Communications Platforms as a Service (or CPaaS providers) have been an invisible force in the markets of many industries for some time. Just like the way dark matter makes up and ties together most of the universe but without scientists really understanding what it is, the CPaaS market has been quietly fuelling and unifying communications services for business messaging and have allowed companies to flourish without many people really understanding what they are, or even knowing they exist. If you have ever had an exceptional customer experience from a brand, chances are, CPaaS was behind it.
So what is CPaaS?
Well, as we mentioned, CPaaS is an acronym – Communications Platform as a Service. But what on earth does that mean? For your customers, CPaaS is the invisible cloud-based platform that allows real-time conversations between them and you. For your business, what CPaaS means is that you can simply plug in and start having conversations with your customers. And on any channel. Be that SMS, web chat, voice, Facebook Messenger, Twitter DM, WhatsApp or others. CPaaS means you don’t need to invest in complicated development for your B2C operations. And for your developers, CPaaS means you are effortlessly relevant. CPaaS providers do all of the behind the scenes work to keep up with channels so you don’t have to.
So when we ask ‘what is CPaaS’, in essence, CPaaS allows you to connect with your customers in as many different ways as possible. Unifying all of your communications together in one place.
Cutting-edge, scalable technology
Consumers adopt technology at a faster rate every passing year. But as businesses, we can be sluggish and rigid when it comes to making change. The fact remains, however, that your customer-base is evolving. And brand-loyalty is declining as technology makes it easier than ever to switch suppliers or services. It’s more imperative than ever to keep up with the latest channels and capabilities of communication or you risk losing out to the competition who got there sooner. In today’s market, it may not be survival of the fittest, but survival of the quickest. So how do we achieve this agility in practice?
CPaaS means that when consumers adopt new channels to communicate with brands on, businesses can quickly adapt and offer these. This allows companies to remain relevant and competitive in their industries with little to no additional requirement for resource. The advantage here of course is that businesses can then remain in their innovation zones. They can continue to concentrate on doing what they do best. This means they can find more ways to be competitive and offer the best product or service in the market. Furthermore, with a CPaaS provider, companies can adopt as many or as few channels that are relevant to them. This pick ‘n’ mix style of communication offers tailored experiences for both the business and their end-customers.
What is CPaaS to an end-customer?
There are an infinite number of examples of CPaaS interactions because of the versatility of communication it offers. One example may be a customer using a keyword to receive a coupon for a service. Upon receiving their coupon, perhaps as a alphanumerical code in an SMS or a QR code in a rich channel like Facebook Messenger, they can then directly speak to an agent in that channel to book their appointment for that service. They can then receive alerts, reminders and notifications about the appointment on that channel, or another of their choosing.
At each point they retain the ability to communicate in real time with an agent. They also retain the context of their previous conversations no matter the channel or agent they are using or speaking to. Why does this matter? It enables more efficient conversations, that are also more personalised and therefore more effective. Businesses are also creating engaging, tailored experiences for cart abandonment journeys, or onboarding, all with their CPaaS powering the communication. They can even use a CPaaS application to power their authentication and security checks, making a customer’s data on their journey more secure, and the brand’s reputation for trust high.
What does CPaaS look like to a business?
CPaaS is not quite as invisible as dark matter. It exists in two forms. Businesses can either choose a packaged option that they simply plug into, or they can purchase the connectors themselves. The first option is a software tool. The latter is an application programme interface (API) option. This is chosen by businesses that often have existing platforms. These companies wish the integrate new channels into to enable 2-way communications with their customers. Some CPaaS providers may also have software development kits (SDKs). These enable your developers to build real-time communication messaging into new or existing mobile apps.
Using a single CPaaS provider to do this instead of several channel providers or developing in-house has advantages. It minimises technical debt and unifies silos of data. This empowers companies with a centralised store of customer information that allows marketing and operation departments to drive action and create a more efficient and profitable business model. Having this data centralised, for example, means that marketing automation can be ultra-personalised and targeted and therefore much more effective. For operations, agents and customers alike will immediately be provided with context for the conversations that are being had between brands and consumers, with incredible outcomes, both for engagement and satisfaction rates.
Who is CPaaS for?
Because of its broad appeal and versatility as a product, there are many figures in a business who will be interested in CPaaS.
It appeals to Heads of Product because of the ability to rapidly add functionality to their existing software solutions. It solves the age-old problem for Heads of CRM who are looking to find better and more cost-efficient ways to connect with their customers. CTOs are drawn to CPaaS as a solution with low technical debt and a centralised data store. Operations Directors are looking for ways to generate revenue and improve efficiency (both of which are achieved with seamless conversations between customers and brand) and conclude their search time and time again at CPaaS applications. Even developers love to implement CPaaS for their company, as they know it is a solution which has built-in future-proofing, making their lives easier and easier in the long run, and their bosses happier and happier.
At every rung and in every department, CPaaS seems to improve operations for all involved. Which is also perhaps why it often ticks all boxes for procurement managers too.
The added advantage for your business and consumers is that the CPaaS cloud-based model approach is more secure than multiple A-to-B implementations. This is because a single integration to a provider significantly reduces the attack surface area for hackers, allows you to control data with ease for compliance and allows your security teams to focus their efforts. Not only is the data of your customers therefore more secure, but so is any sensitive company data. This is partly why financial services (or FinTech) or other sectors that demand upmost privacy and security such as healthcare, are so reliant on CPaaS models to generate security for their users.
In a market, however, where privacy and security is becoming more of a prominent factor for consumers in their purchasing decisions, CPaaS should be a consideration of any industry.
What can you expect from a CPaaS provider?
Whether you are opting for the API or the software option, a CPaaS provider should offer you support in the form of Docs. These are documentations either to get you started with the software or to help your developers integrate communication channel APIs into your existing systems. They should also offer technical live assistance. After all, one of the main advantages of using a CPaaS provider is the fact that it frees your developers up from infrastructure issues. This way, they can focus on more relevant matters to your business. If they are caught thigh-high in a complicated technical integration with little to no support, you may as well develop in-house. Never under-estimate the importance of Docs or live support from your providers for this reason!
CPaaS providers are also able to leverage the volume of messages they send on behalf of their clients. This way, they are able to offer more affordable pricing to businesses. They should have strong links with both the channels themselves, and also communication networks. This is so they are able to maneuver any changes in the communication industry before it becomes an issue for your business. It’s also so that they remain relevant in terms of new functionality and new channels. After all, if your CPaaS provider isn’t relevant, your business has little chance of being relevant too.
CPaaS from Comapi
At Comapi, we understand the importance of security and resilience to your business. This is why we pride ourselves on adopting not just cloud architecture, but multi-cloud architecture (Azure, and Google) to ensure our systems never go down. We take rigorous steps to ensure our services are secure. We do this by minimising surface attack areas, only communicating over 2048-bit TLS encryption to protect against man-in-the-middle attacks and snooping, as well as being ISO 27001 accredited, ensuring all aspects of our business are secure.
Our software can get your company up and running with CPaaS in minutes. Our APIs are industry-leading. We are praised by developers the world over for our developer-friendly way of doing things. Including easy-to-use docs, pain-free integrations, expert knowledge base, and live support.
Ready for the future
With the simplicity of our One API, you’ll only ever have to integrate once to access all the current channel offerings of our CPaaS. But it will also give you access to any future channels, such as RCS and WhatsApp. If you’re already integrated with a single channel from us, all others will be available to you. Either as soon as you require them, or as soon as they are released. We even support custom body in your send. This mean as channels evolves, you’ll be able to instantly access any new features or message types. This single integration feature also makes us bot-ready. Our bot-partner Meya.ai can provide your customers and prospects with either fully bot-based conversations, or communications that can be handled by both agents and AI, as your bot acts as the first-port of call before funneling enquiries to the correct department if necessary.
What else do you need to know about the CPaaS market?
If you take anything away from this article, make sure it’s this: the CPaaS market is growing. Exponentially.
Why does the growth of CPaaS matter to your business? Well, growth of anything of this proportion deserves notice. But simply put, just like email or social media, if everyone is adopting CPaaS, you’ll sooner or later need to get on board. That is, if you want to remain relevant in your industry.
As a growing company, it’s in our interest that you grow too. We view ourselves as partners in innovation with every one of our clients. This is why we work with you for a solution that best suits your unique needs. Want to learn more about how Comapi as your CPaaS provider will help your business achieve its goals? Arrange a free consultation with one of our experts.