Communications API services and their more popular brand name, CPaaS, or communications platform as a service, are not a new thing. They've been around ever since the cloud was picking up steam.
The communications API market, however, seems to be moving faster than ever. A few notable CPaaS events in recent years include Twilio's initial public offering, Vonage acquiring Nexmo and Cisco acquiring Tropo. More recently, BICS said it is acquiring TeleSign, just days after TeleSign announced the launch of its self-service CPaaS.
Everybody seems to be using a communications API these days -- from popular social media services and online taxi services to enterprises and healthcare services. By making communication a programmable building block, we make it easier to stitch and embed it into different types of business processes.
To understand this topic further, let's break down the term: communication and APIs.
Communication, in this context, is interaction between people and, at times, people and machines. Voice and video conversations and text messaging fall into this category. The idea of communication can be broadened a bit, especially now that some vendors in this space are beefing up their offerings horizontally and expanding to adjacent areas, such as the internet of things.
APIs are about programmability -- having the option to generate the interaction using an instruction to a machine. Whether you're sending an SMS to a client, routing a call to the best possible contact-center agent or getting a team into a virtual room for an online meeting, APIs can help make that happen.
Now, it's your turn. Show off your communications API knowledge by taking this 10-question quiz.
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