CPaaS
5 min read

Evolution of CPaaS

by | Aug 22, 2018

Short for Communications Platforms as a Service, CPaaS is a cloud-based platform that allows developers to use real-time communication features like voice, messaging and video as part of their own applications or any other internet-enabled application through communications APIs, without needing to add backend infrastructure or hardware.

CPaaS focuses on integrating different applications together to make the communication process complete and more effective. APIs play a key role in enabling this integration. Developers can leverage the flexibility of web and IP-based applications to add communications onto platforms that could never be possible with the traditional communication systems.

Traditionally, real-time communications (RTC) took place through platforms that were built for specific purposes. Take for instant your mobile phone network application on your phone.  With this app you can easily call your network provider in a click. But, why can’t you video chat with a representative through the app if you need them to demonstrate particular functions. With this new technology, companies can structure their communications in a way that best fits their business operations, allowing them to deliver a complete digital engagement to its customers, from just one platform.

The role of APIs

Today, we can use our phones to control the lighting in our room and lock our cars. How is it possible to connect and enable interactions between two different computer programs? Through APIs.

APIs allows different softwares to connect with CRM or even two different devices to connect with each other. Telephony or communications APIs work similarly. They connect apps on your phone or compute with your telephony systems, which can then perform dialing and other functions directly. Before you know it you are flooded with email threads, text messages, skype conversations etc, by having access to all your communications in one place you can keep track of all interactions. The CPaaS APIs give firms the option of affordably customizing and evolving their solutions.

The evolution of communication

1876- Invention of the telephone

The telephone was invented long before Alexander Graham Bell, but he was the first to patent the modern telephone in 1876. The telephone has become an integral part of our lives since it was invented, but over the years it has evolved to keep up with out ever changing demands.

1889- The first pay phone

The first public coin telephone was installed in Hartfod, Conn by inventor William Gray, in 1889. In Gray’s design coins of different values went through different chutes to verify the payment. After its success, payphones gradually spread across the country and reached 81,000 by 1902. However, there was no way to refund the coins, once put. This problem was solved when Otto Forsberg, an engineer and manufacturer at Western Electric build the coin return in 1908. In 1911, Western Electric and Gary’s company introduced a standard pay phone. During the 1940s, public phones made it easier for people to communicate while travelling and the neighbourhood pay phones increased considerable as a very small percent of the population had phones in their homes.

1974- Internet comes into picture

The first Internet Service Provider was introduced in 1974 with a commercial version of ARPANET, known as Telenet. The fathers of the internet, Vinton Cerf and Bob Kahn published “A Protocol for Packet Network Interconnection,” which described in detail the design and working of TCP.

1985- First internet phone through VoIP

The creation of NSFNET is commissioned by the National Science Foundation. Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) is created through VocalTec as they invent the first widely available internet phone- InternetPhone

1989- The Word Wide Web

The World Wide Web (WWW) was created to put in place a method that creates easy navigation for the extensive system of connected computers. Tim Berners-Lee, a British scientist at CERN, invented the World Wide Web in 1989. It was first used to meet the need for automatic information sharing between scientists around the world.

1995- Beginning of the Dot Com boom

Millions of people now have access to the globally available internet and investments in internet-based companies rose rapidly. The value of equity markets, with technology-dominated NASDAQ index increased from below 1,000 to more than 5,000 in between 1995-2000.

2000- Salesforce Introduces API

Salesforce enters the market with the first Application Programming Interface (API). APIs paved way for software developers, all across the globe, to interact with and use softwares within their own programs.

2003- Skype popularizes internet calling

Founded by Niklas Zennstrom and Janus Friis in Denkmark, Skype realized the first public beta version in 2003. Skype shifted focus from VOIP and popularized internet calling that helped people all over the world communicate conveniently over the internet.

2007- Apple reinvents phones

In 2007, Apple introduced the first iPhone with touch screen controls and reinvents internet communication. Email, web-browsing, maps and more can now be used from one single, lightweight device. It changes the cell phone market.

2008- Mobile phone apps create new opportunities

The launch of the App store revolutionizes mobile phones and creates new business opportunities

Today

Texting is the most frequently used service on the smartphone. People check their phones 150 times on average. Customers rate click-2-call as one of the best features available while online shopping or going through a company’s website to understand their services.

CPaaS provides a framework for seamless integration of real-time voice, video, IM features and other possible means of communication into one existing software or app. With no added cost or complexity, CPaaS’s drag and drop tools have eliminated the need for programming skills or heavy coding for creating apps and can be used by businesses of all sizes and types. In addition, it has made business communication more interactive through IVR or telesales agents.

Detailed customer analytics can be synced effortlessly during calls, helping agents provide personalized service based on the customer’s previous support tickets, webpage visits, or products/services used. CPaaS has changed the way businesses communicate and create a seamless link between firms and their customers.

Future

According to Gartner, investments in CPaaS will rise to $4.63 billion by 2021. IDC also predicts that the market will reach $8 billion by the next year. This level of growth will only be attained if both SMEs and large enterprises enter the cloud-based voice and messaging market to meet their business communication needs. Currently, 32% of businesses use cloud communication, by 2020 this number is predicted to rise to as high as 80% as most successful businesses have attributed their ability expand flexibility to the ability of connection with customers via cloud communication channels such as Messaging and Voice.

In a time when everything is on the cloud, it is important that businesses adapt to the latest technology to get a competitive advantage and build ever-lasting relationships with their customers. Facebook, Uber, Netflix are some of the tech giants that have adopted user-facing communication through CPaaS platforms. Big brands like Air France, Mariott and IKEA are using bots within messaging apps to boost conversion and make purchasing process easier for customers. CPaaS has created business communications of the next generation and it is time that all firms today, adopt it to stay perpetually stay connected to their customers and create a strong presence in the market.

Sakshee Sunil Sarrawgi

Sakshee Sunil Sarrawgi