Google

08 April 2011

kalmstrom.com Tip: Ideas For Better SMS Management

kalmstrom.com CEO Peter is a man full of ideas, and many of them develop into useful solutions. Here is one of them, still under development but very interesting, I think:

"I have long been irritated at the way the SMS services work and is paid for. I have many requests that are not fulfilled with the current packages.
Don´t like having to pay a per message fee to get a message across to friends and collegues.
Don´t like paying extra-ordinary roaming charges when outside my native Sweden.
I would like to have the same control over my SMS messages as I have of my email messages. In fact, I would like to have inbox rules, automatic forwarding and the ability to write macros to handle my SMS messages.
In addition to all that I would also love to be able to type the messages on any device, not just the one that currently has my SIM card in it.

Sounds like a rather tall order, doesn´t it? Well, I have actually done all that for myself now, after having failed to find packaged service (in Sweden) for all that. Actually no packaged service even comes close to offering all that! I am quite far from being able to give this as a packaged service for mass consumption yet, but I thought I would share some notes on how I did it:
  • Signed up for a SIM card with a local provider here in Sweden with a reasonable SMS plan. Halebop offers 3000 messages per month at roughly 6 EUR.
  • Bought a USB Broadband modem - 20 EUR - Bought a SMS ActiveX-control that I can script against
  • Signed up for a Windows Live account
  • Put the SIM-card in a USB-modem and installed that modem into a computer that is always on.
  • Installed Outlook 2010 and the ActiveX-control on that computer.
  • Wrote some 50 lines of VBA script to handle both outgoing and incoming sms messages.
  • Done :-)
Next step is to write a variant of this for a construction company in which I have some interest. That will also include logging both incoming and outgoing SMS messages to the MS Dynamics CRM! More on that later ... "