CPaaS Trends 2019: Communication Platforms as a Service

The CPaaS trends to watch for in 2019

CPaaS Trends 2019: Communication Platforms as a Service

The best companies depend on their ability to communicate both internally and externally to thrive. In today’s era of digital transformation, new solutions are constantly emerging to facilitate these crucial business discussions. However, most companies still don’t know how to use the latest innovations to unlock their full potential.

Few organisations have the financial and technological freedom to rip and replace their entire communication strategy every time a new tool becomes available. For this reasons, “integration” and “interoperability” are becoming some of the biggest buzzwords of the decade. Companies need the flexibility of a system that allows them to add the tools they need into their existing communication stack, without paying for services they don’t want or need. Enter CPaaS.

Communication Platforms as a Service or “CPaaS” are regarded by many as the next evolution for unified communications. With CPaaS, you can access all of the communication tools you need, such as video conferencing systems, instant messaging, presence, and workflow management, through APIs or “application program interfaces.” It’s the ultimate way to customise your communication stack, without a substantial initial investment.

Now that 85% of companies believe that the use of APIs is crucial to their growth, it’s fair to say that CPaaS could have a significant impact on the world as we know it. We spoke to industry leaders MessageBird, Vonage, and BrightLink, to get their thoughts on the CPaaS phenomenon.

The Customer Trends That Shaped the CPaaS Industry in 2018

What better way to stay ahead of the curve with your communication stack than to embrace a strategy that allows you to embed and remove applications at your leisure? CPaaS helps to drive better user and customer experience, by giving companies the freedom to access the innovations that they believe to be critical to their success.

CPaaS offers a highly agile and flexible solution for digital transformation, while also giving organisations a way to future-proof their technology stack through ever-improving integrations.

Robert Vis, CEO for MessageBird:

Robert Vis MessageBird

Robert Vis, MessageBird

The CEO of MessageBird, Robert Vis believes that “Businesses no longer dictate the terms of business communications, consumers do.” Strong communication has always been an important component in ensuring the success of any company. However, as Robert puts it: “If 2018 has taught us anything, it’s that communication is at a crossroads. Businesses are scrambling to connect with customers where they are, rather than making consumers chase them across channels to get the products and services they want.”

Modern consumers want the opportunity to connect with businesses using the same strategies they would use to speak to family and friends. To keep up with this shift in preferences, organisations need to find a way to stay on the frontlines of an impactful, engaging and interactive customer experience. “Businesses need to integrate an omnichannel strategy into their communications mix if they want to compete. By merging communications channels into a single thread, companies can access a bridge agile enough to enable adjustments to the ever-changing preferences of modern customers.”

Joe White, CTO (Chief Technology Officer) for BrightLink:

The CTO of BrightLink, Joe White also believes that customer experience has a significant role to play in the future of CPaaS. “Customers are becoming more proficient in their communications, which is leading to more companies building custom solutions with CPaaS providers. These new solutions solve needs that would have otherwise demanded large engagements with tech firms and bespoke carriers.”

According to White, CPaaS has given businesses that might not have had the budget or scale required to commission new communication processes the chance to compete with bigger players.

Omar Javaid, Chief Product Officer for Vonage:

According to Omar Javaid, the Chief Product Officer for Vonage, disruptive new technology in the consumer space like virtual assistants, and artificial intelligence are altering the way that people connect, leading to a more seamless and connected style of work.

“Also, the integration of communication APIs into existing business applications are allowing companies to evolve in tandem with competitive demand and customer preferences. Businesses can seize upon new trends as they take hold, empowering them to compete like never before.”

Omar also believes that there was a fragmentation of communications strategies in 2018, where companies began to explore new ways to engage their customers. “To address this, companies are taking of omnichannel cloud-based solutions that help them to deliver seamless customer experiences.”

The Technologies Creating the Biggest Opportunities for CPaaS

CPaaS gives companies of all sizes and backgrounds the chance to respond to an increasingly complex communication environment quickly. When you can build the tools and technology you need into your existing tech stack, there’s no need to worry about overly expensive strategies for digital transformation.

Robert Vis, CEO for MessageBird:

Robert Vis suggests that the biggest opportunity for the CPaaS industry right now revolves around the technology’s ability to break down the walls around mobile business messages. Today’s consumers want to be able to interact with their preferred business entities in streamlined, efficient and highly personalised ways, without having to continually switch between different channels. “I imagine each of those stops along the way as an eye roll or sign from a consumer. Every time they must click a link, or leave an app, they feel inconvenienced, and struggle to appreciate the positive features of the brand.”

Vis believes that most consumers see the friction in modern communication channels as unavoidable at this point. However, with CPaaS, connecting with companies doesn’t have to be so complicated. “Companies on the leading edge of innovation are figuring this out and differentiating themselves. In the future, business communications will be able to happen at any time, anywhere, and all in one place.”

Already, the growing presence of APIs has allowed companies around the world to break through the walls of email, text, and chat. Now, as drag-and-drop development tools appear on the market, and CPaaS continues to embrace the pay-as-you-go format, innovation is becoming more accessible for all companies – whether you’re a start-up or a multi-national enterprise.

“Moving forward, communications APIs will become the backbone of business communication, enabling enterprises to meet customers where they are, through the channels they’re most comfortable using.” MessageBird believes that cloud communications platforms and CPaaS solutions will continue to enable companies to become more agile. “Developers and businesses will be able to build seamless, real-time interactions to make our lives more connected.”

Joe White, CTO for BrightLink:

Joe White BrightLink

Joe White, BrightLink

The Chief Technology Officer of BrightLink, Joe White, also feels that mobile enablement APIs will play a big part in the year to come. “Mobile APIs that allow businesses to quickly deliver IoT services are very interesting right now. No longer do organisations need to order hundreds of SIM cards from wireless companies and go through a bulk provisioning service with long-term contracts. Businesses can quickly provision thousands of Sims and deploy them quickly.”

In White’s opinion, there’s plenty of opportunities available for vendors to take advantage of the demand for mobile APIs and application integrations in CPaaS. “Companies that can deliver things like IoT and mobile management through APIs will be well-positioned to capture more of their customers’ future business, particularly in the age of 5G.”

Omar Javaid, Chief Product Officer for Vonage:

Javaid feels that intelligent technology like AI and machine learning represents a compelling opportunity in the new world of customer experience and engagement. “Solutions are being built and leveraged today that combine multiple AI products to improve customer experience, and the productivity and contact centres.”

As clients continue to demand opportunities to engage with brands through their won preferred channels, Vonage believes that organisations will continue to take advantage of omnichannel cloud-based solutions, like their Nexmo APIs.

Beyond 2018: What’s Next for 2019?

Communication Platforms as a Service have already started to transform the communication environment as we know it. However, we’re still only just scratching the surface of what these tools can accomplish. Driven by evolutions in disruptive technology like artificial intelligence, machine learning and the Internet of Things, CPaaS solutions will only grow more impressive in the years ahead.

Industry leaders like MessageBird and BrightLink are already planning for the next stage of evolution in the CPaaS industry.

Robert Vis, CEO for MessageBird:

Consumer communication strategies are changing, and CPaaS vendors are aware of the shift. As Robert Vis put it: “As the pulse of communication shifts and the messaging channels of today give way to the channels of tomorrow, businesses will need to invest in a responsive, agile platform that’s capable of keeping up with new demands.”

CPaaS solutions are already transforming the real-time communication experiences that exist between consumers and businesses. As messaging channels continue to evolve, cloud communication platforms are sure to become more popular in the years to come. MessageBird believes that “the future potential is boundless.”

The team behind MessageBird plans to keep their eye on various advancements in the communication industry in the year ahead, and the years beyond. “We’ll be looking at developments in machine learning and artificial intelligence, the continued integration of omnichannel communication strategies, and the connection between CPaaS and IoT.” MessageBird also feels that RCS will have an important part to play in reducing the friction between communication channels by creating app-like experiences within a single messaging environment.

Joe White, CTO (Chief Technology Officer) for BrightLink:

In 2019, BrightLink feels that more mobile options will continue to appear in the CPaaS marketplace, which could have a significant impact on the way that companies interact with new technologies and communication providers. As Joe White notes: “Things will continue to be software driven via the use of APIs.”

Joe and the team at BrightLink see 2019 delivering further popularity for new concepts like HD Audio – which is something that BrightLink has already begun to invest in with their CPaaS solutions.

Omar Javaid, Chief Product Officer for Vonage:

Omar Javaid, Vonage

Omar Javaid, Vonage

In Vonage’s opinion, the future will see a growing interest in technologies like cryptocurrency and blockchain. “Programmable communications via APIs will become more pervasive, completing and delivering more value to unified communication solutions. For instance, APIs can replace DIDs with programmable numbers that are more intelligent.”

Javaid believes that platforms for customer engagement will see more adoption in 2019 as customer experience continues to lead the way. “This trend will also result in more intelligent ways for brands to deliver omnichannel experiences and break down the silos that exist between different channels. Communication APIs will become more prevalent as businesses look to innovate and differentiate through customer engagement.”

 

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