Operators can send an SMS text message from the Booking or Departures screens to remind passengers of upcoming bookings or to alert customers to any operational status updates for their upcoming departures.  


Set up SMS messaging

In order to send texts, you need to set up an account with Burst SMS. Once you've set up your account, find your API Key and API Secret in your BurstSMS dashboard (go to Settings, then scroll down to API Settings). The API Key will have been generated for you already on your account, and you can set up the API Secret yourself, this is like a password.

Following that, you need to put these API details in IBIS.

  1. Open up IBIS Online and browse to Setup > Settings > System settings
  2. Scroll down to Third-Party Integrations
  3. Enter the API secret in the Password field
  4. Enter the API key in the User name field
  5. Optionally, you can also set your specified shortcode. This means that your texts will always come from the same 4-digit number, instead of random ones. If the customer responds, you receive an email notification (this will need to be configured in your BurstSMS account setup).

Creating SMS templates

You can set up and manage your templates yourself. But please be wary of the character allowance if you want to keep costs low. 1 text = 160 characters. IBIS have the following merge fields available to insert into your SMS message:

  • {BookingID}
  • {BookingName}
  • {ProductName}
  • {OnlineProductName} - only use this if you have set up an Online product name for your products
  • {OperatorName}
  • {PickupName}
  • {PickupDate} - formatted as ddd dd MMM yyyy e.g. Tue 28 Jul 2020
  • {PickupTime} - formatted hh:mm tt e.g. 01:00 p.m
  • {ProductDate}
  • {ProductTime}
  • {PhoneNumber}
  • {MergeText} - free-type field 
  • {PromoCode}
  • {Pax}
  • {BookingAgentName}
  • {BalanceIncFormatted}

When you write up your template, please put the merge field between curly brackets {}, for example: 

The {MergeText} field is used for free-typing additional information into the text message. You can make this part of a template (e.g. "Hello {BookingName}, your product is on hold. We will confirm if it will go ahead in {MergeText}"), or have a message which is free-type only. The free-type function can only be used when launching the text function from the Departures screen. 

Hi {BookingName}, your booking is confirmed for {ProductName} on {ProductDate} at {ProductTime}.

You can set up your templates in the SMS templates screen under the System menu.

Sending a text from the Booking screen

Sending a text from the Booking screen is very simple.

  1. Open the Booking
  2. Click Functions > Send text message

  3. Select your template
  4. If you hadn't already saved a phone number on the booking, enter the phone number 
  5. Click Send

Sending bulk texts from the Departures screen

You can send texts in bulk from the Departures screen.

  1. Select the bookings you want to text from the Search tab (hold down Shift on your keyboard and click to select bookings).
  2. Click on the SMS/Email selected button at the bottom right of the screen.
  3. Check who you are texting. If your customers have checked in through tablet or pre-arrival check-in, then each individual person on the booking will be displayed. You can untick people if you don't want to send them a text. 
  4. Select your Template
  5. Add any additional information through the Merge Text function if required.
  6. Click Send

Send results

You will get a success message if the number is valid. Whether the text is actually delivered is only visible on your Burst SMS dashboard. If the number isn't in a valid format, you'll see an error message and you can adjust the format and try again.

The phone numbers are validated in the following way:

  • All opening and closing round brackets and dashes are automatically removed () & -
  • If the number starts with a + or 00 then it is assumed that it is an international number and is correctly formatted.
  • If the number does not start with +  or 00 then it is assumed that it is a national number. If your system has been set with an Australian tax code, then it is assumed it is an Australian national number. Any other system, it assumes a NZ national number.