What is CPaaS – and why it might be right for your business
What is CPaaS? From the “aaS”, we can say that it is something “as-a-Service”, but what exactly? CPaaS stands for “Communication Platform-as-a-Service”, and it is one of the very popular trends these days. The CPaaS market was over $4 billion in 2019 and is forecast to reach $47,5 billion in 2027.
Before we dig deeper into the specifics of CPaaS, let’s see what it is and why we need it. Simply put, CPaaS is a cloud-based communication platform that is, basically, a set of APIs allowing businesses to integrate communication features into their infrastructure quickly and easily. As any “aaS”, it is highly customizable and scalable and allows keeping communication costs at a reasonable level.
In 2021, communication software in general and CPaaS, in particular, come into the limelight. The COVID-19 pandemic has reshaped the world dramatically forcing people and businesses to rethink their ways of working. Many companies adopted the Work-from-Home model allowing them to keep the workflows going while reducing personal contacts. Many meetings, conferences, consultations, and other events, as well as routine employee communication, went online in an attempt to stop the virus. The statistics show a sharp increase in the use of communication tools triggered by COVID-19, particularly, chat, video, and email.
How does CPaaS work?
In general, CPaaS works similarly to any other “as-a-Service”. CPaaS providers offer a number of communication services that are available to their clients out-of-the-box or can be implemented with customization. Usually, the basic choice of CPaaS services includes the following communication channels:
- Voice calling
- Video communication
- Live chat
- Instant messaging
You can choose only the services that you need and only in the amount you need. For example, if you are a healthcare business, you might need live chat, voice, and video communication – so, you just sign up for them. If, on the other hand, you are a travel company, your choice may include SMS and instant messaging to remind tourists about their upcoming travels or any changes. In general, the purpose of your business communications should define the preferred channels.
Under the hood, CPaaS works by providing a number of communication APIs (Application Programming Interfaces) and SDKs (Software Development Kits) that your IT department can use to implement the required communications capabilities and add the necessary customization. Usually, opting for CPaaS is a more cost-effective solution than in-house development, as CPaaS providers offer ready-to-use well-tested software solutions that only require minor effort to get started with.
Why does your business need CPaaS?
Using CPaaS as a communications platform for your business application has multiple benefits. We have briefly touched upon a couple of them – cost reduction and ease of implementation – but let’s look closer.
Using a cloud solution means no necessity to establish an infrastructure of your own in any physical location. By using CPaaS, you do not need to invest in hardware servers and their upgrade and maintenance. Going the “aaS” way also provides cost savings as you are relieved from allocating as much material and other resources to in-house development – developers’ salaries, workspace organization, licenses purchase, etc. You are getting a solution boasting a number of robust features with minimum development time spent.
Moreover, cloud services usually charge you on the “pay-as-you-go” basis, meaning that you only pay for what you have actually consumed. Your charges may vary from month to month adapting themselves to peaks and lulls in your business.
Quick and straightforward deployment
APIs and SDKs are designed to enable quick implementation that requires minimum coding effort on your side. You only need to choose the desired functionality and the platforms you want your communication solution to run on – web or mobile – and get the corresponding APIs.
CPaaS providers usually make sure that their product is very flexible and compatible with the most popular web and mobile platforms that their customers might use, so you can be confident that the selected cloud solution will work for you.
Cloud-based services come with built-in security mechanisms ensuring sufficient protection of the data that is stored and exchanged in the cloud. The security requirements to cloud services include the implementation of firewalls and data encryption, as well as the use of Tier IV data centers that are physically protected from attacks.
What does it mean for you as a CPaaS client? When you choose to host your communication in the cloud, you can be sure of adequate protection of your and your customers’ and partners’ data. Of course, you need to implement your own local security mechanisms to ensure full data safety.
As a CPaaS customer, you are getting access to virtually unlimited cloud resources and capacities. You can choose to use only the features that you need in your daily business and in the amount that is sufficient for you. At the same time, you can choose to get more or less cloud communication resources in the next month, depending on your situation.
The flexibility of cloud services allows you to scale your communication infrastructure up or down as necessary. If your business involves seasonal demand peaks, you can contract higher communication capacities for the peak periods. Alternatively, when your statistics suggest a decrease, sign up for lower consumption. This way, you will only pay for what you need.
Vast customization options
Even though CPaaS solutions are designed to work immediately, they still offer flexible customization allowing you to add unique branding, set permissions and usage patterns that are the most optimal for your purposes.
A customized CPaaS implementation will create a communication solution that is perfectly tailored for the needs of a particular business and meets its requirements as to the budget, scale, performance as well as marketing strategies. With customization, your communication functionality can create a positive user experience and promote strong brand recognition and customer engagement.
How to choose a CPaaS provider?
So, you have decided to give CPaaS a try. The first challenge you are going to face immediately is choosing the CPaaS provider that can suit you best. Here is what you should consider when making your choice:
- The communication features that you need. For example, while basic real-time communication features are usually included, not all service providers offer WebRTC-based video calling or multimedia messaging. Check the list of APIs that the provider has to offer and see if it includes the features you require.
- The pricing model and tiers that the provider uses. If there is a free trial, you should definitely consider this provider. Being able to test some basic features and see if you are comfortable with the solution may be a decisive factor. At the same time, evaluate the overall pricing flexibility. What is the unit of payment – minute or text? Are there any add-ons or discounts? Answers to these questions will help you find the provider that is perfect for you.
- The support level. If you are not familiar with cloud services, you will, most definitely, need professional support. Check the available support models and whether the pricing tier you have selected includes sufficient support.
- Compliance with standards and regulations. Cloud-based communication platforms must be compliant with a number of security standards and government regulations. In the context of security, check that the service provider holds ISO 27001 or SOC2 certificates. If you plan to operate in the EU, look for GDPR-compliant platforms. And if your business belongs to the healthcare industry, you will surely need a provider that guarantees HIPAA compliance.
Choosing QuickBlox as your CPaaS Partner
If you need to integrate communication into your software network, consider QuickBlox, a complete communication backend provider. Partnering with QuickBlox means you will get a fully working solution within the shortest time possible, and enjoy sufficient protection and security.
- QuickBlox’s range of APIs and SDKs, offer a rich choice of advanced real-time communication features – including instant messaging and group chat, peer to peer and multiparty video calling, quality voice calling, file sharing and other functions.
- QuickBlox out-of-the-box software was designed to support multiple mobile and web platforms and a range of devices to provide seamless communications and positive customer experience. Check out our samples and documentation.
- In addition, unlike most other CPaaS providers which require you to host your application in their cloud infrastructure, QuickBlox solutions can run in any cloud environment you choose or even in an on-premises infrastructure ensuring the most optimal combination of functionality, control, and security.
- Why not signup for free and try out our software for yourself.
If you would like to implement a secure and high-performance communication tool in your business infrastructure contact us now.