The Gartner Market Guide for CPaaS

Rebekah Carter

Insights for Communications Platform as a Service

Avaya Vonage Alcatel-Lucent Enterprise
The Gartner Market Guide for CPaaS

Leaders in analytics and market overviews, Gartner, recently released its market guide for the evolving environment of Communications Platform as a Service (CPaaS). According to Gartner, CPaaS vendors are rapidly expanding their product scope to target a wider range of use cases in an increasingly competitive environment.

The rise of CPaaS in the current marketplace has prompted companies from a wide variety of backgrounds to make their way into the CPaaS space, from traditional vendors to IT and mobile companies. According to Gartner, CPaaS offers today’s application leaders a cloud-based approach to multi-layered middleware which can be developed and enhanced to provide various forms of communication software.

The flexibility of the CPaaS environment, which can be deployed on either a public or private cloud model, means that the market is evolving at an incredible pace. Here are the CPaaS players that Gartner recommends for businesses to consider today.

Consolidated Pure-Players

The consolidated “pure-play” vendors in the Gartner report are the companies that have been in the market for a while, offering solutions that exceed the basic CPaaS solutions of voice and SMS APIs. Pure-play companies can provide things like extended APIUs, a broader set of modules, and in-depth management tools. Options include:

  • Infobip: Founded in Croatia and headquartered in London, the Infobip brand started life as an SMS aggregator and expanded into the CPaaS market. The business now offers APIs and modules with a broad range of cloud communication solutions. Service providers can also white label the Infobip products
  • MessageBird: MessageBird was founded in 2011, and it’s still undergoing a period of rapid transformation and expansion. The business is gaining traction in APAC and Europe through a wide portfolio of CPaaS products, including voice, SMS, chat, and AI
  • Plivo: San Francisco company Plivo offers SMS and inbound voice in 190 countries, with local phone numbers for more than 100 countries. The MMS and AI capabilities available from Plivo set it apart on the marketplace. The company also offers the “Plivo High Level Objects” designer for drag-and-drop use cases for things like two-factor authentication and marketing automation
  • Sinch: Previously known as CLX Communications, Sinch began life in SMS aggregation and evolved into the CPaaS marketplace. The company offers a broad portfolio of solutions, including circuit-switched voice and WebRTC, messaging, video, and chat. Sinch has 300 connections with carriers and offers direct dial-in numbers across 80 countries
  • Twilio: Located in San Francisco, Twilio is a fast-growing CPaaS company with the largest market share of any pure-play provider. Twilio offers a wide range of networking services via the Twilio super network, and a broad set of APIs in voice, video, messaging, email and more, all available in off-the-shelf modules
  • Vonage/Nexmo: Vonage acquired Nexmo in 2016 and used it to build it’s CPaaS business, generating around $215 in 2018. Nexmo uses Vonage’s global network infrastructure to provide exceptional quality, reliability and performance in communications. The Nexmo solution is also hosted in multiple public cloud provider environments. Aside from foundational communication APIs for SMS, voice, and so on, Nexmo also offers links for things like Facebook Messenger and WhatsApp

Traditional SMS Players

The traditional SMS players in the Gartner report are the application-to-person and person-to-application vendors that have expanded in the CPaaS space. These vendors can support a host of channels and modules but are still in the early stages of their CPaaS growth. Vendors include:

  • Kaleyra: Kaleyra is a company created by the merger of Ubiquity, Solutions Ifini, and Hook Mobile. Headquartered in Milan, the business offers a platform hosted in a mixed environment between private cloud/on-premises and AWS, offering secure messaging and financial services tools
  • Soprano Design: A privately-held company in Sydney, Soprano has roots in the SMS brokering world, and has progressively introduced more features to become an CPaaS brand. The business currently has regional offices around the world, with 140 employees. The Soprano CPaaS platform is hosted over a diverse private cloud environment
  • Telesign: Telesign is a security-focused cloud communications brand. Aside from voice and messaging capabilities, the company also offers advanced fraud detection analytics and phone number intelligence. The CPaaS platform supports communication with machines through IoT. The partner program is diverse, with reseller partners, referral partners, and system integrator options
  • Zenvia: Zenvia is a company highly focused on the Brazilian market. It is the only South American-headquartered CPaaS vendor competing against global brands like Infobip and Twilio. The SMS functionality from this company has recently expanded to include broader messaging capabilities, with support for Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp and more

Enterprise Communication Players

The Enterprise Communication Players in the Gartner guide are the vendors with a focus on improving and enhancing existing voice and collaboration solutions. Recommended companies in this landscape include:

  • Alcatel Lucent Enterprise (ALE): ALE delivers exceptional CPaaS solutions under the product name “Rainbow”. The offering is hosted on public clouds between IBM cloud and OVH cloud with presence in Latin America, North America, Asia Pacific and Europe. ALE focuses on SMS, video, voice, and AI APIs. The recent purchase of Sipwise allows customers to integrate CPaaS platforms into their existing UC infrastructure
  • Avaya OneCloud: Previously known as Zang Cloud, the Avaya OneCloud offering is a recent addition to the UC and contact centre solutions offered by Avaya. The OneCloud CPaaS is hosted on the Google Cloud Platform, offering APIs including chat, voice, SMS, video, AI, and more. Avaya’s cloud offers visual builders and modules to help with the development of end solutions. CPaaS from OneCloud can be used with existing Avaya customers, as well as by customers with no legacy investments
  • IntelePeer: The IntelePeer brand initially focused on offering SIP business network services and PBX integration. Leveraging new voice capabilities, IntelePeer was able to create the Atmosphere CPaaS product, which supports programmable messaging, voice, APIs, AI, visual builders, and analytics. The Atmosphere platform is hosted in a mixture of private and public cloud solutions. The business also supports off-the-shelf modules through partners
  • Plum Voice: Plum Voice, founded in 2000, started life as an IVR service provider and has since expanded into the CPaaS environment. Plum Voice is hosted on a private cloud with three data centres across the US and one in the UK. The company can offer phone numbers for voice in over 100 countries, with SMS only supported in the US. Plum Voice also provides APIs for speech recognition, voice biometrics, and voice transcription. The business focuses heavily on compliance solutions
  • Ytel: Headquartered in California, Ytel initially started with a heavy focus on the US market but has seen begun to expand to 40 additional countries throughout the world. The Ytel brand offers a wide set of valuable capabilities, including messaging apps, visual builders and other extensive solutions. The majority of the platform is hosted in the Google Cloud Platform, with some solutions offered on-premises

Voice Carrier and CSP Players

The Communication Service Providers and voice network providers listed in the CPaaS guide from Gartner this year include companies like Bandwidth and AT&T. These businesses can leverage advanced network capabilities and unique APIs to serve customers. Solutions include:

  • AT&T: The AT&T companies offer communications and digital entertainment tools across the US, Latin America, and Mexico. The CPaaS offering from AT&T is the API marketplace, which launched in 2019. The Marketplace uses a selection of Kandy white-labeled platform solutions hosted privately and integrated with AT&T functionality
  • Bandwidth: US-based Bandwidth initially started by covering the US market but began expanding internationally with Europe recently. SMS and Voice are the primary focus points for the brand, and Bandwidth is one of the few CPaaS providers to offer APIs to support 911 access. Bandwidth also has its own network infrastructure – though it’s currently available only in the US.

Mobile Focused Software Players

Finally, Gartner also pulled attention to the mobile-centric software providers in the CPaaS market with its latest report, addressing:

  • A self-funded private company with roots in mobile services and platform, recently expanded into CPaaS with a range of products, including extensive communication API modules and visual builders. The brand has direct connections with over 60 carriers and has its own ISO-certified private cloud
  • IMImobile: Headquartered in the UK, IMImobile also has routes in the mobile platform and services market. The new CPaaS platform, IMIconnect, utilises the brand’s experience working with enterprises in the UK. IMImobile hosts its platform on private clouds for banking customers, and on AWS in Europe, North America, and Asia Pacific

Finishing Thoughts

The CPaaS market is still a very fragmented space, with more vendors entering into the environment all the time, and existing companies evolving their existing portfolio. Vendors are beginning to explore new capabilities based on what they’ve learned about their customers and their needs in recent years. Gartner recommends choosing CPaaS vendors based on a number of factors, including the partnerships they have with other brands, their enterprise-grade features, their off-the-shelf modules, and their ability to offer full SaaS solutions. Gartner also believes that geographical coverage and professional services will be crucial to future decisions

What do you think about the Gartner report? Let us know in the comments below.

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