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How is CPaaS influencing UCaaS vendor portfolios?

The customizability of CPaaS is changing how UCaaS vendors approach their platforms. Vendors are adopting more APIs to integrate CPaaS capabilities within their UCaaS platforms.

Communications platforms as a service is disrupting the enterprise communications marketplace and putting pressure on providers to adapt their go-to-market strategies.

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.

Do you have a question for Michael Brandenburg or any other experts? Ask your enterprise-specific questions today! (All questions are treated anonymously.)

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How will the shift in the UCaaS market toward CPaaS and APIs affect your business?
Very good article, Michael. 

The pace of transformation is faster and quieter than most people realize. Even small businesses with relatively straightforward workflows are shifting from fixed feature set UCaaS products to business process driven communication flows. 

Below is a real world example. A traditionally low tech property management company shifting gears and boosting profits after the original business owner handed over the reins to his tech savvy son.


  • $40K/year front desk person

  • $500/year UCaaS spend

  • Manual triage of customer repair calls

  • Manual scheduling of vendors

  • No SMS

  • Human errors in scheduling

  • Complaint driven vendor management

  • Unprofitable operation


  • $5K/year CPaaS spend

  • Owner implemented visual IVR

  • Integration with visual workflow SaaS

  • Automated customer call handling via SMS/voice/Web

  • Automated vendor scheduling via workflow SaaS

  • Automated Metrics Tracking

  • Proactive QoS monitoring and vendor management

  • Profitable operation

  • UCaaS provider lost account to CPaaS provider


Very informative article!

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