The Azure Communication Services team is excited to share several new product and feature updates released in July 2023. (You can view previous blog articles here.)
This month’s update describes the features below:
Trial Phone Number
Alphanumeric Sender ID
Email Geo Expansion
We are thrilled to announce the public preview of Job Router. This robust tool, accessible via a suite of SDKs and APIs, is designed to transform the way developers embed advanced routing rules to their business' application across multiple communication channels. Job Router will pair each customer interaction with the most suitable agent or automated service, in the right channel, at the right time.
Router from Azure Communication Services is the platform that solves the complex problem of managing and routing customer engagements effectively across communication channels. It acts as a sophisticated matchmaker, intelligently queueing and routing your customers’ incoming communications, or "jobs", to the most suitable "worker", based on a mix of pre-defined and runtime rules and policies. Whether the worker is a citizen or a contact center agent with a specific skill set, or an automated service designed to handle routine inquiries, Job Router ensures that every inquiry is handled by the most appropriate resource.
Developers building customer engagement systems can easily integrate Job Router with other Azure Communication Services primitives like Call Automation, SMS, Chat, and Email. They can prioritize and route customer inquiries using labels, exception and classification policies. This allows them to programmatically create advanced business rules to route various types of customer interactions - calls, texts, chats, emails - to the appropriate agents or services.
Just like a traffic controller at a busy airport, Job Router uses 'Priority (label)-based routing' to swiftly categorize and assign jobs in an emergency response center, ensuring high-priority calls get immediate attention. Additionally, 'Skills-based routing' can be used to tailor customer support service, directing calls, for example, from Japan to a Japanese-speaking agent and Spanish queries to a Spanish expert, offering a personalized touch in a global setting. Beyond these key routing rules with Job Router, developers have the flexibility to implement a diverse set of routing options to manage communication workflows efficiently and effectively.
Trial Phone Numbers are now available in public preview for Azure Communication Services! This new offering empowers developers to explore the capabilities of voice and video calling in their applications and experience the potential of Azure Communication Services firsthand. Whether you are evaluating, developing, or prototyping, our trial phone numbers are designed to accelerate your journey and enable you to build powerful communication solutions.
Trial phone numbers can be used to integrate voice capabilities into your applications effortlessly using Azure Communication Services APIs and SDKs. Whether it’s a simple 1:1 outbound call, or some Call Automation workflows, our comprehensive documentation and code samples will guide you through the process, allowing you to focus on building exceptional user experiences.
Each trial phone number is available for a 30-day duration, at no cost, allowing developers ample time to evaluate the functionalities. Additionally, during the trial period, trial phone numbers can support up to 60 minutes of calling, providing sufficient scope for testing and experimentation. Additionally, Trial phone numbers come with recipient phone number verification, ensuring that calls can only be made to verified numbers. This security measure helps protect against misuse and unauthorized usage.
Alphanumeric Sender ID 1-Way SMS is now generally available!
Alphanumeric Sender IDs are 6-11 character customizable sender Ids (Example: CONTOSO, COMPANY) that can be used to send 1-way SMS messages in supported countries. Businesses can now send messages to recipients in 17 countries including Germany, Netherlands, United Kingdom, Australia, France, Switzerland, Sweden, Italy, Spain, Denmark, Ireland, Portugal, Poland, Austria, Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia.
With Alphanumeric Sender ID, you can now send SMS messages using your brand name, creating a strong and recognizable identity in your customers' inboxes. This feature empowers businesses to stand out in the crowded digital landscape, fostering increased customer engagement and higher conversion rates.
This launch is also fully compliant with EUDB (European Union Data Breach) regulations. We have implemented comprehensive measures to ensure our services strictly adhere to the highest data protection and privacy standards, providing you with peace of mind and safeguarding your customers' sensitive information.
How Alphanumeric Sender IDs Work
When a message is sent using an alphanumeric sender ID, the business needs to pass the desired sender name (example: MyCompany, CONTOSO) instead of the traditional phone number. The message is then sent to the recipient's phone, where it appears as a regular SMS message with a personalized sender name.
When creating an Azure Communication Services Email resource, you specify the location where the email communication service is created. This means all email domain related config information and data stored by Azure Communication Services Email at rest is retained in that geography. Data may be in transit through other geographies to get to its destination.
Here is the complete list of all geographies for which Email Service is now Generally Available:
Africa, Asia Pacific, Australia, Brazil, Canada, Europe, France, Germany, India, Japan, Korea, Norway, Switzerland, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom, and the United States.
Learn more about Azure Communication Services Email.
You can learn more about these, and other features of Azure Communication Services in our documentation. Learn More.