Communications platform-as-a-service solutions (CPaaS) has essentially liberated the traditional meaning of telecommunications and extended it to developers across the globe, allowing them to incorporate powerful and easily accessible capabilities into millions of applications.
Just as unified communications-as-a-service experienced a surge in the marketplace, the same pattern is emerging in the CPaaS market. As The VoIP Report notes, analysts expect the market to reap $8.1 billion in 2019. Predictions also indicate that market share will pick up fairly quickly in the coming years, specifically in the enterprise market. This is just the right time to lean in, learn, and deploy the option as part of their user-experience and technology portfolio.
The questions for business leaders, then, are what this means and what organizations should do to keep their competitive edge in the swiftly changing world of business communications.
The CPaaS Market: Communications, Context, Client-Friendly Deployment, and User Protections
At the heart of the excitement that's driving the CPaaS market is the underlying creative and competitive force that application programming interfaces (APIs) represent. As approaches and innovations around the API continue to evolve, the promise of increasingly sophisticated voice, rich media, and messaging APIs grows.
We already live in an API economy where CIOs must look beyond APIs as technology and instead build their company's business models, digital strategies and ecosystems on them.
At its core, CPaaS is about reaching the end user via apps and through desktop and mobile web experiences. That's a broad statement, but it's accurate: The addressable market for CPaaS is anyone who has broadband and an app that uses broadband.
The examples below illustrate the ways in which enterprises are already building deep and dynamic connectivity:
- Dynamic communications: CPaaS enables virtually seamless and option-rich communications. A user might start an in-office text message conversation with a client that then moves to the car as he or she departs for the next meeting across town. The very same conversation can switch from the text-based format to a call, and then pick up again as a video interface when both parties are in places where they'd like to add a face-to-face element to the conversation. And all this happens with a swipe or tap. A core value of the CPaaS experience is that it never requires either of the users to switch applications.
- Context-forward interactions: Personalized experiences are table stakes in the business communications marketplace. That doesn't make them any less valuable, it just means that providing them is now the backdrop for the user experience. Any customer interaction is now expected to be rich with moments that reflect the wants and needs of the individual. CPaaS leans into this expectation, empowering the enterprise to see ticket histories, cart contents, visit logs, and more. The added dynamic capabilities — media flexibility, location agnostic and seamless transfers of the conversation between formats - these features elevate CPaaS to a personalized ecosystem that delivers far beyond the table-stake expectations with which business now works.
- Simplified deployment: Communications technology projects can rise and fall along the path to implementation. Simplicity and speed make for successful deployments. As such, CPaaS puts all the solutions it delivers into play without the client having to build each component. The cloud-based environment provides both an IT-light ecosystem and vendor support after enterprise leadership throws the switch. When a solution includes a software development kit of its own, the CPaaS system also allows the organization to build, expand, and flex along with its evolving business needs. Each of these factors allows an enterprise to make the case for CPaaS with confidence that the transition phase will inspire confidence in turn.
- User protection is at the heart of CPaaS: Another factor that has sparked the surge in popularity and adoption within the CPaaS market is the technology's focus on authentication and identity protection. CPaaS users are assured of virtual phone numbers that drive identity-safe connections via virtual switchboards — no names, no data. This alias feature applies to messaging as well. In today's world of security-minded services, the CPaaS experience fits squarely within the expansive realm of options and flexibility that enterprises demand.
As Paolo Malinverno, research vice president at Gartner, noted in a blog post, "We already live in an API economy where CIOs must look beyond APIs as technology and instead build their company's business models, digital strategies and ecosystems on them." As enterprises turn to CPaaS solutions, chief information officers can be sure they're leveraging just the models, strategies, and ecosystems that Malinverno described.
Ready to learn more about how your enterprise can add and build on the rise of CPaaS technology? Tap into Vonage Business resources and contact a representative for additional insights.