There are so many business communications acronyms out there today—it’s hard to keep up. Luckily, this simple primer will explain two cloud technologies that should be on your radar, especially as industry analysts are forecasting both markets will grow substantially: UCaaS will grow to $20 billion industry in 2018, CPaaS will grow from <$1 billion to $8 billion in the same timeframe.
What is CPaaS?
CPaaS stands for Communications Platforms as a Service. It’s a cloud-based platform that allows developers to add programmable real-time communications features (like voice, chat or text) into their applications via APIs, without having to build back-end infrastructures (because the infrastructure is already there, in the cloud.) Most CPaaS functionalities today focus on helping companies communicate with their customers.
What is UCaaS?
UCaaS, or Unified Communications as a Service, is also a cloud-based technology for communication solutions, used primarily for internal communications within a company or enterprise. Through integration with the cloud, users have access to “traditional” communication solutions, like audio, web, and video conferencing, collaboration tools, and cloud-hosted email. All of this enables simple, consistent user interfaces and experiences across locations, devices and platforms.
Why does this matter to my business?
There are many reasons why UCaaS and CPaaS are fantastic communications solutions for businesses of all sizes. Here’s some of the most compelling:
- Cost. With CPaaS, you’re able to scale carrier communications on a global scale, without having to directly connect to hundreds of carriers worldwide. Or, if you have an existing communications stack (like, say, with Vonage, maybe?) you can layer CPaaS right on top. Either way, you use an already-existing framework of infrastructures and just pay for the traffic you send. And with UCaaS, you eliminate costly hardware maintenance. Plus, because everything’s hosted in the cloud, it’s pretty typical for UCaaS providers to offer unlimited national and super-cheap long-distance calling compared to traditional telecommunications vendors. (Check out our VoIP plans here, for example.)
- Simplicity. Both CPaaS and UCaaS will make it much easier for businesses to communicate internally, and with prospects and customers. A CPaaS solution doesn’t require installation or building out a back-end—just a simple API integration is all that’s required. You can customize the APIs for more advanced needs as well, if you like. Some UCaaS solutions are plug-and-play, where everything is managed by a vendor virtually—there’s no hardware to install. Just plug into your high-speed internet to access all the communication tools the UCaaS platform offers. Other solutions are more advanced, but they all eliminate the need for expensive on-site hardware and closets full of wires.
- Efficiency. CPaaS provides developers with the tools they need to create unique and robust app-based customer experiences without having to build all the back-end infrastructures from scratch. This reduces time to market, removing some of the lengthy QA and deployment processes. And UCaaS solutions allow companies to provide integrated technologies and tools that enable employees to seamlessly work across devices, in different locations, for their convenience. This will vastly improve productivity among your employees.
CPaaS & UCaaS will not only change how your employees communicate and collaborate with each other, but will also transform how you engage with customers.