Stitching Together Better Enterprise Communications with CPaaS

May 17, 2017

The rise of communications platforms as a service (CPaaS) offerings is one of the hottest topics in the enterprise communications industry right now. Based on our research, the Frost & Sullivan Connected Work team believes that much of the hype and excitement around CPaaS is justified.  CPaaS, which we define as cloud-based platforms that enable developers to embed voice, video, chat and messaging services within their business or consumer applications, comprises solutions that can truly break down the silos of communication and deliver on the promise of streamlined business processes and enhanced applications. However, before striking out into this new API economy, there are three things that organizations of all sizes need to understand about the emerging CPaaS market:

CPaaS Fills Important Gaps in Business Communications Whether they realize it or not, most organizations, regardless of size, have gaps or blind spots in how they communicate with each other, with customers, and with their suppliers. This could be something as simple as lacking the ability to interact with customers via SMS on business numbers, or complex as burdensome manual processes required to log customer calls. Unified communications (UC) and the move to software-based or cloud-based platforms were meant to alleviate some of these challenges, but the obstacles to friction-less communication-enabled business processes (CEBP) still exist. CPaaS, with its API-driven architecture, affords businesses the opportunity to leverage voice, video, and messaging elements in a very consumable way. CPaaS solutions are not going to replace businesses’ existing UC infrastructure or services any time soon, but rather build on that foundation and make business communications smoother and better integrated into critical workflows.

Significant Market Diversity Unlike other segments of the UC market, participation in the CPaaS marketplace is not limited to a single type of provider or vendor. Small startups, traditional incumbent and competitive telecommunications carriers, and even many UC vendors are developing CPaaS solutions and evolving their value propositions around the new API economy. In addition, a number of innovative companies have sprung up with software or cloud services to lower the barriers to entry into the CPaaS. Nearly anyone with some phone numbers and PSTN access can become a CPaaS provider. For businesses, the challenge will be choosing which of this myriad of providers to partner with.

Use Cases Only Limited by Imagination CPaaS breaks down voice, video and messaging services down to very simple but useful elements. In essence, anywhere people need to talk to each other, an app developer can use an API to make a voice or video connection. Likewise, sending a customer a text message can be equally automated. Today’s use cases are dominated by SMS appointment notifications and workflow automations, but the ability to embed communications into nearly any app, website or even the Internet of Things (IoT) is extremely powerful. Businesses and service providers are only beginning to scratch the surface on the utility of CPaaS.

To learn more about CPaaS and its impact on the enterprise communications market, check out “Emerging Use Cases for Communications Platforms as a Service”, available on frost.com.


Michael Brandenburg

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