What is CPaaS and what does it mean for my business?

If you’ve ever had an exceptional customer experience from a brand, chances are, CPaaS was behind it. Communications Platforms as a Service (or CPaaS providers) have been an invisible force in many industries for some time.

So what is CPaaS?

Well, as we mentioned, CPaaS is an acronym – Communications Platform as a Service. But what does that mean?

For your customers, CPaaS is the cloud-based platform that allows real-time conversations between them and you. For your business, CPaaS enables you to have conversations with your customers on any channel. Be that SMS, web chat, voice, Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp or others. CPaaS means you don’t need to invest in developing complicated, bespoke solutions to speak to your customers.

And for your developers, CPaaS means you are effortlessly relevant. CPaaS providers do 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 your communications together in one place.

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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 a change. The fact remains, however, that your customer base is evolving.

Brand-loyalty is declining as technology makes it easier than ever to switch suppliers or services. You must 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 the survival of the quickest. So how do we achieve this agility in practice?

CPaaS means that when consumers adopt new channels to talk to brands, businesses can quickly adapt and offer these. This allows companies to remain relevant and competitive 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.

cpaas scalable tech

What is CPaaS to an end-customer?

Because of its adaptability, there is an infinite number of examples of CPaaS interactions.

One example may be a customer using a keyword to receive a coupon for a service. Upon receiving their coupon, perhaps as an 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 an 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 more personalized and therefore more effective. Businesses can also create engaging, tailored experiences for cart abandonment journeys, or onboarding using CPaaS to power 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 exists in two forms. Businesses can either choose a packaged option that they plug into, or they can buy the connectors themselves. The first option is a software tool. The latter is an application program interface (API) option.

APIs are often chosen by businesses that have existing platforms. These companies wish the integrate new channels into to enable 2-way communications. Some CPaaS providers may also have software development kits (SDKs). These enable developers to build real-time 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 minimizes technical debt and unifies silos of data. It also empowers companies to drive action and create a more efficient and profitable business model.

Having this data centralized means that marketing automation can be hyper-personalized, targeted, and much more effective.

CPaaS workflow

Who is CPaaS for?

Because of its broad appeal and versatility, many figures in business are interested in CPaaS.

It appeals to Heads of Product because of its 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 centralized data store.

Operations Directors looking for ways to generate revenue and improve efficiency (both of which are achieved with seamless conversations between customers and brand) conclude their search time and time again at CPaaS applications. Even developers love to implement CPaaS for their company. They know it’s a solution which has built-in future-proofing, making their lives easier and their bosses happier.

At every rung and in every department, CPaaS improves operations for all involved. Which is also why it ticks all boxes for procurement managers too.

Security

The added advantage is that the CPaaS cloud-based approach is more secure than multiple A-to-B implementations. This is because a single integration with a provider significantly reduces the attack surface area for hackers. It 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 more secure, but so is any sensitive company data. This is why financial services, FinTech, and other sectors that demand utmost privacy and security are reliant on CPaaS models. It generates security for its users.

In a market where privacy and security are becoming more of a prominent factor for consumers in their purchasing decisions, CPaaS should be a consideration of any industry.

CPaas security

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 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 that it frees your developers up from infrastructure issues. This way, they can focus on more relevant matters to your business.

If they’re caught 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 clients send. They’re then able to offer more affordable pricing to businesses. They should have strong links with both the channels themselves, as well as communication networks. This is so they’re 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 office

Engagement Cloud CPaaS

At dotdigital, 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 minimizing 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 means as channels evolve, 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 inquiries 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, the growth of anything of this proportion deserves notice. But simply put, just like email or social media, as more and more businesses adopt CPaaS, you’ll need to get on board.

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 Engagement Cloud CPaaS and how it will help your business achieve its goals? Arrange a free consultation with one of our experts.