With so many benefits, it’s not surprising to hear that the Communications-Platform-as a-Service (CPaaS) market has grown at an exponential rate over the last few years. In fact, enterprise spend on CPaaS is projected to increase from $2 billion (in 2017) to $10.9 billion by 2022, according to IDC.
If your business is new to this advanced technology, the best way to describe CPaaS is as a “build your own” strategy. A cloud-based platform, CPaaS enables developers–or just about anyone–to embed real-time communication features like voice, video and IM, directly into apps using application programming interfaces (APIs) and open software development kits (SDKs).
In laymen’s terms, this means CPaaS can be used as a complete framework chock full of everything you need to implement real-time voice, video and chat features into your applications. With CPaaS, there’s no need to build new features or maintain a back-end network–it all takes place at a fraction of the investment and complexity.
Historically, it took a lot of time and money to develop custom applications for communication. Business owners were forced to approach carriers directly and invest a lot of money to get them to meet their unique communication needs. Over the last few years, this barrier to growth led to a demand in the market for a solution that could support scalable, simple communication features.
Today, CPaaS providers give businesses a way to easily integrate communication functions into their processes and applications via APIs through a single managed hub, with no need to build or maintain additional communication infrastructures.
How Does It Work?
Whether you realize it or not, most business communication frameworks have gaps in how they enable communication with customers, vendors or each other. For example, it can be something as complex as logging customer calls manually or as simple as engaging with customers via text messages. With its API-driven architecture, CPaaS enables enterprises to leverage video, voice and messaging elements without difficulty.
CPaaS leverages cloud technology to offer brands of all shapes and sizes the ability to develop and embed communication features without being required to purchase purpose-built applications. The technology provides businesses with a complete development framework that integrates real-time communication (RTC) features into their existing communication stack.
CPaaS typically includes software tools, sample codes, pre-built applications and standards-based APIs. Many CPaaS vendors also offer product support and documentation to help businesses throughout the development process.
CPaaS: Aligned With Changing Customer Expectations Trends
The recent and steady growth of the CPaaS market aligns with emerging trends in customer-facing communications, and are a result of today’s ever-changing customer expectations. With the ability to seamlessly implement communications features into applications, brands can ultimately create a more enhanced customer experience.
CPaaS solutions help companies orchestrate engagement strategies across multiple channels and devices, along with smart workflows, to build seamless customer journeys. This translates allowing the customer the opportunity to communicate with a brand seamlessly via multiple channels–text, video or voice–from inside the same user interface or app and without having to switch their screen.
For instance, it’s now easier than ever to book appointments, schedule meetings or answer quick questions with functionality like click-to-text. Additionally, companies can embed communication services into business applications, including sales software, to add features like click-to-call, notifications and multifactor authentication to improve the customer experience.
Furthermore, there are also some very critical implications for this technology. For example, CPaaS gives users the ability to call 911 within apps, thus making it efficient to get help when you need it.
Ask Yourself These Questions Before Taking the Leap
Implementing a CPaaS strategy can help you add flexible, scalable messaging to your organization’s internal and customer-facing applications without having to make a significant, upfront investment in back-end infrastructure.
As with any significant business purchasing decision, considering the right questions before leaping can help you choose a service provider that fits in with your organizational needs and goals. Because the technology is still a young(ish) market segment, there are a few factors to consider before diving in headfirst. Ask yourself:
- Does the platform provide flexibility to make changes and APIs to support integrations?
- Does it meet all of your company’s security and compliance requirements?
- What are the features that your business needs?
Answering these questions can help you sift through the sea of emerging CPaaS vendors and identify potential providers that will fit your business needs.
Industry experts forecast that 2020 will be an exciting one for technology, with more industries integrating to bring about change and unique services. CPaaS is likely to continue steady growth, with some exiting trends bringing it to the forefront of business communication strategies.
As technology continues to evolve, the popularity of CPaaS will increase. As machine learning becomes smarter, cloud-based communication platforms will be able to take on automated, self-service solutions with simple API integration, making Artificial Intelligence (AI) a prime example of what could come next for CPaaS. Also, look out for chatbots as a growing opportunity in the CPaaS space.
Unlike with other technologies available today, it’s simple for companies to embrace a CPaaS strategy with minimal upfront investment. Any size company can easily browse through available APIs and implement CPaaS into their communications network. The only major requirement is to decide what you want and need from your communication system, and you’ll be ready to start the process.
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This article was originally published on Toolbox ,Friday, November 22, 2019.