Below is our recent interview with Bill Smith, the Chairman of the Board, President & CEO at Smith Micro Software:
Q: Could you provide our readers with a brief introduction to Smith Micro Software?
A: Smith Micro is a well-established, global leader in developing customizable and unique white-label applications for MNOs (Mobile Network Operators) and retailers selling mobile devices worldwide. These branded solutions add value to both the MNO (Mobile Network Operators) and retailer, as well as their end customer, by delivering a brand experience through real-world tools that further enhance the trust, confidence, and belief that consumers have in that particular brand. For over 40 years we’ve primarily served the telecommunications industry as a trusted advisor who understands their business needs and the importance of increasing ARPU (Average Revenue Per User), market share, customer loyalty and retention. We recently branched out to market some of our solutions to retailers who sell devices and have in-store screens to create branded customer experiences.
Our flagship product is SafePath, our digital family lifestyle platform, which meets the challenges and needs of today’s somewhat scary world by offering tools to protect families and their loved ones both inside and outside of the home. Reliable and easy to use services are offered to consumers through their mobile provider and available in one app, eliminating the need for multiple apps. Features like location services, alerts, online content monitoring and filtering, internet access limits, drive monitoring, IoT (Internet of Things), and home network monitoring and controls allow a sense of peace and protection from threats in both the real and online world. And ViewSpot, our cutting-edge smart retail display and analytics platform to manage engaging in-store experiences is designed to revolutionize digital merchandising and customer experience to drive increased and repeat sales.
Q: Who is your ideal client and why?
A:Smith Micro’s ideal client for SafePath is an MNO with subscribers who have the very primal need to protect their family from online and real-world dangers and know that loved ones can be safely located. For ViewSpot we target MNOs and retailers who have devices and screens in their retail stores and want to use these screens to maximize their brand affinity, promote products and services, and ultimately turn browsing consumers into buying customers.
SafePath allows MNOs to appeal to family plan subscribers at all stages of life from the very young to the elderly and provides an opportunity to “own” the family and be a trusted provider for a lifetime. At the very core, we understand MNOs and know the intricacies and challenges of getting products into their customers’ hands and keeping them there so that these products have the fullest lifetime value for the MNO. We also understand that MNOS have invested significant resources into developing their brand into one that is recognized and trusted by their customers, and we want to give them the greatest opportunity to turn that brand equity into tangible value – for both them and their customers.
ViewSpot features support digital content management, real-time pricing updates, and in-store analytics, while recognizing the value of branding and using that to leverage the ultimate branded experience for in-store consumers. With less resources available to them, retailers need a powerful and reliable “silent salesperson” in their stores to optimize and understand their buyers and their buying decisions so they can provide a consistent, yet personalized experience and pivot quickly if something is not working as intended.
Q: What is the latest coming out of Smith Micro?
A: We are very excited about some of the enhancements that will be made to SafePath in 2024. These upgrades will provide mobile network operators (MNO) with a robust and valuable set of tools that address the growing and every changing threats in both the physical and digital world, along with an improved go-to-market strategy for rapid deployment and launch.
Utilizing artificial intelligence and machine learning, SafePath will be responsive to the evolving prevalence and sophistication of online threats by providing cyberbullying protection, social media monitoring intelligence and public safety notifications that allow families to react quickly and appropriately to situations when necessary.
However, at the very core we’re most proud that we offer a product that protects children and families and gives parents the peace of mind that is so wildly sought in today’s turbulent world. The hard work that we do is benefitting those who want and need it most.
Q: What can we expect from Smith Micro in next 6 months? What are your plans?
A: A lot of what you’ll see from Smith Micro I addressed in the previous question. But one of the things that we do, and do very well, is to be a consultative and omnipresent partner to our customers. We’ve spent many years getting to know their business and want them to lean heavily on our expertise to help them achieve their business goals. We are only successful when they are successful. To that end, we don’t simply sell them a product and move on. We understand that the heavy lifting comes after an app is launched with the need to create awareness and desire for that app. To achieve stickiness and long-term value, we provide full scale marketing and program management services that include strategy development, campaign creation and execution, ad placement, monitoring, analysis, and reporting. Components of these campaigns can include affiliate and influencer marketing, in-store promotions, digital and in-store ad campaigns, public relations, and social media campaigns. We also understand that awareness needs to happen internally for a program to succeed and employees are often the best marketers and ambassadors. We facilitate ongoing training opportunities, customer support tools and customer experience insights to ensure that MNO employees fully understand the product and know how to market and support it. This approach truly embeds us with our clients and adds value to our partnership because we are there for them every step of the way to ensure that their program is always performing well and is ultimately a success story.
Q: What is the best thing about Smith Micro that people might not know about?
A: Not many technology companies have been around for more than 40 years. What’s our secret? We are forever adapting and growing, and we truly listen to and lean on our customers to provide the feedback and suggestions we need to make good products great. From when I started Smith Micro in 1982 with dial-up modem and fax software, we’ve grown to an international presence that leads the industry in digital family safety solutions and is establishing a stronghold on retail display technology that resonates with both consumers and businesses. It’s been an honor to captain this journey and see it evolve. I look forward to the great strides that we are making as we anticipate and respond to new challenges that we can always count on the telecommunications industry – and world – to present.Activate Social Media: