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What is CPaaS?

If you’re a business leader and familiar with the latest technological platforms for business communication, you may have heard of CPaaS. Even if you haven’t yet heard of CPaaS, you may be familiar with its predecessor, UPaaS or unified communication systems. Because it is the latest, up-and-coming business communication platform, many companies today are asking: what is CPaaS and how can it help my business communication?

What is CPaas?

CPaaS stands for “Communication Platform as a Service.” Similar to UPaaS, or unified communication systems, CPaaS is a modern form of communication that helps companies increase their range of communication, all in one easy-to-use place. For instance, it allows business leaders to utilize tools like voice calling, video calling, SMS messaging, live chat, file sharing, screen sharing, and more, through one service. It also helps companies streamline all their communication tasks, increasing productivity and workflow. CPaaS can be used internally for communication between co-workers, as well as externally with customers.

CPaaS is a cloud-based communication system (as opposed to a hosted system). This means that once installed, employees can access their business communication platform in real time on-the-go, from just about anywhere in the world (as long as there’s internet access!). This helps them stay connected with co-workers, customers, and clients at all times. Plus, since it is installed within your business’s Internet network, it can be integrated with your CRM. This helps everyone in the company stay up-to-date on all business communications in real time.

How does it work?

CPaaS enables business leaders to access all forms of communication using one platform. Essentially, once signed up, CPaaS providers enable employee access to an application program interface (API), software developer kits (SDK), as well as developer support. Then, you can install a wide variety of communication capabilities, using the business applications you already use. This makes it easy for businesses to seamlessly switch over to using a CPaaS without having to “start from scratch,” or change out all their applications. Plus, your business can pick and choose communication features that best suit your company’s needs.

What’s the difference between CPaas and UPaas?

You may be wondering – what’s the difference between CPaaS and UPaaS (aka unified communication system)? Isn’t CPaaS just a form of unified communications? Well, the answer is yes – CPaaS is technically a form of unified communications. But it has added functionality and convenience. Therefore, you can consider CPaaS to be the “next phase,” or the new and improved version of UPaaS.

Similarities 

To start with similarities, both CPaaS and UPaaS are cloud-based, unified communication solutions. This means that they are meant to provide numerous methods of communication under one “roof.” Additionally, they are convenient in that they both can be implemented using your business’s public or private IP network.

Differences

There are some important differences to note between CPaaS and UPaaS. UPaaS is a system that can be implemented and uploaded to give you new communication tools under one “dashboard.” You essentially use the go-to platform to access tools like voice calling, video messaging, chatting, and more all in one place. However, when switching to UPaaS, you will have to get rid of prior communication platforms and replace them with this new all-in-one platform.

On the other hand, CPaaS is meant to make the most out of communication applications you already use and enjoy. It is a system that can be integrated into your network to add communication features to existing channels. For instance, do you want to add a “live chat” feature to existing customer acquisition channels, so prospects can reach you in real time? CPaaS gives you the developer tools to do so, without changing your existing structure. This makes it a great fit for companies who don’t want to undergo drastic changes to their communication platforms, but still want to add the newest digital communication features to their toolbox.

How does CPaaS benefit businesses?

CPaaS is becoming such a popular business communication because of the massive advantages it offers companies. 

Convenience and flexibility

Companies are loving CPaaS because it allows them to add the newest digital communication tools to their network without “starting from scratch.” in other words, they don’t have to download a new, unfamiliar platform to get the tools they need. Using APIs, they simply integrate these new communication tools to their existing platforms. It’s a win-win!

Growth engine

Studies are showing that many companies who use CPaaS to communicate with clients and prospects are experiencing exponential growth. Why? Not only does CPaaS help professionals work quicker and more efficiently to get the job done. It also gives them the newest digital tools to impress clients and prospects. In fact, 85% of high-performing businesses today say that APIs such as CPaaS are essential to their growth.

Better customer experience

Not only does CPaaS make employees lives’ easier. It also creates a great customer experience by allowing customers to easily navigate their communications with your company. Nowadays, customer attention spans’ are short, and they expect instantaneous communication with companies. CPaaS is one way you can assure your customers will be able to easily and quickly get in touch with you.

Additionally, CPaaS helps you better cater to customer wants and needs. As you begin to learn more about what your customer base expects from you, you can use CPaaS to add new tools that satisfy their needs. 

Real time communication

Since CPaaS is a cloud solution, you can access digital communication tools on-the-go from almost anywhere in the world. Remote work is becoming more and more common in the business world today. Additionally, more professionals need to access their business communication system away from the desk. CPaaS solves this issue, by allowing you to access your business contacts using various communication tools anywhere, anytime.

Cost savings 

What company doesn’t want to add new digital assets for little money? It’s crucial for businesses today to stay ahead of the curve of latest trends so they can continue to win new customers. One huge perk of cloud-based VoIP solutions like CPaaS is that they are very affordable and easy to use. This helps to minimize the financial stress for businesses who are looking to get ahead, in terms of their communication.

What does the future of CPaaS look like?

Companies are moving from unified communications (or UPaaS) to CPaaS in leaps and bounds. CPaaS is now considered the most advanced, flexible form of a unified communication system. That’s because it allows businesses to modify the platform to fit their particular needs, picking and choosing communication methods that work best for them. Long story short, CPaaS is the most functional, highest quality, and most cost-effective communication solution for businesses today. And its technology is only improving year over year.

How to choose a provider

There are many different telecom providers who offer CPaaS solutions. It can be tricky to know who is the best one to do business with. Generally, there are two different types of CPaaS providers to know about before making a decision.

API supplier

API suppliers are typically software companies that help provide small to medium sized businesses with API solutions, such as CPaaS. They essentially give companies the tools they need to get started with basic CPaaS. They’re better suited to small companies, start-ups, and medium-sized companies, since they don’t offer a ton of ongoing support. They also do not typically help you set up the software or scale it to suit high-traffic or big company communication needs.

API supplier with their own network

API suppliers with their own network are suited to help with large CPaaS projects. They typically help large companies with high-traffic communication needs. They own their own network and are typically telecom pros, which allows them to help you with integration, scaling, and other CPaaS needs as you grow. API suppliers with their own network typically provide the highest quality CPaaS solutions.

Which is the best for my business?

If you are a start-up company or a small to medium sized company looking to get your feet wet with CPaaS and what it has to offer, your best bet is an API supplier. This will typically be more cost-efficient and give you the tools you need to get going. However, note that you will need a software developer or a similar professional to help you install and scale the program.

When choosing a CPaaS provider, it also helps to consider the most popular brands for businesses! Take a look at these commonly used providers:

CPaaS ProviderSupported:Top FeaturesBest For:
Twilio– C#
– Java
– Node.js
– PHP
– Python
– Ruby
– iOS and Android
– One of most comprehensive CPaaS systems
– Voice
– Video
– SMS messaging
– Live chat
– Email
– Fax
– M2M
Large scale communication needs
Ring Central– .NET
– Java
– Javascript
– PHP
– Python
– Ruby SDKs
– Voice
– Video
– SMS messaging
– Live messaging
– Fax
– Virtual phone number
– AI engine
– CRM integration
Small businesses
Knowlarity– REST APIs (no SDKs)– AI-enabled voice control
– Text to speech recognition
– industry-smart IVR conversations
– CRM integration
– Voice calling
Businesses wanting to automate communications
Nexmo – Ruby
– PHP
– Python
– .NET
– Node.js
– JAVA
– Voice
– Video
– SMS messaging
– Customized call routing
– Virtual phone numbers
Brand building

If you’re a larger company looking for a larger scale CPaaS solution, your best bet is to partner with an API supplier with their own network. This will give you the support, tools, and advice you need to create a large, robust communication platform moving forward.

To learn more about business communication solutions, take a look at our advice for the best business phone system. By the way, still using an old-school landline phone for your business? Learn why VoIP can improve communications compared to landlines, and how to switch to VoIP from your current landline number.

Looking to compare business communication options? Our top-notch VoIP provider can get in touch with you to answer any questions you have, and give you free quotes. Just visit us here to get started!

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