What Is CPaaS? Communication Platform as a Service Explained

Live streaming apps
Video Conferencing
Video Streaming Development
13 Dec
Stanislav Zayarsky
Background

Customers are constantly changing their preferences about how brands should contact them. This means that brands should be accessible across all communication channels, which are now easy to manage using a one-stop CPaaS solution.

What is CPaaS

People become attached to certain means of communication. Someone likes chatting in Telegram, while someone is used to the Viber interface. If a client needs to use a different app to talk to you than they usually use to communicate with their friends, they are less likely to engage in a conversation with you. Moreover, there is also a psychological moment. By using a different app than your customers use, you distance yourself from them and can’t expect to be friends because their friends’ contacts are in a different location.

You can always improve the interaction with your customers if you use a channel that they like and already use. And with the CPaaS solution, this is much easier to do, since it allows you to manage all communications from a single platform. Besides, CPaaS is beneficial to marketers as a tool for attracting customers. You are probably already itching to know: what is a CPaaS solution?

Communication platform as a service (CPaaS) is an all-in-one solution that facilitates communication with employees and customers. The platform includes such formats as audio (mobile communication and Internet telephony), text (SMS, chat and instant messengers), as well as video. 

Since social networks such as WhatsApp enable communication in all formats, including text, audio and video, communications between people and businesses are shifting to such messengers. It’s no surprise why the CPaaS market is booming. In 2020, the global CPaaS market was valued at $4.54 billion. And it is expected to reach $26.03 billion by 2026, with a CAGR over the forecast period (2021-2026) of 34.30%.

How Does It Work?

Some companies are trying to ignore the benefits of new solutions, including CPaaS, worried that they will have to abandon those systems and software that have served them faithfully for a long time. Whereas in fact, they don’t even need to do this, since many solutions can easily get along with familiar programs. So, CPaaS, for example, is integrated with other IT systems, adopted by your company (CRM, e-commerce, billing, etc.) via application programming interfaces (APIs) and software development kits (SDKs). 

The most common use case for CPaaS today is the integration of SMS notifications into a company’s scheduling application. For example, a doctor’s office in a private clinic might have practice management software installed that automatically reminds patients of an appointment or when a new prescription needs to be filled. Clients can reply to a text message to acknowledge receipt of the notification, and the application can capture their response.

Today, many CPaaS providers offer full-stack packages with desired communication features that can be added to applications right away. Some CPaaS vendors also provide security features like multi-factor authentication. CPaaS is typically billed monthly at a flat rate per message or minute blocks. There is also a pay-per-call, per-video or per-message billing model.

What Are CPaaS Advantages and Disadvantages?

CPaaS is ready to offer companies the benefits of adaptability, versatility and cost control.

  • Flexibility

 CPaaS make up a stack of technologies that allow the program to be maximally adapted to the specifics of the company’s work. While CPaaS is better at adapting to the features it can include, these two schemes offer alignment with UC applications, chatbots, and are just the tip of the iceberg.

  • Scaling

CPaaS can be scaled by companies as they evolve and change. Since customers access them via the cloud, they can log in from anywhere using any connected gadget. This makes it possible to maintain constant correspondence between representatives in different office premises or those who work remotely.

  • Cost-effectiveness 

Dedicated cloud-based tools enable companies to save money instead of traditional on-premise innovation. Because CPaaS is provided by vendors, companies simply need to pay monthly membership fees for the service. There is no good reason to keep up with physical or local hardware, start-up costs, or hiring specific IT professionals to work with innovation.

Compared to UCaaS, which offers a turnkey solution, CPaaS requires some initial development time to adjust a set of APIs and integrate them with company workflows. In addition to spending time on building, you will also have to spend money on hiring a development team, especially if the application is complex.

These are perhaps the only noticeable drawbacks, which are not significant compared to the flexibility and space for creativity that this solution provides.

The Difference Between CPaaS and UCaaS

The terms communications platform as a service (CPaaS) and unified communications as a service (UCaaS) can be misleading because both CPaaS and UCaaS offer many of the same underlying communications services. However, they differ in how they provide these services.

UCaaS resembles a traditional on-premises platform, with all functions and applications hosted on the service provider’s platform. In contrast, CPaaS simply provides developers with the necessary tools to customize and embed communications into existing business applications.

Theoretically, the relationship between UCaaS and CPaaS is complementary, not competitive. Many UCaaS platform providers are increasingly taking a middle ground in the UCaaS vs. CPaaS debate, offering both APIs and CPaaS platforms. When the CPaaS platform sits on top of the UCaaS platform, it can expand the ability of a business to interact with a wider range of customers with almost no interruption and replacement of the existing communications infrastructure.

Key functions of CPaaS

Over the past year, the offer on the CpaaS market has become much more extensive and diverse – modern services offer a large selection of APIs for all kinds of tasks, as well as more functions and their settings than ever before. Here are the major ones:

Voice calling APIs

The core of any communication channel are calls. Voice APIs allow you to have a two-way conversation with your customers, while additional functionality provides a better experience. Here’s what CPaaS function service providers should offer in their voice communications tools:

  • Interactive Voice Response (IVR) with Automatic Speech Recognition (ASR) and Natural Language Processing (NLP)
  • Call routing through webhooks
  • Voicemail and high-quality text-to-speech voices
  • Scalable ‘elephant trunking’ (SIP trunking)
  • Call queueing
  • Call recording and transcription with real-time translation option
  • Number masking to protect agents’ and customers’ personal information
  • Audio and Video conferencing
  • WebRTC calling features
  • Caller identification (Caller ID)
  • Answering machine detection (AMD)

Messaging APIs

The most favorite communication format of introverts, for whom CPaaS opens up numerous messaging options. You can build SMS and MMS communication into your software, as well as enable messaging with your customers online, including social media, email and in-app chat. It can be one or two-way real-time chat messaging, group text messaging, and even automated AI-based chatbots. Whichever option you choose, you can always expand the capabilities of the messenger with the following functions:

  • Automatic message splitting
  • Dedicated short codes or numbers for SMS
  • Appointment reminders
  • Rescheduling notifications
  • Bulk and group mailings
  • Hyper-personalized messages as part of your marketing campaigns
  • Multichannel or omnichannel messaging
  • File exchange
  • Order/shipping status update
  • Customer Surveys
  • Customer/technical support

Security APIs functions

In addition to APIs that improve and diversify the way we communicate, authentication and verification functions that are responsible for the security of transmitted data are also of great importance.

Here are the security mechanisms used in communications software:

  • Cross-platform 2-factor authentication
  • Push notifications for account login attempts
  • Verification code feature (i.e. CAPTCHA)
  • Voice auth

Additional advanced API functions

In addition to the above features, many CPaaS providers are looking to expand the capabilities of their platforms by adding the following features for:

  • Omnichannel communication
  • Task management and workflow automation
  • Internet of Things (IoT)
  • Analytics and reporting
  • E911 services
  • Phone number lookup

How Do You Know if CPaaS Is Right for Your Business?

Choosing a CPaaS solution is necessary based on the goals and needs of your business.

Consider:

  • The purpose of your communications

If the out-of-the-box UCaaS solution is generally better suited for communications within a company, then CPaaS, due to its customization flexibility, makes it a better consumer-facing solution (and does a better job of both).

  • Involvement level

Deploying CPaaS involves hiring developers to create and manage API implementations. Moreover, after launching the communication software, the work does not end there. The established API requires constant monitoring and maintenance to see how new features affect the entire communications stack and what updates are needed.

  • Customization level

If you’re looking for a solution that is both creative and fully responsive to your business, CPaaS is the best option. With it, you will be able to add the necessary functions to the tools that you already use. But if you don’t have a lot of specific requirements, a less flexible but easier to implement UCaaS might make more sense.

Another option that might be able to fully meet the communication needs of your business is to use both options. For example, you can deploy UCaaS enterprise communications software and then overlay a CPaaS solution on top to improve the customer experience.

Conclusion

In today’s time to provide the best communication experience, CpaaS is not a whim, but practically a necessity. Those who are not very familiar with this technology or do not fully understand what will work best for their business may have some questions. You can continue your own research by surfing the Internet, or you can contact a CpaaS company to get a free expert consultation.

Whatever you choose, rest assured that with CpaaS, your customers will be grateful to be able to use their favorite app to interact with you. And you make your job easier by managing all communication channels from one customizable platform. Trembit is ready to create custom CPaaS platform right for your company’s needs.




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