Are you considering using a Communication Platform as a Service (CPaaS)?
Everything you need to know is covered in this blog, including the approach’s advantages and disadvantages, the use cases it is best suited for, and those it is not.
Most importantly, we explain how the environment of business communication is currently undergoing a rapid shift and what you need to know to make judgements about your communication strategy that are future-proof.
CPaaS: Why? Changing with the times
You have undoubtedly observed that brands are reaching out to us increasingly frequently. It appears that the era of personalisation has changed into the era of conversational everything. You have to admit that being able to contact a company at any hour of the day or night, get your questions answered right away, and even make purchases without ever having to leave the channel you are on is rather convenient. Businesses can support your intentions on any channel since they are all connected to the same underlying customer data platform (CDP), regardless of which channel you are using or whether you are speaking to a human or a chatbot.
This is CPaaS’s greatest asset: complete adaptability in adopting and customising communication to meet a business’s strategy, goals, and brand personality. You can plan discussions that make a good impression on your customers and choose the most effective channel for the situation at hand to maximise impact or minimise costs.
Furthermore, don’t assume that personalization has been neglected because it is now woven throughout every brand encounter because it is possible to tailor every dialogue on every channel for the specific person. Importantly, any pertinent information discovered can be stored in the person’s profile so that it will be “remembered” the next time they contact you, even if it’s through a different channel or they’re in a different country.
The fact that CPaaS is a cloud-based technology that crosses national boundaries and enables organisations to provide the same type and quality of service to a worldwide mobile consumer base is another difference for the service. Similar to the bucket from the Chicken Inn that tastes and looks the same whether you are in Bulawayo or Harare.
The adoption process of CPaaS
A corporation will frequently embrace CPaaS gradually. For instance, they might collaborate with a supplier to address a single use case on a single channel, such as sending SMS texts for 2FA authentication. As the organisation realises the cost and efficiency advantages of having a professional handle the delivery and related infrastructure, they may aim to expand this to additional SMS use cases and eventually adopt new communication channels as well.
In some ways, this is a smart strategy since it allows the communication solution to develop naturally as the company adjusts to the new paradigm. However, it can be wasteful to have redundant technology and support personnel, which can lead to inconsistent experiences for end users who may wonder why their 2FA message is always delivered by SMS within 5 seconds, regardless of where they are in the world, but they are unable to receive dependable notification when their order is delayed.
For certain businesses, a “big bang” switch to CPaaS for all communication needs will be more efficient and less complicated.
It is always a good idea to work with a CPaaS provider who can provide both strategic advice and hands-on support with everything from client onboarding to configuring failover channels to dealing with local compliance regulations, regardless of how a business’s journey to CPaaS adoption looks.
The ability to be flexible with the channels you use is one of their most important capabilities. Let them do the labor-intensive work of creating and perfecting solutions using new technology—ChatGPT is a recent example—and then use those solutions yourself in the manner that offers you and your own customers the most value.
Is CPaaS a good fit for your company?
The CPaaS paradigm might not be suitable in some situations because no two businesses are alike. Here are just a few CPaaS difficulties that you need to be aware of.
Legislative restrictions: The cloud communication paradigm might not be a choice in particular use scenarios. For instance, certain governmental agencies or companies that work with sensitive data may have rules prohibiting the processing of such data on the cloud or moving it outside of a certain geographical area.
Legacy systems: Some businesses may still be using outdated hardware or software that is incompatible with CPaaS solutions today. This does not fully rule it out, but further work would be needed to create a bridge between the traditional apps and the CPaaS APIs.
Companies in this situation would be wise to address this dependency because, in addition to missing out on the advantages that CPaaS offers, they are also more vulnerable to new security risks and will have a harder time finding employees who are qualified to create and support the older technology.
Niche requirements: CPaaS is perfect for companies that employ well-known business communication methods like SMS, email, voice, and messaging applications like WhatsApp. However, CPaaS may not be appropriate if your organisation has highly specific communication needs. For instance, several industry sectors, such as mining, shipping, and law enforcement, may largely rely on satellite communication equipment or even wireless two-way radios.
Fortunately, most businesses would gain from using a CPaaS paradigm for their communication needs. This holds true for platform firms who offer the full spectrum of communication services to their own clients all the way up to small businesses that may want to add one or two channels, such as a chatbot or video call option.
Let’s take a closer look at some of these advantages and how to best utilise them.
What are the real-world advantages of using CPaaS?
Instead of concentrating on the intangible benefits, you should concentrate on the tangible ones while developing a use-case for CPaaS. Here are just a few instances when CPaaS can immediately and obviously bring value.
Decreased complexity and costs
You may instantly access all the communication channels that your clients use by working with a CPaaS supplier that offers various channels on a single platform rather than having to create them from scratch. This eliminates the start-up fees and the time and expense of developing the domain knowledge necessary for managing and supporting them within your organisation.
With no need to buy any hardware or manage the infrastructure, your existing personnel can focus on your core business while you enjoy lower and predictable expenses for your communication use cases. Additionally, every aspect of resource allocation and failover configuration is handled.
Optimized use of resources
In order to handle the largest demand peaks of the year, a traditional on-premise communication solution requires hardware and infrastructure that is sufficiently spec’d to be underused the rest of the year. For instance, the retail industry has a tremendous spike in messages prior to Black Friday and the holiday season as companies advertise their deals ahead of the busiest shopping season.
If your CPaaS supplier has all the resources you require, you can just ask for more bandwidth to handle the increased traffic, and you’ll only be charged for the resources you really use.
Just consider the impact that ChatGPT has had in a matter of months to see how rapidly communication technology is growing.
You may achieve a communication solution that is perfectly suited to your needs at that particular time by developing it internally, but you forfeit the ability to adapt fast when the market and the available technology change. The limitations imposed by your own tools may force you to become stuck in a particular method of doing things.
With CPaaS, you have the freedom to modify the infrastructure and tools in order to carry out your changing strategy, not the other way around.
Data and customer security
Moving and updating client data across numerous channels is necessary to connect with customers and prospects, some of which may be sensitive or covered by data protection laws like GDPR. By developing your own internal communication system, you run a higher risk of data security breaches or international compliance violations. Data can be stored using CPaaS in a single customer data platform that can be accessed through the messaging applications’ APIs.
This not only improves data security by minimising data transit and the number of locations where it is stored, but it also enables businesses to offer customers a consistent experience, which lowers their vulnerability to fraud attacks like phishing and smishing.
By conveying information in a precise, timely, and engaging manner, corporate communication aims to enhance the client experience. This goal can be supported by new technology, and CPaaS makes it much easier to access it. Whether you want to begin implementing conversational marketing and customer service strategies or improve your customer service through the use of chatbots or in-person video calls. By using a CPaaS platform to access various channels, everything can be done much more swiftly.
Network excellence and channel knowledge
It’s not the same as purchasing a plug-and-play gadget off the shelf when adding a new communication channel. Sometimes you can’t just turn it on and start getting the benefits right away. Every channel has its own quirks, so there will be some learning involved before the advantages become apparent.
Because the supplier will already have the knowledge and partner networks you may use, CPaaS can greatly speed up this process. Consider email as an example. Ensuring the highest possible delivery rates for messages is the subject of an entire discipline. By gradually raising the number of messages you send while reducing unfavourable signs like spam complaints, you must establish a positive reputation for your sending IP and domain. You can use pre-warmed transmitting IPs from a trustworthy CPaaS supplier, and they can also offer you the instructions you need to increase the likelihood that your messages will be delivered.
In the realm of SMS, a top-notch CPaaS provider will have all the necessary global network connections to guarantee that SMS is sent dependably, affordably, and without the use of grey routes, which could damage your company’s reputation.
Established CPaaS providers will have networks of developers who have experience integrating with their APIs and will be willing to share best practises and advice with their peers in your organisation in addition to the official support that they give.
How CPaaS may help your communication plan be future-proof
According to Forbes, the CPaaS market is seeing “hyper growth,” but it is also changing quickly. This trend is being driven by a number of variables, some of which we have already mentioned.
Businesses are expanding the number of channels they offer for communication, taking into account the preferences of individual customers and the popularity of various channels in various geographic areas. CPaaS facilitates this by making it much simpler to build new communication channels and to easily and securely transmit data between channels.
With the introduction of drag-and-drop chatbot builders, anyone can construct one without needing to be a developer. Chatbot sophistication has improved substantially in recent years. A growing number of commercial tasks can be carried out by chatbots created with a specific purpose in mind, relieving pressure on human employees. The growing acceptance and confidence that consumers have in chatbots is crucial. People will frequently choose a chatbot as their initial point of contact with a business since they know they can get an immediate response, their personal information is secure, and they won’t be bombarded with spam.
The market for chatbots is expanding, and chat apps are becoming more sophisticated and well-liked. As a result, organisations can now conduct conversational marketing and offer a conversational consumer experience at scale. CPaaS is now able to support an increasing number of use cases that depend on the dynamic two-way exchange of information. This trend is also being driven by the expansion of video calls and the capability to include video in web conversations.
A coordinated experience
It seems like a formula for confusion and data overload to have more channels, more discussions, and a bigger role for AI.
However, it actually translates to additional opportunities.
With CPaaS, all of these components may be supported by a single customer data platform, allowing each channel to instantly access the most recent version of each customer record and to continuously enrich the record following each contact.
Additionally, examining historical and current activity across various channels offers distinct insights and intelligence that can aid firms in enhancing their marketing and sales strategies, delivering better customer experiences to a larger audience, and boosting ROI.
Although CPaaS is not a panacea, it can help you take advantage of the quickly changing communication landscape and give your customers a unified and consistent experience if you have the proper plan in place and the right CPaaS partner.