CPaaS 101: What It Is, and Why You Need It

Posted by Natalie DeCario on August 20, 2018 at 5:20 PM
Natalie DeCario


The whole concept of “as a Service” has been around so long now, there's actually a blanket term used to describe “anything as a Service”: XaaS. There are plenty of aaS variants, and one of the newest is CPaaS, or Communications Platform as a Service. It may be new, but it has a fairly deep history, and the potential value for its end users is surprisingly robust. Understanding the history of CPaaS, as well as its likely future, will give its current and potential users much more insight into how this technology can improve everyday operations.

CPaaS 101 at VoIP InnovationsWhat CPaaS Can Do for You

CPaaS use cases are widely varied, and offer plenty of opportunity for firms to put its many benefits to use.

Scalability. Like just about any as a service proposition, CPaaS is readily able to expand—or contract—to meet needs on the ground. If more users in a company need to put CPaaS to work, more licenses can be readily obtained and provisioned. The reverse is also true; if these users are no longer with the company for one reason or another, just cut back on the amount of CPaaS in place and carry on.

Versatility. CPaaS isn't just a new voice technology, but it's expanded into a complete communications technology thanks to all those APIs. Whether you want to use voice service, incorporate video, or even bring in the power of short message service (SMS) or text messaging, you'll have systems waiting to accommodate you here.

Reliability. One of the great things about CPaaS is how long it's been in development. Decades of trial and error have resulted in a system where almost every kink has been worked out, and bringing the system into play immediately is actually par for the course. There's also plenty of technical support on hand should something go wrong; a wide range of online tutorials are already in place, and 24/7 live support is often available from CPaaS suppliers directly.

Multi-tenancy. Voice service is commonly a one-on-one proposition, but CPaaS can be so much more. CPaaS service allows for multi-tenancy, through which several customers can use the service at once, each operating from within a secure environment. This opens up the potential for larger group meetings by remote or similar activities.

Improved customer experience. CPaaS has great potential to be used as a means to fill gaps in communication. It becomes comparatively easy to throw open the floodgates to customers and give them ready access to subject matter experts within your operation, which makes fixing problems a breeze and endears customers to their current provider: you.

Who Should Have CPaaS on Board Right Now

Considering the many use cases for CPaaS operations, it's no surprise there are plenty of firms interested in bringing it on board. There are particular types of companies, however, that can immediately benefit from CPaaS' capabilities.

Startup firms. Startups who are already agile will likely appreciate CPaaS' ability to move with them. It's good to have a communications tool on hand that's not only as flexible as you are, but is also one that can grow right alongside you. The cloud-based nature of CPaaS allows it to be added onto later, meaning that companies that may be a little short on resources—like a startup—can augment their positions at a future date.

Large businesses. Many larger businesses have seen the value of having a scalable, customizable communications system in place. But larger businesses have also gotten involved on the supply side of CPaaS, including companies like Cisco and Vonage. Cisco bought Tropo in 2015, and Vonage picked up Nexmo in 2016, both of which were major figures in CPaaS. The value of the ability to provide CPaaS services isn't lost on these major corporations—the market is expected to reach $8.1 billion by 2019—and they're acting accordingly.

CPaaS at VoIP InnovationsCompanies with a “busy season.” Companies with a busy season—contractors or travel agencies in the summer months, retailers in the period between November and February, or the like—know firsthand how difficult and costly it can be to ramp up to accommodate the sudden onrush of new business, and then break down that extra force after the busy season has subsided. Most anything provided on an as a Service basis can go up and come down with little fanfare, and only minimal extra expense, which should be dwarfed by the extra business done.

Companies looking for stable billing. One of the worst aspects of old fashioned voice service is never knowing how much the bill will be. Sure, there's often a range, but for larger companies who handle a lot of voice traffic, one month could be hundreds of dollars more than normal. CPaaS service is typically billed at a fixed rate for a certain amount of service, whether it's per-call, per-message, or even per-minute.

Companies looking to start right away. CPaaS has undergone development since the late 1990s. The systems that are being offered today are the result of decades of development, meaning they're largely plug and play at this point. Those who want the value of custom service, while not wanting the pain and cost of developing custom applications, will find a ready partner waiting in CPaaS.

Small-scale developers. While CPaaS is the product of decades of development, that doesn't mean development has stopped. Referred to as the “long tail,” one major market for CPaaS service is a loose coalition of smaller markets like university students, tiny companies with IT departments that can handle development activities, and the like. None of these groups is particularly substantial, but taken together as an aggregate, they're much more a force than some may think.

Companies that want an inexpensive call center. Remember that “multi-tenancy” concept? The ability to have several people using the same service all at the same time is just another way to say “call center.” After all, what's a call center but a bunch of people on phones, taking calls from customers, or in some cases, making calls to customers? Establishing a form of call center with CPaaS tools is actually quite possible, and may put call center capabilities into more hands than ever.

What to Do When You Want to Get Started With CPaaS

By now, the thought of CPaaS probably sounds pretty good to you, and for good reason. A service that can grow and change with your needs and provide you with secure communications via a wide range of different media types, all for a cost that fits squarely within your budget, is probably not the kind of service you want to turn down lightly.

So what do you actually do when you want to get started? That's the simplest answer of all: just drop us a line at VoIP Innovations to talk about our programmable telco solution, Apidaze. We've got a wide range of communications APIs that will fit your needs whether you're looking to join the ranks of resellers and get other businesses in on the action—some of you may have already done business with yourself—or whether you're looking to add on CPaaS services to your current operation. From inbound to outbound calling, to fraud detection, to hosted billing and beyond, we've got exactly the tools you'll need to make CPaaS a part of your normal run.

If you're ready to get started with CPaaS, give us a call at 877-478-6471 or send us email at info@voipinnovations.com.

 

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