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Thread: How can companies archive SMSs sent to their staff?

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    Site Caretaker Dave A's Avatar
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    How can companies archive SMSs sent to their staff?

    The digital revolution seems to be both a blessing and a curse. This story highlights a problem that comes with the new digital communication technologies:
    In the case of Jafta v Ezemvelo KZN Wildlife, Ezemvelo KZN Wildlife emailed an offer of employment as HR manager to Jafta. While trying to send an email accepting the offer (and in true IT style) Jafta’s laptop malfunctioned. With the time limit on the offer looming, Jafta went to an internet cafĂ© and sent an email acceptance from his G-mail account.

    Unbeknown to Jafta, he was thwarted by a glitch in the internet and his email vanished in cyberspace.

    Having not heard from Jafta, the outgoing HR manager of Wildlife sent him an SMS urging him to respond. Jafta replied that he had done so by email earlier that day and that he had accepted the offer.

    The wildlife employee who received the SMS assumed the email had been successfully sent and received and left the company.

    Having supposedly not heard from Jafta, Wildlife employed the next suitable candidate. Jafta took the company to court and won.

    The court ruled that an SMS is a data message and falls within the definition of an electronic communication. As such it is a valid and effective means of concluding a contract.
    full story from M&G here
    So what system would work to make sure SMSs to staff that are going to be deemed official correspondence with the company ends up on record and archived for future reference if needed?
    The trouble with opportunity is it normally comes dressed up as work.

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    just me duncan drennan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dave A View Post
    So what system would work to make sure SMSs to staff that are going to be deemed official correspondence with the company ends up on record and archived for future reference if needed?
    Are how are we going to fit an SMS disclaimer at the bottom of the message?
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    Site Caretaker Dave A's Avatar
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    Yeah - this one raises a whole pile of questions.

    For example, I couldn't help but wonder how much technical evidence was led in this case. Particularly as relates to this part:
    Unbeknown to Jafta, he was thwarted by a glitch in the internet and his email vanished in cyberspace.
    Hmm. Laptop malfunctioned and the Gmail message didn't get through - without sending back a non-delivery notification either
    The trouble with opportunity is it normally comes dressed up as work.

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    Diamond Member wynn's Avatar
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    perhaps using a bulk sms unit like www.winsms.co.za as a way to keep records?

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    Dave A (14-Nov-08)

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    Site Caretaker Dave A's Avatar
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    That looks viable. Question (not being too clued up on SMS technology) - can you forward an SMS received on your cellphone, and if so, is the sequence of forwards traceable?
    The trouble with opportunity is it normally comes dressed up as work.

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    If we go back a few (decades) years - to the time of the registered letter, the only proof of message sent was validated by a third party. The law didn't care if the message was received only that it was sent. This wasn't perfect either.

    I tend to have a strict rule that mission critical mail/correspondence needs to be confirmed as received - either electronic acceptance or personally. We therefore build that request into our original mail. If I have not received reply, I phone, as it is in my interest to get the reply.

    Eg. We issue printing order for JHB workshop, we ask printer to acknowledge receipt of mail and AGAIN acknowledge when job is delivered.

    So far so good!
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    Diamond Member wynn's Avatar
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    Dave from the little I know about the site you can only send sms's from your PC.
    The rates are atractive enough that if you send lots of messages it would be worth your while.

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    Site Caretaker Dave A's Avatar
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    I had a look. If anyone replies to the sent SMS the message is forwarded to an email address for you. That could well be workable, but the problem remains collecting SMSs sent to employees' cellphones.

    My thought is to introduce a protocol where the employee has to forward such SMSs to the company's winsms type service - but the potential for message tampering could be an issue.

    And the issues go deeper than that. I've just checked my sent items folder on my own cellphone - there is no collection of SMSs I've sent

    I read an article recently that there are security issues with cellphones, blackberrys etc. because it is very difficult to delete sensitive data on them. The problem may also be the reverse when it comes to SMSs, they are not collecting the data we might really need one day either.

    I think Debbie makes a strong point - the message shouldn't be relied on as delivered without there being some sort of reliable confirmation message coming back.
    The trouble with opportunity is it normally comes dressed up as work.

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    Silver Member Loman's Avatar
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    The edge/3G modem i use for internet i also use for smsing.
    With so many Gigabytes free on my hard drive the inbox/outbox limit is unknown of.
    But with such a small company i don't bother much with another type of system, it suits my needs.
    The man who smiles when things go wrong has thought of someone to blame it on. - Robert Bloch

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