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Should you buy communication APIs from a UC or CPaaS vendor?

Organizations can deploy communication APIs from their UC provider or a stand-alone CPaaS provider. Learn why communication requirements will influence the vendor decision.

Organizations planning to add communication capabilities through API integrations have two provider options to choose from: a communications platform-as-a-service provider or a unified communications provider.

Many UC providers today offer CPaaS APIs, which enable organizations to use their chosen communication providers to programmatically add capabilities, such as call routing or text messaging. Using communication APIs from a UC provider offers organizations three advantages:

  1. The organization's phone numbers from its UC provider can now include some level of programmatic automation.
  2. Organizations can source all their communication needs from one provider, which means fewer headaches and hassles.
  3. Most UC providers offer communication APIs at no additional cost to the per-seat prices organizations are already paying.

A stand-alone CPaaS provider can carry an organization's programmatic traffic as well. Since CPaaS providers are focused on both developers and flexibility with low-code/no-code tools, their offerings will be easier to adopt with a shorter learning curve. The toolbox they offer around communications functionality is likely to be a lot richer than what UC providers can offer.

Organizations that require a UC platform -- and want to connect their employees with customers or programmatically enable external communication -- should evaluate UC providers with an API layer.

For organizations that want to create a service to connect users internally or a service where the majority of communications and interactions fall outside the normal UC workflow, selecting a stand-alone CPaaS provider would make more sense.

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