SMS Configuration Administration

Overview

SMS Configuration settings for sending Text Messages from within Student Success & Engagement, via system-assigned Twilio phone numbers, display in SS&E Administration, under Messaging Administration found here

The following three tabs are listed within SMS Configuration, further explained below:

  1. General Settings
  2. Email Notifications
  3. Twilio

Scroll to the bottom or click here for additional Q&A.

General Settings

The General Settings Tab includes the following settings:

    1. Student SMS Default Status
    2. Staff SMS Default Status
    3. Default SMS Phone Type
    4. Permitted Roles

Student SMS Default Status

Student user recipients will either be opted-in or opted-out to receive SMS messages by default.

Staff SMS Default Status

Staff user recipients will either be opted-in or opted-out to receive SMS messages by default.

Default SMS Phone Type

The Default SMS Phone Type is used to determine which phone numbers can potentially receive SMS messages.

  • If a recipient does not have a phone number with SMS Enabled and does not have a phone number associated with the SMS default phone type, then text messages will send via email.
  • In order for the system to determine if a text message is sent to a recipients phone number:
      1. The system first checks the recipient phone numbers for any number that is SMS Enabled.
      2. If none are found, only then will the system check for person phone number records that are assigned the SMS Default status and match the Default SMS Phone Type.
      3. If none are found, the text message is sent as an email instead.

How to Change the SMS Status on a Student Record

If needed, the SMS status assigned to a person's phone number record can be changed from the person's Profile tab on the UI.

  • To quickly edit the SMS Default Status on a phone number that can receive text messages, select the Edit icon and change the SMS status to SMS Enabled, then Save.
  • To learn more about SMS Statuses, click here or scroll down for more information.

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Permitted Roles

Permitted Roles lists which roles are allowed to send SMS text messages from within Student Success & Engagement

  • Only users associated with at least one staff role listed in SMS Configuration are permitted to send SMS messages from within SS&E.
  • However, ALL users may respond to SS&E SMS messages, regardless of their assigned role(s).

Email Notifications

The Email Notification tab displays the message used for email notifications that notify a user when they receive a reply from an SMS message.

  • This email message configuration is only used to notify a staff member via email about a reply sent on a SMS message.

Twilio

The Twilio tab displays information about Twilio Configuration and the SMS Phone Number/Messaging limits and usage.

SMS Message Limit

The SMS Message Limit displays the number of text messages sent to date in the current month from the provisioned "limit".

  • The SMS message limit is defined at the institution level and represents how many SMS messages the institution is allowed to send per month.
  • Once the SMS message limit has been reached, all outbound SMS messages will be sent by email instead.
  • To increase the SMS Message Limit, please reach out to your Client Success Manager.

SMS Phone Number Usage Limit

The SMS Phone Number Usage limit displays how many SMS phone numbers are currently assigned to SS&E users out of the provisioned limit.

  • The SMS phone number limit is defined at the institution level and represents how many SMS phone numbers each institution is allowed to assign to permitted staff users in order to send SMS text messages.
  • An SMS (System) phone number gets assigned to a specific staff user when they first select to send a Text Message from within SS&E.
      • As long as the staff user is assigned a "permitted role", they will automatically be assigned an SMS "phone number" if one is available, i.e. if the SMS phone number usage limit has not yet been reached.
  • Once the SMS Phone Number Usage limit is reached; if a permitted staff user that is not already associated with an SMS "phone number" chooses to send a text message from within SS&E, they will not be assigned an SMS "phone number" and rather their SMS messages will automatically be delivered via email instead.
  • To increase the SMS Phone Number Usage Limit, please reach out to your Client Success Manager.

Phone Number Usage Grid

The "Phone Number Usage" grid lists all users that are currently associated with a Twilio (System) SMS Text Messaging "phone number", eg. a phone number that is used to facilitate sending and receiving text messages between staff and students that can be viewed within SS&E. 

  • All system-assigned Twilio numbers display on the UI, either with a System phone type (when viewing the Staff/Faculty person record) or with a Text Msg Only badge (when viewing the user associated with the system-assigned Twilio number on a Student's success team). 
      • The Text Msg Only badge indicates that a phone number cannot receive phone calls, and can only be used for text messaging.
  • To reassign or delete an SMS Phone Number assignment, see the instructions listed below.
Additional Information

How do Twilio Phone Numbers display on the UI/in the Data Feed View

All system-assigned Twilio SMS phone numbers that are currently associated with SS&E permitted users:

  1. Display on the Person Phone Imported Data View with a src_system_id ending with AVISO.SMS.
  2. Display on the Person Phone Imported Data View with a phone_type_src_system_id of AVISO.SYSTEM.
  3. When a Person Phone record is "Deleted=False", the SS&E System Twilio numbers display on the UI under the User Profile Tab with a "System" phone type, and are labeled with a "Text Msg Only" badge in all other locations. 
  • To view only Active SMS/Twilio "Person Phone" numbers, search the Person Phone Data View by "Deleted=False".
  • Click here to view all Twilio numbers saved in the SS&E database on the Person Phone data view.

SMS Roles and Person/User Records

  • Users must be assigned at least one security role on their Person record that matches a role appearing in SMS Configuration - General Settings - Permitted Role in order to be allowed to send text messages from within SS&E.
  • To view all Twilio SMS Messaging phone numbers and users that are currently assigned a Twilio phone number and are able to send Text Messages from within SS&E, select the Twilio tab found here, and then scroll to view the "Phone Number Usage" grid.
  • As of Oct 1, 2021, students cannot and will not be assigned an SMS Text Messaging Twilio number.
      • If a Student Twilio record pre-exists in the Phone Number Usage grid, it should be removed using the steps below for deleting an SMS number.
      • To verify that the Twilio SMS Text Messaging numbers were assigned to students prior to October 2021, from the Message Report, filter on these student(s) in the "From" field and then search for phone numbers in the "Destination" column. Here you may confirm that any record of a student sending a text message to a phone number destination is dated prior to 10/1/21.

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SMS Statuses

There are three ways for a phone number to get assigned as SMS Enabled in SS&E:

  1. By manually changing the SMS Status on a phone number from the Student Profile UI.
  2. When a user opts in to receive text messages after they opted out.
  3. When a student initiates a text message.
    • The system will not update the SMS Status when a student replies to a text message.

There are four ways for a phone number to get assigned as SMS Disabled in SS&E:

  1. By manually changing the SMS Status on a phone number from the Student Profile UI.
  2. When a recipient unsubscribed.
  3. When a recipient number is invalid.
  4. When the recipient's number is associated with an unknown destination handset.

Note: Once SS&E is notified that a recipient has "opted out" of receiving text messages, this will automatically disable SMS for all of the recipient's current phone numbers within SS&E. For more information about the SMS opt out functionality, click here.

For more information about Twilio Messaging error codes, click here or visit Twilio.com.

SMS Enabled

In the context of SMS Messaging Phone Number Usage, SMS Enabled Yes/No does not apply to the Twilio number/sender phone number.

SMS Enabled only applies to a recipient user's phone number and/or a phone number that opts in after being opted out of receiving text messages.

This happens by design, with more details about opting out/then opting back in found here. To summarize:

  • When an SS&E user opts out of receiving text messages, as soon as the error response is received by SS&E, all of the user's Person Phone Number record swill be set to "SMS Disabled". 
  • However, if the user later opts back into receive text messages from SS&E, it is set to SMS Enabled only on the phone number the user opted in from, which allows "all" SS&E SMS numbers to send SMS messages only to this one phone number.
  • By design, SS&E does not set or reset the SMS Enabled status during the SIS Person Import process.

When a phone number displays with "SMS Default" on the user profile, it means that this number is associated with whatever the Student or Staff SMS Default Status is set to in SMS Configuration found here.

Later, based on user input. if/when this changes, then the UI would display SMS Enabled/Disabled instead of 'SMS Default'.

  • If a user already displays phone number(s) associated with 'SMS Disabled' or 'SMS Enabled' this is no longer associated with the default setting and will not revert back automatically to "SMS Default".

Note: When sending SMS Messages, the system will first look for any SMS Enabled phone number on the person record and use the phone number with the most recent "last verified date" if multiple SMS Enabled numbers are found. If there are no phone numbers that are SMS Enabled, the system will use a phone number that is set to the SMS Default status and associated with the SMS Default Phone Type.

SMS Disabled

By design, SS&E will not automatically change the SMS status on a phone number that is SMS Disabled.

If something changes, the SMS Disabled number will need to be manually managed and set to SMS Default or SMS Enabled from the UI if the student is no longer unable to receive SMS messages.

Verified

Verified is a manual setting with the exception of getting automatically assigned to the UI during prospect upload (person phones records imported via csv files or manual prospect person uploads). 

  • The place where this is used/viewed is on the person record profile tab UI.

Verified phone numbers are also used in the following ways:

  • SS&E prioritizes the last verified phone number when deciding what phone number to send a SMS message to. For example, if a student has multiple SMS Enabled sms numbers, the system will find and use the last verified phone number by date for sending a text message to the student.
  • The last verified phone number displays on the student record under the student's person Id with a checkmark next to it. Hovering over the checkmark will display who and when it was verified.

How to Manually Update the SMS Status

To manually change the SMS Status displayed on a phone number, from the user profile, select Edit on the phone number and select any of the SMS statuses, then Save.

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SMS Length

The maximumnumber of characters allowed to send in an SMS message is configured by smsMaxLength in Administration -> Application found here.

  • By default, smsMaxLength is set to 1000 characters.

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Reassigning/Assigning an SMS Number

  1. The only way that an SMS/texting System umber gets assigned is when someone sends a text message for the first time from SS&E.
  2. The system will check if the user/role is permitted to send SMS messages and if there are text messaging numbers available/the limit has not been reached. If both conditions pass, the system will automatically associate a "text messaging only" number to the user.
    • SMS Configuration-General Settings-"Roles that can send SMS messages" determines who is allowed to send text messages from SS&E.
    • SMS Configuration-Twilio-"Phone Number Usage" determines how many SMS numbers are currently assigned out of the provisioned limit.
  3. Since the system must provide the SMS phone number to the sender, there is no way to "reassign" an SMS number to another user.
  4. In order to "reassign" an SMS number to another user:
    1. First, the SMS number(s) not being used must be removed. For instructions, follow the below steps for deleting an SMS number.
    2. Then, when a "new" user selects to send a text message from SS&E for the very first time, the system will "reassign" an SMS number to the user.

Deleting an SMS Number

1. From Administration-Messaging-SMS Configuration, select the Twilio tab.

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2. Scroll to the Phone Number Usage section.

3. Search for the Person assigned the Twilio (System assigned) number that you are looking to un-associate and delete.

4. Once a record is identified, select the "trash can" icon in the right column.

5. Select Ok to delete and permanently un-assign the Twilio/System number from this Person record.

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Q&A

Which phone number is used when sending an SMS text message from within SS&E?

  • When checking for SMS numbers, the system finds which phone number to text as follows:
    1. If there any SMS Enabled numbers, the SMS Enabled number with the latest verified date is used.
    2. If no phone numbers are SMS Enabled, the system find numbers with the SMS Default label and a matching Default SMS Phone Type, and use the SMS Default number with the latest verified date.
    3. If no verified dates are found, the system finds a default number in the SS&E database that isn't customer facing but should still return the same phone number every time.

When finding which SMS number to send to, if multiple numbers are configured the same, which number will be used?

  • The system will use the phone number with the latest verified date.

If no verified date is found, which phone number will be used?

  • The system will use a default number which isn't customer facing however it should return the same exact phone number every time.

If a phone number is set to SMS default and verified, yet the phone type does NOT match the default SMS phone type, will the message send by email instead of SMS?

  • This depends on the other person phone numbers. This number will NOT be recognized as a valid SMS number, so if no other person phone number is allowed to receive a text message, then a SMS message will NOT sent. Verified only matters when the system is choosing which of the valid SMS numbers is used.

Will a student ever receive multiple text messages if they have multiple textable phone numbers?

  • No, the system will only choose one number to text/send a message to, depending on the verified date.

If the SMS message fails and is delivered via email instead, will text messages continue to fail and always send via email instead?

  • This depends on where and why the text message failed to send. The reason that the text message failed is what determines what happens next. The failed SMS reason can usually be found on the Message Report in Messages Administration.
    • For example, if a text message fails because of reason TWILIO_RECIPIENT_UNSUBSCRIBED, the system will send the SMS message as an email message instead AND disable ALL the recipients phone numbers (all person phone numbers will be set to SMS Disabled).

 

 

 

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