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Thursday 27 November 2014

Mobile Delivery Gateway: Send SMS Guide

Message designed by Joe Harrison from the Noun Project.

As there has been a great frequency of questions from some of our clients, I thought this guide would prove useful for future reference. EVERWORKS delivers an industry leading Mobile Delivery Gateway solution that provides a quick, instantaneous communication method to deliver advertising or marketing information to targeted users (note: content sent to designated recipients has to be compliant with Malaysia's recently announced PDPA 2010; you can read more about the Principles of the PDPA 2010 here.)

To access the Send SMS dashboard, you would have to login to SMS Works, and you would immediately face the Send SMS dashboard as the first landing page (Login > Send SMS).

The content you wish to send to your designated recipient can be added in the Message Text field. Additionally, in the template column, there are choices of pre-designated templates, that you could use to aid your content development.

Important: After inserting your Message Text,  you have to key in according to sequence below:

For instances where you wish to only send via message leave the corresponding entry for the email address blank.

Instead, you could also send via Contact Group.

Once completed you can either send it immediately or a pre-scheduled date.

For more information on if you could change your content after you have set a date you can refer to MCMC Subscription Control FAQ.

If you still face some problems in regards to your access, or technical issues with EVERWORKS Mobile Delivery Gateway, don't hesitate to contact our ever-ready technical team cvs@everworks.com.

Thursday 20 November 2014

Improving Daily Productivity with the Cloud

Cloud computing in recent times have grown from festivities to staple daily standards. Where now a plethora of services on the Internet readily offer application services that aid us with day-to-day tasks. To most laymen all the surrounding talk about the Cloud seems to be another tech jargon that somehow seemed to have crept itself into everyone's lives. 

What is the Cloud? 

The cloud is virtualization of programs or applications that run on connected servers rather than a traditional computer allowing programs with greater requirements to utilize many connected computers at the same time distributing resources to allow it to run, while appearing to the user as a single program or application. It provides the end user and operator benefits including on-demand self-service, broad access across multiple devices, resource pooling, rapid elasticity, and service metering capabilities. A simple example that everyone can relate to is how we use electricity in our homes, when we need more we can use more, and in the event that we do not need so much electricity we don't have to use it. Similar to the Cloud we can use more resources if required compared to the traditional computer which is only limited to the resources housed in the physical device that you are currently using.

How does it add value and not more unnecessary load to our already complex technology environment?

Having a physical device is already complex on its own as there are many requirements to maintain it to function to its best. Virtualization should generally add a layer of complexity on top of existing computing requirements, however cloud computing services are built so that users find it easy to use and the transition from a traditional computing approach. The Cloud promises to give significantly greater improvements to accessibility, computing power requirements, allows greater scalability beyond that of a local computer and that in itself is already proving to be a highly attractive offer to companies seeking greater growth.

Early localized virtualization was made popular with Oracle's VirtualBox. Where computers could be put within existing computers allowing the operator with unique additions to what seemed to be a fixed physical program or application running on a computer.

According to International Telecommunications Union, 2013 Worldwide Internet users are estimated to be at 39% of the world population (2.679 billion users).

Has the Cloud environment changed productivity on the Internet for the better? 

A study in 2010 by Mimecast discovered that 7/10 companies using cloud services are willing to and will move new applications to the cloud. Many would have done so by 2011. Small companies should consider moving to the cloud as they are able to access advanced IT solutions on pay-per-use basis, offering the opportunity for faster work, much greater accuracy, and more productivity. It allows programs and applications to be accessed online without the need for outright purchase, powered by the cloud vendor's own data center infrastructure giving you the required 'power' to do the work that you need. Ease the burden on your workforce as solutions are designed to ensure that leaders and employees are always able to carry on with their work, wherever they are. It could be in the hotel, airport, daily commute to work. This ensures businesses can get more done with the same resources, but without increasing pressures on their people.

More businesses are tapping into the cloud as popularity for it continues to grow. The 2013 Future of Cloud Computing Survey questioned 855 IT decision makers, cloud vendors, and business users, found that 75% of survey respondents are using the cloud in some way. A growth from the previous year where only 67% said that they were using the cloud.

A Microsoft survey has shown that many fears may be unfounded, especially conceding security and network reliability. 94% of businesses reported that they saw an improvement in security after switching to the cloud, and 75% said that network availability improved. 91% of respondents also said that their cloud providers made it easier to meet government compliance requirements.

Is security a top concern?

54% for migrating applications to the cloud, according to a very recent LinkedIn survey out of 7052 participants. GoGrid conducted a similar survey and also concluded Security as a top concern for migrating. However, 57% disagree in a 2010 survey by Mimecast agreed that cloud computing actually improved their security.

"There is no doubt that cloud providers provide flexible, high-quality services for often times less cost, and businesses who refuse to take advantage of this will fall further and further behind the competition. "

How you can jump in on the bandwagon.

Most cloud based services offered on the Internet give users a lot of freedom to try before requiring you to commit. Among the services on the Internet that can be used for initially for free that is powered by Cloud technology are:




Microsoft 365

EVERWORKS Cloud Infrastructure Hosting as a service.

Interested to do more with the cloud? Build with little worry as EVERWORKS provides Infrastructure Hosting for the cloud as a service. We take away all problems related to setting up an environment for a cloud. All that is required of you is to build your application or program and plug-it into a ready made EVERWORKS Cloud environment for you to enjoy the advantages of the cloud.

Find out more on what you can do with the EVERWORKS Cloud Infrastructure by contacting our team at cvs@everworks.com 

Has the Cloud improved your productivity and added value to your every day life? What are some of your experiences with the Cloud?

Cloud designed by Adam Whitcroft from the Noun Project

Thursday 13 November 2014

MCMC Subscription Control FAQ

Disclaimer: SKMM is wholly owned by its respective owners and isn't partnered or owned by EVERWORKS.

Recently it was brought to my attention through, Wendy, that there has been a consistent stream of questions from our customers on subscription control, and here are a few of the questions asked with the highest frequency:

Q: Transaction rejected with error code 1103 & 164.
A: With this new subscription control (as per MCMC guidelines), we won't return the sub_id when CP do VsdbAdd. CP will receive sub_id=N/A. The CP will need to get the sub_id from the SmsMo, which is initiated by the subscriber. Additionally, the CP needs to follow the correct format for sub_id. The format is [<subid>]. Example: Sub_id from SmsMo: 0a2JsddrqoIje7+ysOQSTg== , Sub_id CP should submit when posting MT sub_id= [0a2JsddrqoIje7+ysOQSTg, ==].

Q: CP will not receive the 'ON <subscription keyword>' MO? If yes, which MO will CP receive: 'YES <subscription keyword>', 'YES', or '<subscription keyword>'?
A: Yes, CP will not receive the 'ON <subscription keyword>' MO tom subscriber, it will only involve the subscriber and the CPA for this MO request, CP will receive the MO via SubRegMo method from CPA once the subscriber has sent the 'YES <subscription keyword>'.

Q: What is SubPlanAdd, and SubPlanUpdate used for?
A: SubPlanAdd, allows CPs to create a new subscription. While the SubPlanUpdate allows Cps to update existing subscriptions through the CPA by editing subscription details, terminating keywords, adding new keywords and others (refer to the API given for more info).

Q:  Do we need to add all our keywords into CPA using this method?
A: For an existing subscriber that have subscribed for a keyword, further support will be provided during the migration process. There is a greater likelihood that the subscriber will not need to send 'ON' back to the subscriber. However, you may need to register your existing keyword using SubPlanAdd. (Note: There will be further updates regarding this matter in future, please check back periodically for updates)

Q: When will the CPA start sending reminders and renewals to subscribers? Also, how do you determine when to send the reminder for new and existing subscribers?
A: The CPA will send reminders and renewals to subscribers based on the keywords (This is depending on the subscription_bill_cycle that you have indicated through the SubPlanAdd or SubPlanUpdate). Take note that the number of days for a particular keyword is either for W=Weekly or M=Monthly subscription.

Q: Is there any impact if both the IOD (1MO&1MT) keyword and the subscription keyword are the same?
A: There is no impact IOD and Subscription Keyword are the same, because both keywords are managed using two separate methods.

Q: Does the CP need to invoke VsdbRnw since the renewal is now managed by the CPA?
A: Once the migration is completed there is no need for the CP to invoke VSDB anymore. The renewal will be controlled by the CPA. Once the renewal is completed, the CPA will send a DN Response to the CP using SubReqResp method.

Q: For the SmsMo Method, will the CP still receive a termination message?
A: If the termination is still received by the CPA, the CPA will send the termination notification to the subscriber and forward the termination request to the CP (via the SubTermMo method). If the CP updates its member records in the CP's membership database, and if the subscriber sends STOP ALL or STOP ALL SVC, then the CPA will forward one termination request for all subscriptions attached to the CP's short-code via SubTermMo method, and subsequently all keywords will then be terminated.

Q: Does the CP need to invoke VsdbTerm?
A: Upon the completion of migration, the CP will not be required to invoke VSDB anymore.

Q: How do I set a Future Date Time for an existing keyword?
A: Under the SubPlanAdd, and SubPlanUpdate features you can change sub_live_date parameters when the keywords are still not active, and the date time would be according to the new future date time. However, in the situation that your keyword has already been activated then the future date time parameter cannot be changed anymore.

Q: Can the CP set RM0.30 to the parameter: sub_reg_price_code and sub_rnw_price_code?
A: A CP cannot set RM0.30 for sub_reg_price_code & sub_rnw_price_code parameters. The CP needs to indicate in the Price Code Format for both parameters. Please refer to the API [11.3 General Price Code (page 90)].

Q: Is the parameter: sub_bill_cycle a content frequency?
A: Yes, sub_bill_cycle is the parameter that is used to determine subscription period, whether the keyword is used for M=Monthly or W=Weekly subscriptions.

Q: Does the 'SubPlanAdd and SubPlanUpdate apply for content based services or a time based subscription service or for both services?
A: Time based subscription services require the CP to implement both SubPlanAdd and SubPlanUpdate as all 1MO & Multiple MT used is required to implement these two updates.

Q: Now with new implementations do the CPs or the CPA send a successful confirmation of subscription?
A: Once the CP receives Subregmo. The CP is responsible to send Subregmt as the confirmation that the subscription has been successful and register it to the CPs database.

Q: How long does the subscriber have to respond 'YES <subscription keyword>' after they have received a reconfirmation MT from the CPA?
A: The subscriber has a 20 minute respond window before the reconfirmation MT session expires.

Q: Is there a way we can use a non-ams registration if the CPA no longer supplies us with the sub_id when VSDadd was previously used. (Where in the case where non-sms registration through VSDBadd to obtain the sub_id so that MT can be pushed to notify the user of their request and ask users to send REG <keyword> to the designated short code to confirm)
A: The CPA has implemented the new subscription control according to the new MCMC requirement. You would not receive the sub_id through the use of VSDBadd; for reasons to avoid charges of the MT using the sub_id to the subscriber without the initiation of the MO. You can only obtain the sub_id from the MO through the CPA, that has been obtained from the subscriber.

Q: Will the CPA perform a Renewal Retry in the event that there is an encounter of an error code during the renewal process?
A: The CPA will retry the following 3 days if any error is encountered on the renewal date. If the error is still encountered on the 5th day the CPA will terminate the user's subscription and forward the SubRnwResp to the CP (Eg. The expiry date is on 2012, February 2 (2/2/2012) the CPA will renew on the 1/2/2012, but if an error is encountered the CPA will retry on the 2/2/2012, 3/2/2012, 4/2/2012. If the problem still persists on the 5/2/2012 the CPA will terminate the subscriber without any retry, and only successfully terminated responses (SubRnwResp) will be forwarded to the CP.

Q: Upon successful renewal by the CPA, the DN will be returned to which URL?
A: Upon successful renewal the DN will be returned to the CP's MO URL. Where, the SubRegMt and SubSmsMt response will be forwarded to the CP's URL indicated in the response_url parameter when submitting the MT. It is suggested to use the same MO and Response URL.

Q: Can the bill cycle be changed on the Plan_ID in an active state?
A: The bill cycle cannot be updated once the subscription keyword status is active. Status for new subscription keywords are active by default. The effective date is immediate even the the plan_id is not in an active state (the CP set Plan_id to be in future date).

Q: Upon migration of the MK short Code, does the subscriber start facing Double-Opt-In Confirmation SMS from DiGi (when a subscriber sends 'ON XXX' to the MK Short C ode?
A: Yes, upon migration the subscriber will start the Double-Opt-In confirmation SMS.

Q: What happens when a user sends 'HELP' to the short code?
A: The 'HELP' sent will be immediately posted to the CP. The CPA will forward the request through SmsMo Method and the CP needs to send the 'HELP' Menu to the subscriber using the SmsMt method.

Q: Is offline DN still available through FTP after the Double-Confirmation Migration?
A: Offline DN service will continue to be available.

Q: Will the CPA only forward the MO with the following to the CP YES< >KEYWORD instead of REG < > KEYWORD?
A: Yes, the CPA will forward the MO via the SubRegMo with YES<space>KEYWORD. Additionally where the STOP service is sent, the CPA will forward through the SubTermMo.

  1. stop<space>keyword - will terminate the particular subscription.
  2. stop<space>all - will terminate all the subscription attached to the short code.

If unfortunately your question isn't listed here as part of this FAQ, rest assured our technical team is readily available to assist you. Please contact them through cvs@everworks.com and you should be attended to as soon as possible.

Thursday 6 November 2014

Email Migration Deployment

Recently I interviewed an EVERWORKS expert, Wong, on how to move a domain from one old SmarterMail Server to another New SmarterMail Server.

Move a Domain from one old SmarterMail Server to Another New SmarterMail Server

An email migration is the process of moving files of an email service for the domain from one old one to another. A migration occurs due to reasons such as insufficient space, required additional features, or needed email server performance enhancement.

Recently EVERWORKS performed an Email Migration to upgrade its internal email service for its own operational use. In this migration, there are tips that hopefully will help you to better prepare for a smooth migration. (Perform migration easily with EVERWORKS Migration Service).

Here are steps to Migrate a Domain from one old SmarterMail Server to another New SmarterMail Server:

Tip 1: Schedule a Migration

It is best to schedule migration during a period that has the least amount of activity, to ensure that little is hindered and there is sufficient time to perform such a migration.

Tip 2: Notify all Stakeholders

Take importance to the notification to everyone (employees, suppliers, customers, vendors, etc) that there will be an EMAIL SERVER PLANNED MAINTENANCE, including the anticipated period the email service will be unavailable, specifically what would be affected, and when to expect service to resume as normal. Normally notifications are sent out through Email, but depending on company policy, methods for formal notifications may vary. 

Tip 3: Set a cutoff date for Email Housekeeping

Set a deadline for email housekeeping for all stakeholders involved or affected. A good practice would be a minimum of 7 business days before migration occurs.

Tip 4: Backup

Ensure that adequate backups have been put in place before the migration is underway. Also include domain backups.

Important Steps

Important Note: Ensure that SmarterMail is stopped on both servers before proceeding.

Make a back up copy of the DomainList.xml and the domains folder before starting. Locate the domain's folder. By default, this folder can be found at C:\SmarterMail\Domains\[domain-name]

Move this folder from the old server to the new server via FTP.
- File transfer protocol is a standard network protocol used to transfer files from a host to another over a TCP-based network such as the Internet.

Edit the domainList.xml file with Notepad on the old server. By default, this file can be found at C:\Program Files\SmarterMail\Service

Locate this line: 
<Domain name="MyDomain.com" directory="c:\SmarterMail\Domains\MyDomain.com"/>

Cut or copy this line from the file and save the file. Make a backup of the domainList.xml on the new server. Edit the domainList.xml on the new server. Paste the line you cut before into this document, and save.

Start SmarterMail service on both servers.

Modify the email primary MX record to the new IP Address. 
Note: This can take up to 4-12 hours for DNS Propagation through the Internet.

Note: There are cases that there is a need to speed up the DNS Propagation process. You can do this by modifying the default $TTL 14400 with the value (in seconds), such as 300 (5 minutes) to reflect the new IP Address change to retain availability of the email services hosted on the new server, to minimize the downtime of the email service. Also to avoid potential uncommon troubles such as having emails delivered to either servers at random.

For further support please contact +603 7806 3550 or email cvs@everworks.com should you need further assistance regarding this issue.

File Transfer designed by iconoci from the Noun Project