SMSPortal grows from Port Elizabeth base

JULY 5, 2016

From humble beginnings in a garage in Port Elizabeth, SMSPortal has grown 50% year on year since its inception in 2002 and today is plugged into hundreds of mobile networks and has a client base spanning the globe, reaching billions of consumers daily.

By investing in its bulk SMS software which it built from scratch, the success SMSPortal enjoys today, is due to its continual investment in its backend processes to improve client experience and ensure a return on investment for its bulk SMS customer communication.

“Business objectives need to be supported, and our backend software does that, and has enabled our continual growth. And when we need to change fast to keep up with customer needs or competition, the software allows our business to change when necessary. And quickly,” comments Charles Stretch, SMSPortal Managing Director and NMMU Alumni.

“Our software architects’ business understanding is vital in our model to effectively problem solve and take SMSPortal to the next level.”

Software development in business exists to support the business, its activities, and to help change the way a company performs. And that’s why SMSPortal continually looks to source talent for its growth. “If our tech stands still, so do we. This is why we dedicate so much of our resources to something our users never see,” adds Stretch. Each year, SMSPortal offers four, two-week paid internships to third-year students at its Cape Town offices.

“We give interns real-world programming experience where they can discover the systems that keep SMSPortal up and running,” Stretch concludes. We pay for our interns’ accommodation and transport so students in Port Elizabeth can afford to enjoy the opportunity SMSPortal are providing, and they each receive a salary of R7,500 for their two-week internship.

Key learnings:
The agile business thrives

For SMSPortal, just with any business owner looking to invest in software, it's important that the solution structure is based on business strategy and structure. If it isn't, it can't change swiftly enough when change is needed.

The agile business always beats the rigid competitor in the long run. But Stretch adds “if an organisation isn't well structured, it's impossible to create an effective software solution.”

Software architects need business savvy

Whenever you meet someone considered a software architect, they’ll be tech savvy. But they need to be business savvy to be successful.  How else can a software engineer find the right solution without knowing, and understanding a business, its structure, its goals, and its barriers?

We firmly believe that this should be one of a software architect's most important qualifications: to understand business issues well enough to be able to define IT solutions that help solve business problems, help reach business goals, and are structured in compliance with the structure of the firm.