal data stays personal and all players in the commercial communication ecosystem are empowered with choice and trust,” Uday Reddy, Chairman and CEO of Tanla Platforms told ET in an exclusive interaction.

The network is integrated with global service providers for omnichannel communication – including SMS, email, voice, RCS, OTT apps (such as WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger), and push notifications – that can be accessed using a single API (application programming interface), the company said.

It is also launching the ‘Wisely marketplace’, an Uber/AirBnb-like model for suppliers and customers of commercial communication.

India’s commercial traffic is managed by leading CPaaS players such as Tata Communications, Route Mobile, Gupshup, Kalyera and close to 50,000 telemarketers and aggregators in the country.

“My preliminary assessment suggests that encryption is the USP of the platform which could drive the attention of enterprises. However, it cannot eliminate the role of existing CPaaS players, some of whom are already offering encryption to businesses,” said Aniketh Jain, chief revenue officer, Kalyera.

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“Onboarding 800 telcos across the world on a single platform is not possible due to different regulatory requirements of each country. Moreover, real-time pricing of bulk traffic also seems peculiar in my opinion,” he added.

According to the latest data by research firm Gartner, the size of the global CPaaS market in 2020 is $20 billion, which is expected to double in the next three years. In India, the daily commercial SMS traffic is close to 1.3 billion.

The solution has been created by Microsoft for Tanla and the company has been awarded three patents in cryptography and blockchain processes by the United States Patents & Trademark Office.

Tanla has a co-sell agreement with Microsoft. All data processed over Wisely will be stored locally in Microsoft Azure data centres across different geographies. Tanla’s shares rose 3.91% on Wednesday to close at Rs 778.30 per piece on BSE.


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