CPaaS 101 (Communications Platform as a Service)
Your complete buyer's guide to CPaaS
Companies have long been searching for a way to integrate their communication strategies with other business processes. Ever since unified communications emerged, we’ve collectively been hunting for a better way to ensure a cohesive, single-pane-of-glass environment for today’s employees. CPaaS could be the next step in Unified Communications, waiting to transform the way we connect.
CPaaS, or Communications Platform as a Service technology allows you to embed the communication solutions you need into your existing business tools through APIs. For instance, you might integrate an instant messaging service on your website.
CPaaS is one of the most exciting developments in the “as-a-service” environment for business transformation, helping to give organisations the functionality they need, without asking them to start building their communication stack again from scratch.
What is CPaaS, How Does it Work?
Communication Platforms as a Service solutions are cloud-based services that give developers the freedom they need to embed real-time communications into their own applications, without having to transform the back-end comms infrastructure. With CPaaS, you can unlock all the benefits of video, voice, SMS, and more without having to worry about a substantial up-front investment.
Recently, more companies have begun to explore the benefits of CPaaS for themselves, with market predictions suggesting that the value of CPaaS will reach $4.5 billion in the US by 2020.
With Communications Platform as a Service solutions, companies can serve their internal communication needs, and the preferences of customers, without excessive investment into new products, applications, and tools. For instance, embedding video into your help desk technology could mean that you can guide customers through the process of fixing their service and product issues, without sending an engineer out to the location. This saves costs for your business and ensures that your consumer gets a resolution faster.
You can also use CPaaS to support a more omnichannel approach to business communications. For instance, someone could start an instant chat conversation with your company then decide that they need to speak to someone face-to-face and click a button to elevate the conversation into a video call.
What Are the Benefits of CPaaS?
CPaaS is the easiest way for today’s forward-thinking company to access the latest communication technology, without re-building their infrastructure from the ground up. In a world where one-size-fits-all communication just isn’t enough, CPaaS ensures that you can design the strategy that’s right for you, using flexible APIs and integrations. The benefits include:
- Access to more competitive features: Grow your business rapidly by accessing next-level communications without over-spending on your technology stock. Today, 85% of high-performing companies believe that the use of APIs is critical to their growth. With CPaaS, you could be one of the businesses unlocking the value of compromise-free communication
- Accelerate Sales: CPaaS solutions can give you access to more opportunities to improve business profits. For instance, you could implement an SMS API that allows you to send automated messages to customers to remind them of their upcoming appointments or let them know about a deal you have running right now. You can even include personalised discount codes in your automated texts
- Cost-savings: Because they’re delivered through the cloud, communication platform as a service solution are low-cost and easy to implement. With CPaaS, you can even access a pay-as-you-go format which helps you to manage your expenses through predictable monthly payments
- Improved customer experience: In a world where customer experience is the only real differentiator for modern companies, CPaaS ensures that you can connect with your clients on their terms. This means that your consumers can enjoy the level of support they need, while your employees access all the information they need to deliver personalised, memorable support
Top CPaaS Vendors
Communication Platforms as a Service solutions are still relatively new to the marketplace. Companies are still exploring what they can do with the right APIs and software developer kits. However, things like the RESTful API framework and open shared standards have made it easier for various communications vendors to get involved with CPaaS. Some of the most notable companies include:
- ALE (Alcatel-Lucent Enterprise)
- Ribbon Communications
Trends in CPaaS
CPaaS has already begun to make significant waves in the communication landscape, by ensuring that companies no longer need to settle for less-than-ideal communication platforms. If a pre-built solution doesn’t fit your current strategy, CPaaS ensures that developers can add new integrations and updates to your everyday business tools with as little stress and expense as possible.
Of course, like many other things in the communication environment, the CPaaS environment has begun to evolve thanks to the arrival of new technology. For instance, current trends include:
- Artificial intelligence: Apps that embed artificial intelligence into the communication system allow companies to route and manage calls more effectively. Voice assistants that understand natural language can ensure that the right customers are automatically sent to the agents with the highest level of experience in a particular area
- Chatbots: CPaaS vendors can also offer chatbots and smart shopping assistants that companies can embed into their websites and apps, giving customer a new mode of self-service and ensuring that employees spend more time focusing on the interactions that count
- Omnichannel interactions: With communication platforms as a service, you can ensure that you not only give your customers the conversations they need on the channels they prefer but that those conversations are cohesive too. With omnichannel solutions, your agents will have the context of prior discussions to guide the decisions they make in helping customers
- Multi-media strategies: Finally, we’re beginning to move beyond standard reality to explore new levels of interactions with customers. Some forward-thinking organisations could even embrace CPaaS as a way of helping their customers through VR and AR integrations. Imagine being able to guide your customer through a product fix using virtual reality, instead of just talking about an issue over the phone