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In some cases, unified-communications-as-a-service (UCaaS) vendors are completely rethinking their platforms and architecture. Communications platform as a service is not necessarily a direct competitor to UCaaS, but the complementary capabilities CPaaS provides are quickly becoming a requirement for businesses of all sizes.
The first generation of CPaaS offerings were typically stand-alone products that catered to developers as a way to embed communications within customer-facing applications. The original use cases for CPaaS, such as appointment reminders via text messages, were easily served with stand-alone CPaaS options using temporary or isolated phone numbers.
The next set of use cases for programmable communications, such as deeper business application integration, bot integration and business line messaging, is going to require businesses to incorporate these capabilities with their existing inventory of phone numbers.
As a result, expect to see UCaaS vendors incorporate more API-driven capabilities into their portfolios. A number of providers are developing CPaaS options that work alongside their UCaaS platforms, either through in-house development or by using a service provider partner, such as Telestax or Kandy.
On the opposite end of the spectrum is Vonage, which has taken its acquisitions of API providers Nexmo and TokBox and created a unified platform for its entire network. In this case, CPaaS is at the heart of not only third-party developer capabilities, but also the Vonage Business Cloud UCaaS platform. CPaaS also serves as a platform to build its service portfolio on going forward.
Ultimately, UCaaS vendors have to tailor their communications services in a way that allows businesses to consume them, whether that is through a UCaaS user experience or an API call through a CPaaS platform.
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