What is CPaaS? (Communication Platform as a Service)
Your Guide to Communication Platforms as a Service
As companies search for more flexibility from their communication stack than they can get with a one-size-fits-all model, “as a service” solutions are growing increasingly popular. “As a service” platforms ensure that today’s companies can access the functionality they need in a flexible cloud-based format, without over-spending on deployments and maintenance.
Communications Platform as a Service, or “CPaaS” systems provide companies with access to real-time communication strategies like video, voice, and messaging, through the use of “application program interfaces” or APIs. With APIs and Software Development Kits (SDKs), developers can embed communication capabilities into their existing business applications, to add features and functionality.
CPaaS is a methodology adopted by businesses that need to embed communication features into their business applications, and cloud service providers in search of communication capabilities for their services and applications. The platforms feature comprehensive SDKs, code libraries for building applications, APIs, and more. Some CPaaS providers even deliver fully inclusive packages of real-time communication applications that make it easier for companies without developer expertise to unlock new capabilities.
With a pay-as-you-go, flexible pricing model, and the opportunity to scale as necessary, CPaaS gives companies an affordable and agile path to digital transformation.
UCaaS vs. CPaaS: What’s the Difference?
Both UCaaS and CPaaS are cloud solutions intended to bring more functionality to your communication stack. As such, it’s often difficult to differentiate the acronyms. CPaaS and UCaaS are both ideal for businesses of any size, and they’re both available to be delivered over private and public IP networks.
CPaaS, however, is focused on enhancing the existing communication channels you already have in place. For companies in search of digital transformation who don’t want to change too much about their current communication services, CPaaS allows you to fuse the security and reliability of your back-end services, with new applications. For example, you can use an API for instant messaging to integrate chat into your customer service strategy.
In simple terms, CPaaS gives developers the tools they need to implement all of the latest cloud-based communication services into their own applications and programs. In contrast, UCaaS is all about connecting all of your communication strategies together on a single platform, regardless of location or device. Though the two options are gradually becoming more intertwined, they’re still very different concepts.
Why Companies Need CPaaS
In today’s age of “experience,” customers expect more from companies than ever. They want to be able to communicate easily with businesses, using the channel of their choice. CPaaS is an easy way for organisations to embed multichannel or omnichannel communications into their customer-facing strategy without breaking the bank.
CPaaS provides companies with more options for growing and enhancing their communication strategy. It’s also an excellent tool for companies who want to go global without over-spending. Other advantages to CPaaS include more affordable and flexible pricing models, where you simply pay for the solutions you need.
Those interested in Communication Platforms as a Service don’t even have to commit to an entire comms package to get the best results. There are two different types of vendor on the market today, including “focused” vendors, that specialise their offerings in areas like messaging services, or video calling capabilities. These vendors allow organisations to access the CPaaS solutions they need, without investing in additional features. There are also diversified vendors who offer portfolios full of different services to choose from.
The continuous development of the communication market has even prompted the arrival of a new kind of vendor in the CPaaS market, offering a combination of UCaaS and CPaaS. While the pure-play CPaaS vendor simply offers APIs that customers can use to build services on top of their offering, UCaaS vendors with CPaaS capabilities allow businesses to build on top of their unified solution with even more functionality.
Examples of CPaaS Applications in the Current Environment
The consistent growth of the CPaaS market makes sense in a world where communication trends are continually changing, and new technology is emerging at a rapid pace. One of the biggest drivers of CPaaS today is the increasing demand for contextual communications in the contact centre. Organisations are looking for ways that they can improve the overall customer experience and thus outshine their competition. After all, analysts suggest that customer experience is now the biggest differentiator in any marketplace.
With CPaaS, businesses can respond to the communication preferences of their customers at a rapid pace, embedding everything from SMS appointment reminders to video-enabled help desks. For instance, a video supported help desk will allow customers to access a more engaging and personalised service from a company than most typical channels. A customer could click on an instant chat app on a company’s website, start a discussion, and then accelerate that conversation into a video environment with the same agent.
Because CPaaS builds on top of existing communication services, it also means that agents don’t have to switch away from services containing crucial customer information to continue a conversation. With a CPaaS solution embedded with a CRM system, for instance, customer service agents can access contextual information about the items a customer has purchased before, or the issues they have had with previous purchases.
CPaaS as the Next Wave of Unified Communications
Some people consider CPaaS to be the next stage of unified communications, allowing organisations to build extra functionality into their business applications, without starting again from scratch. In today’s rapidly moving world, companies with the best competitive advantage are often those that can adapt quickly and positively to change.
In a world of digital transformation, business disruption is happening at a rapid pace, and today’s brands need to find a way to keep up. When piling new applications on top of employees isn’t the right strategy, CPaaS allows organisations to empower their workforce through the applications and services they already use.