In the technology industry, it seems like we are bombarded by new acronyms every day, making it hard to keep them straight. Most recently, CPaaS, or communications platform-as-a-service, has emerged, yet even Google’s search engine gets confused, suggesting that you may have meant to type in “PaaS.” With the seemingly endless amount of tech acronyms, businesses are tasked with both trying to making sense of them individually and mixing the technologies together like ingredients in a custom “technology soup.”
The bottom line is that CPaaS is the new cool kid in tech with the potential to transform the way we all do business. In fact, industry analyst IDC predicts that the CPaaS market will grow from under $1 billion today to $8 billion by 2018.
UCaaS, CPaaS – or both?
So what is CPaaS anyway? In many ways, CPaaS is the natural evolution of Unified Communications as-a-Service (UCaaS) in an increasingly cloudy, mobile and collaborative world. Let’s back up for a second, and look at the difference between the two. UCaaS is a cloud platform that that centralizes email, VOIP, messaging, conferencing, storage, fax and printing, and storage (and so much more) in one location and is used primarily to connect employees and help them streamline mission-critical business applications.
CPaaS takes this a step further by providing a set of APIs to developers enabling them to embed custom, customer-facing communications features into cloud-based web and mobile applications like SMS, text-to-speech, two-factor authentication and voice. Further, by using APIs, businesses can add new features in a fraction of the time it would take to develop complex custom code and without the need to invest in new hardware, which is a huge competitive advantage.
CPaaS Market: Mixing Context with Communications
With the added capabilities CPaaS brings to existing UCaaS offering platforms, enterprises and developers can use APIs to build contextual communications into mobile apps, websites and business workflows. In short, adding context to communications means changing how businesses communicate with their customers, reaching them where they are – chat, message, websites – through custom and personalized communications recipes tailor-made for specific business needs and processes – on-the-fly.
In practice, for instance, a developer can use an API to build a feature that automatically sends a text message to notify a customer when an order is ready. Another key ingredient CPaaS brings to the table is improved communications with a global network of telecommunications carriers, enabling businesses to communicate with their respective customers no matter where they are in the world.
No matter how you spice it up, the main ingredients for communications in today’s cloudy and mobile world are UCaaS and CPaaS. After all, customers and end users alike expect instant access to meaningful information from any device wherever they are on the network. By combining all of the ingredients of modern communications together in one pot, and adding different flavors from a cupboard of pre-packaged CPaaS APIs along the way, businesses gain the flexibility to meet these demands while improving productivity, the end user experience and overall business processes.