The last decade has seen a radical shift in how enterprises and consumers use the internet, or the ‘cloud’ as we know it now. A whole new class of cloud-based businesses have been forged on the wave of e-commerce, innovations and an increasingly tech savvy and demanding audience.
It wasn’t so long ago that consumers went to the video shop to rent a new movie, then came the step change to using postal services for an easier film rental experience. Today the cloud allows access to all the films anyone could ever want, from a range of content providers, on a range of devices, in just a tap of the on button.
Enterprises have gone through a similar transition involving the way they purchase software and hardware, primarily driven by the emergence of the ‘as a Service’ cloud based model.
Software (SaaS), Infrastructure (IaaS) and Platform as a Service (PaaS) now form the building blocks of modern computing and communication, enabling enterprises to reduce costs, free-up resources and speed innovation.
So in the beginning there was SaaS…
For most enterprises, their first step into the cloud was through SaaS, which completely democratized access to business-critical software. Buying a physical disk only to have it superseded by a new release the next month, quickly became a thing of the past. The internet was live, and updates and new features were available in a quick double click. Heck, the program would even automatically update!
However, while SaaS had its advantages in keeping updates regular and providing easy ‘plug and play’ programs, there were restrictions. You had to ‘play’ within the confines of the program, enterprises were unable to tweak the code to suit their specific needs. Fine for some, frustrating for those with more complex or unique use cases.
Getting into the nuts and bolts of it
This need to have the simplicity of SaaS with the ability to make changes to the underlying code, led to the rise of the Platform as a Service (PaaS). PaaS provides businesses and developers with an environment where they can create their own bespoke applications. These applications are often run using hardware layers, also delivered through the cloud, using Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) solutions.
The Rise of Social Communication
The natural extension to these cloud trends is one that is now having a profound effect on how companies communicate with their customers. Fed by a culture that has become increasingly mobile led, and an audience that craves constant content and demands exceptional customer service, especially whilst on the move.
In recent years, the communications formats used by consumers have changed dramatically. Social media platforms and OTT messaging applications have replaced voice as the preferred channel, whether it be to contact friends, the bank or a hairdresser.
The multitude of communication tools that the market is now thirsty for creates huge opportunities for personalization and optimization, all of which can bring in revenue, but also in turn create new challenges for enterprises. The risk of fragmenting and frustrating the customer journey by trying to offer too many disparate communications channels, whilst managing them all, can become time consuming and cumbersome.
According to Juniper Research, CPaaS spend increased 50% in 2017 to more than $1.6bn, and is expected to quadruple to $6.7bn by 2022, but why is CPaaS gaining this level of traction?
One of the key benefits is that CPaaS allows key communication services like voice, video, and text messaging functionality, to be integrated seamlessly into an enterprise’s own application. So no more fragmented customer journey, no need for separate suppliers, and no need to invest heavily in the infrastructure. CPaaS can make you the expert in the field without the need for ten years of routing experience or MNO relationship building!
Customer service is now a key differentiator. CPaaS solutions allow businesses to quickly develop and implement new engagement strategies to stay ahead of the curve. Deploying CPaaS solutions can improve a business’s capabilities to allow 24/7 service availability on a mode of communication that the customer chooses. This coupled with the new tools set to boom in the future, like chatbots and RCS, means that it’s never been so easy for businesses to have an ‘always-on’ existence.
The road to CPaaS may have taken over a decade, but enterprises are now seeing the benefits and ramping up investment. As customer service becomes the key weapon in the battle for market share, and with enterprises meeting that demand without the pain staking years of platform development and infrastructure maintenance costs, it’s clear to see why CPaaS growth is set to explode.
For more information on how CPaaS can benefit your business, download our latest whitepaper in partnership with Juniper Research, entitled ‘Communications Platforms – Transforming Enterprises into Digital Innovators’.
Originally Published by CLX Communications