It’s no secret that customer expectations are changing as business and technology evolve. In an increasingly digital world, people expect to be able to contact businesses and brands using whatever communication channel happens to be most convenient at the moment. Such expectations are driving the growth of Communications Platform as a Service (CPaaS) solutions.
What the Right CPaaS Solution Offers to Businesses
With the capacity to embed real-time communications capabilities into a broad range of core business applications, CPaaS is a critical technology for enabling digital engagement opportunities. During the pandemic, it has provided businesses with valuable new avenues for contactless customer engagements.
According to IDC analysts, global CPaaS revenue is expected to reach $17.71 billion by 2024 — a three-fold increase from $5.9 billion in 2020. A Frost and Sullivan study finds that 67 percent of companies plan to increase or maintain existing investment in CPaaS
Tips for Choosing the Right CPaaS Solution
Choosing a CPaaS solution can be a confusing process, however. The market is increasingly saturated with dozens of cloud-based providers that offer many of the same services and features. Virtually all of them allow developers to embed communications into existing business applications without the need for additional backend infrastructure or expensive hardware.
Despite the similarities, there are important differences. Here are a few things to consider when evaluating CPaaS providers:
Application Programming Interfaces:
APIs provide much of a CPaaS solution’s functionality by allowing applications to communicate with one another. Most providers have APIs for voice, video and text, but you may wish to enable additional functionality. For example, programmable APIs can open up communications with location services, IoT devices, analytics platforms and artificial intelligence solutions. Consider working with a provider with a large portfolio of APIs, giving you the flexibility to expand your capabilities as your business needs change.
Like all cloud services, CPaaS solutions are vulnerable to hacks and breaches. Open APIs can leave data exposed, and text messages often remain unencrypted on providers’ servers. Look for providers who offer in-motion encryption, authentication, authorization and access controls. In addition, make sure providers can demonstrate compliance with established data privacy standards such as ISO 27001, GDPR and SOC2.
Many CPaaS providers route customer communications over the public Internet, but that makes real-time communications such as voice and video more susceptible to latency, packet loss and jitter that diminish quality. Providers who have their own private IP network can offer increased reliability and quality. At the very least, look for providers that have Tier 1 connectivity.
A low-code development platform allows developers to create applications through a graphical user interface instead of traditional coding methods. This allows developers to use drag-and-drop tools to connect components and create multichannel apps that quickly integrate and interact with external systems.
Look for providers who offer AI-powered analytics and dynamic reporting tools, which will allow you to evaluate call quality and app usage data. Ideally, you should be able to access reports through a centralized dashboard.
The Importance of Choosing the Right CPaaS Solution
A robust and reliable CPaaS solution is becoming a business imperative because it will allow an organization to automate workflows and create new ways to engage and support customers. However, it is important to choose a provider that offers the features and services that can meet both your short-term and long-term business requirements. The cloud communications experts at IPC can help you evaluate providers and make a choice that best suits your needs.