Traditionally, communication functionality has existed in silos. Phone systems, video conferencing platforms and collaboration tools were completely separate. Unified communications (UC) brings those tools together within a single interface, but UC still exists in a dedicated platform built specifically for that function.
Some modern UC system have APIs that enable integration with other business applications. For example, you could integrate UC with a customer relationship management system so that customer data pops up when a call comes in, and notes can be recorded at the time of the call. However, the UC and CRM systems are still separate.
Communications-Platform-as-a-Service (CPaaS) takes the level of integration a step further by allowing you to embed communication into both internal and customer-facing applications using cloud-based tools. With CPaaS, developers can customize applications with real-time communication services without having to build and operate the backend infrastructure and interfaces. CPaaS is different from UC in that communication capabilities are seamlessly woven into the app itself.
CPaaS provides a comprehensive development framework that typically includes software, APIs, sample code, pre-built applications and technical support. This foundation eliminates the need to build your own real-time communications network infrastructure, which speeds time to market and reduces infrastructure costs. Many CPaaS providers are also providing support for Web Real-Time Communications (WebRTC), which enables peer-to-peer communication inside web browsers without requiring users to download an application or use a plugin.
There are a number of use cases for CPaaS. For example, CPaaS tools can be used to send text messages to a single phone or a group of phones, making it easy to generate alerts and send reminders. This capability can be used to simplify password recovery, verification and reset procedures with minimal risk of identity fraud and theft.
CPaaS can also be used to call and connect multiple users or endpoints instead of requiring them to call each other. This accelerates the process of forming a team and calling a meeting to address an urgent matter. Developers can easily add click-to-call and click-to-message features to business apps, and video can be added to help desks and contact centers to improve engagement and outcomes. Although many of these capabilities are not new, CPaaS makes them easier to implement and manage.
ShoreTel Summit is a true CPaaS solution, enabling you to build custom voice and text applications with no hardware required. ShoreTel Summit makes it possible to integrate communication capabilities into your workflows and modify applications to suit evolving business needs, regulatory requirements or customer demands.
Your developers can do the work in-house or collaborate with a Summit Solution Partner to improve productivity, deliver personalized customer experiences, and quickly prototype and launch new products and services. In addition to APIs, ShoreTel Summit offers a full programming language and rich, developer-friendly tools. Summit also ensures compliance with regulations such as the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard, the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act and the Sarbanes-Oxley Act.
As a ShoreTel Platinum Champion Partner, IPC is well-positioned to help organizations understand and take advantage of CPaaS with ShoreTel Summit. Let us show you CPaaS simplifies the process of embedding communications capabilities into your applications and business processes.