In our digital era, seamless communication is essential for operational efficiency and customer satisfaction. But how can you achieve that without completely overhauling your existing tools?
Enter Communication Platform as a Service (CPaaS). This solution melds communication features like voice, text, and video conferencing with existing digital tools, erasing the hurdles of backend infrastructure management.
CPaaS streamlines your communications without adding additional software and enables high-quality communications. Your customers and employees will be amazed at everything they can accomplish without switching between apps or downloading another third-party service.
What is CPaaS? Start with PaaS
PaaS, or Platform as a Service, is a cloud-hosted, on-demand environment where developers can build, run, and manage apps or services. In contrast, SaaS, or Software as a Service, delivers ready-to-use, cloud-hosted application software to end-users rather than developers.
This leads us to CPaaS, or Communications Platform as a Service, which is a subset of PaaS that focuses on communication features. CPaaS allows you to embed communication features into your existing applications without building or managing the backend infrastructure and interfaces.
Here are some of the capabilities you can add to your existing apps and tools using CPaaS:
- VoIP phone service
- SMS and MMS texts
- Audio calls
- Video calls
- Two-factor authentication
- Customer messaging
- Number masking
- Interactive Voice Response (IVR)
- Call recording
- Chatbots for customer service
- Push Notifications
- Real-time analytics
- Call routing and forwarding
- File sharing
- Screen sharing during video calls
- Geolocation services
- Speech recognition
- Virtual phone numbers
- Language translation services
- Sentiment analysis
- Web Real-Time Communication (WebRTC) support
- Email services
- Payment processing
- Scheduling and appointments
- Automated surveys
- Text-to-speech and speech-to-text conversion
- Fax services
With CPaaS, you can supercharge your business communications with modern features without worrying about maintaining the infrastructure they’re built on. Your CPaaS vendor is responsible for keeping the platform up and running 24/7.
Examples of CPaaS in the Wild
So how exactly do companies use CPaaS? Here are three examples of companies that not only use CPaaS but have also seen immense benefits since implementing this communication solution.
MercadoLibre Used Twilio to Improve Customer Loyalty
MercadoLibre, an online marketplace that operates in 19 countries, needed to scale its communications from email-only to multi-channel options.
Initially, the team planned to hire a telephone provider in each country it serves, but this proved unsuccessful. MercadoLibre needed a single solution to integrate with its existing Customer Relationship Management (CRM) platform and provide telephone support globally.
After choosing CPaaS provider Twilio, MercadoLibre added a click-to-call system in its help portal. Now sellers can communicate with the support team via phone, which 50% of customers prefer over email.
By opting for CPaaS and providing a support solution customers found more helpful than email-only, the company achieved a phenomenal 65% Net Promoter Score (NPS), a measure of customer loyalty.
WhatConverts Reduced Call Tracking Costs by 94%
WhatConverts, a lead tracking agency, needed a single platform to bridge the gap between providing communications across business applications and offering insights into communication patterns. Doing this in-house was too costly in terms of the human resources required.
The agency chose CPaaS provider Avaya. The new communications solution provided rich functionality and reduced call tracking costs by 94%.
This enabled WhatConverts to reduce costs for end customers while providing a vastly improved service, which has led to happier customers and a positive reputation in the industry.
Conair is a globally distributed company focused on personal care products. Its team struggled with the legacy phone system, which only allowed a limited number of employees to access voicemail at the same time and offered no functionality beyond dialing out. The system was also time-intensive, accounting for 20% of IT’s time each week to deal with small requests, such as changing users in the phone system.
Conair needed a robust CPaaS solution to unify communications and provide modern telephony capabilities, such as integrating with Salesforce and providing call-volume trends.
RingCentral provided these features through its platform, saving Conair four days per month managing phone system changes and improving employee telecom satisfaction from 40% to 90%.
Advantages of CPaaS
CPaaS offers a streamlined approach to digital communication that’s easy to integrate, cost-effective, and scalable.
Building out communication solutions in-house can be costly and complicated, requiring investments in infrastructure, technology, and skilled personnel.
CPaaS simplifies deployment through APIs and operates on a pay-as-you-go model. Its flexibility allows your business to adapt to market changes and customer needs without operational hiccups, making it a smart choice for modern communication solutions.
- Easy integration and deployment: CPaaS provides a plug-and-play model that allows you to integrate communication features seamlessly into existing applications.
- Cost-effectiveness: With CPaaS, you only pay for the services you use.
- Scalability and flexibility: CPaaS platforms are designed to grow alongside your business. It makes it easy to scale services, whether expanding to new geographical locations or adding new communication channels.
Tradeoffs with CPaaS
While CPaaS offers many advantages, it’s not without its challenges. The open nature of the platform makes it susceptible to security risks like phishing attacks, and it may cause operational inefficiencies in a multi-vendor environment. You may also uncover hidden costs, ranging from overage fees to additional expenses for advanced features.
- Security concerns: The open nature of CPaaS platforms can expose your business to security threats, especially if you’re transmitting sensitive information.
- Hidden costs: CPaaS can include unexpected overage fees, additional charges for extra features, and potential expenses for fraud prevention.
- Operational inefficiencies: Despite being a streamlined solution, CPaaS can sometimes present operational inefficiencies. For instance, you could experience connectivity issues in a multi-vendor environment.
While CPaaS offers many advantages, it might not cater to the unique requirements of every business. Here are some alternatives that might better align with specific operational needs.
Unified Communications as a Service (UCaaS)
UCaaS is a cloud-based communication solution that integrates communication tools such as voice, video, chat, and email into a unified platform. Unlike CPaaS, which is focused more on embedding communication features into existing applications, UCaaS provides a comprehensive suite of communication tools ready for use.
It’s a great option for businesses looking for a ready-to-go, centralized communication platform catering to internal and external communication needs.
Contact Center as a Service (CCaaS)
CCaaS offers a cloud-based contact center solution that facilitates customer service operations. This service provides a platform for managing customer interactions across various channels, such as voice, chat, email, and social media.
It’s an ideal solution for businesses focused on customer engagement and support, providing features like automatic call distribution, IVR, and workforce optimization. Unlike CPaaS, which is developer-centric, CCaaS is designed for end-user interaction and customer engagement, with a more straightforward setup for non-technical users.
Traditional Telephony and On-Premise Solutions
Some organizations prefer sticking to traditional telephony systems or on-premise communication solutions. These systems often entail a higher level of control over the infrastructure and data, which might be crucial for businesses operating in highly regulated industries or regions with strict data sovereignty laws.
A mixed-vendor environment combines various providers and vendors that cater to diverse communication needs. This setup allows businesses to choose the specific services they want from different providers. However, this can make it more complex and challenging to manage than a unified solution like CPaaS or UCaaS.
Custom-built communication solutions might be the way to go for businesses with unique communication needs or those operating in niche markets. Although this path requires a substantial investment in both time and resources, it allows for a tailored communication setup that aligns precisely with operational requirements and business goals.