The Gist

  • The benefits. CPaaS offers a range of benefits, including scalability, flexibility and seamless integration with existing offerings.
  • A growing market. The global market for CPaaS is projected to grow significantly in the coming years, as businesses recognize its potential for enhancing customer engagement and streamlining communication processes.
  • More effective communications and success. By implementing best practices and leveraging the features of CPaaS, businesses can build more personalized, responsive and effective communications strategies that support long-term growth and success. 

Communications Platform-as-a-Service (CPaaS) is growing in popularity as organizations seek ways to more easily manage their growing communications needs across channels. Below is a look at the basics, demand, advantages and some of the best practices of using the technology.

What Is CPaaS? The Basics

CPaaS is a cloud-based platform that provides the necessary infrastructure, tools and services needed to create, manage and deploy communication applications. It enables developers to easily build, deploy and manage real-time communication applications such as voice, video, messaging and collaboration, explained Noel Griffith, SupplyGem CMO.

Developers can use these services to create applications that can be used for customer service, marketing automation and analytics. These applications can be deployed in the cloud or on premise, Griffith added. CPaaS also provides a comprehensive set of application programming interfaces (APIs) that enable developers to easily integrate the services into their applications.

CPaaS provides the necessary back-end communications infrastructure to integrate communications functionality into a company’s existing offerings through communications APIs and software development kits (SDKs), said John Antanaitis, Vonage vice president of portfolio marketing. “CPaaS offers businesses more flexibility to connect with customers on their preferred channels by harmonizing an organization’s existing environment with enhanced focus on customized and personalized experiences for more meaningful engagement.”

Antanaitis added: “APIs are where the magic starts, delivering the tools to create innovations that power meaningful customer engagement. The programmability inherent in communications APIs helps companies solve the challenge of implementing high-tech communications capabilities without the need for dedicated internal resources and IT expertise.”

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CPaaS: The Demand

The global market for CPaaS is expected to reach $45.3 billion by 2027, representing a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 29.4%, according to a MarketsandMarkets report.

Organizations’ desire to deliver better customer engagement is driving the growth, according to Jay Patel, vice president and general manager, CPaaS, Webex by Cisco. “Delivering these experiences can be complex as businesses realize they need the building blocks to rapidly drive the innovation that improves CX. This is where CPaaS steps-in, providing a range of capabilities that enable the automation of end-to-end customer journeys across multiple communication channels, integrating with existing back-end systems to save time and costs.”

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CPaaS: The Advantages

The primary advantage of CPaaS is the scalability and speed of which change can be made, Patel said. Businesses can quickly inject communications into existing processes to deliver valuable outcomes for customers and the business and scale up and down when required. 

The flexibility and scalability of CPaaS helps companies future-proof their businesses against ever-changing customer needs and expectations, Antanaitis said. “New communications features, such as automated speech recognition to enable customer self-service options or two factor authorization for an extra layer of security, can be quickly and easily embedded into any platform or application, providing businesses with more opportunity to engage directly and deepen the relationship with customers — from anywhere, across any channel, at any time.”

It’s easy to be overwhelmed — CPaaS boasts an ever-growing portfolio of capabilities that address use cases across every business unit, Patel added. “It’s important to realize that tactical solutions lead to long-term transformation.”

As one-use case evolves into hundreds, businesses rely on CPasS rather than bringing in an army of developers to simplify the management of the many processes that power customer interactions across multiple channels; to be able to offer a growing portfolio of channels that are kept up to date; and to reduce dependency on IT while meeting compliance, regulation and security requirements, according to Patel.

CPaaS: Benefits for Customer Experience

There are also substantial benefits to a CPaaS from a CX perspective, said Kashif Naqshbandi, Tenth Revolution Group CMO. “The ability for multiple customers to use real-time communications (RTC) features at once within fully separate and secure environments is a key feature when it comes to growing and scaling your platform or service.”

Learning Opportunities

Keeping track of analytics and troubleshooting as you roll out your new RTC features with CPaaS also allows your business to evolve more flexibly in line with customer needs, according to Naqshbandi. “Bolstering existing feedback mechanisms, a CPaaS makes quicker strategic interventions possible as you continue refining the customer journey.”

Authentication and verification services also play a role, building trust and a sense of reliability — while also minimizing and mitigating risks to your business, Naqshbandi added. “Other features like video help desks and even appointment reminders can help ensure customers have a more engaging experience as they navigate your platform. Ultimately, a CPaaS allows a business to build a more bespoke RTC solution more simply and more easily than a traditional ground-up approach.”

CPaaS: Best Practices

“Start with addressing the moments that matter for customers. Event-based reminders are triggered to ensure people don’t miss appointments, deflection to a messaging channel stops callers waiting on hold, proactive alerts via verified channels can stop fraud in its tracks — the possibilities are endless,” Patel said.

When using CPaaS, it is important to consider best practices such as using secure communication protocols, implementing user authentication and using encryption whenever possible, Griffith said. Developers should also take steps to ensure that the application meets performance and scalability requirements.

When renting out CPaaS services, a top best practice to remember is that any provider can have an outage, advised Aaron Alter, Telgorithm CEO and co-founder. “Find a reliable CPaaS provider but always understand an outage can happen at any time so it’s important when choosing a cloud communication provider, you select one that allows the ability to multithread easily.”

Multithreading enables a company to work with multiple providers at once, providing backups in case of an outage or other emergency with the primary.

Determine what CPaaS functions you can build internally, to keep more of the logic in house, Alter added. “That will allow you to discover what functions you may be able to build internally. The key is to keep as much logic as possible in-house to not be too reliant on any one provider. Being able to create more redundancies or backup logics helps you to prepare for provider outages.” 

Final Thoughts on CPaaS

In today's fast-paced and ever-changing business landscape, communication is key to success. CPaaS offers organizations an innovative solution to seamlessly integrate communications functionality into their existing offerings, empowering them to connect with customers on their preferred channels and deliver personalized experiences. With the global market for CPaaS projected to grow rapidly in the coming years, it's clear that businesses are recognizing the advantages of this technology.

By implementing best practices and leveraging the scalability and flexibility of CPaaS, companies can future-proof their operations and stay ahead of the curve. In short, CPaaS is not just a tool; it's a game-changer that empowers organizations to communicate more effectively and build deeper relationships with their customers.