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Communications platform as a service, or CPaaS, provides organizations access to communications capabilities without a large upfront investment in a communications platform. Typically, CPaaS services are billed on a usage basis, meaning buyers only pay for what they need.
Common CPaaS use cases are typically customer-facing, including the following:
- sending text message notifications to customers for appointment reminders or order status updates;
- providing multifactor authentication by texting access codes to customer mobile devices;
- setting up marketing campaigns that involve messaging discount offers or reminders to customers;
- adding recording to specific types of calls, such as physician or financial advisor consultations; and
- provisioning virtual phone numbers in remote regions where an organization may lack a physical presence.
CPaaS providers offer access to services through APIs that customers can connect to their existing business applications or use to build new applications.
So far, CPaaS adoption remains low among end-user organizations -- with only 6% using CPaaS today -- while 26.6% of organizations plan to use CPaaS by the end of 2020, according to Nemertes Research.
Business cases for CPaaS adoption typically involve monetary or customer satisfaction metrics, including the following:
- reducing missed appointments as a result of text-based reminders;
- eliminating staff time required to call and remind people of upcoming appointments;
- reducing fraud by improving access security;
- increasing customer retention by improving customer service;
- increasing sales through successful marketing campaigns or establishing a local number presence in a remote market;
- reducing legal liability by recording calls; and
- delivering notifications to employees and customers faster.
Compare benefits of CPaaS use cases against implementation costs
Creating a successful business case means estimating the value of CPaaS in terms of quantifiable business benefit, such as revenue gains, cost savings or productivity improvements -- all against the cost of CPaaS service use.
For example, a physician's office that deploys CPaaS to enable text message reminders could reduce missed appointments by 20%. The office can calculate the cost of missed appointments in terms of wasted time, reduced billings and unused capacity and then compare that to the setup cost of CPaaS services and the per-message rates.
Organizations considering CPaaS should also be aware of service implementation and management costs, as well as the potential need for application development services to create and deploy the desired CPaaS-based capability.
Nemertes found just 7.6% of organizations today have on-staff application developers as part of their communications teams, while another 20.8% plan to add developers by the end of this year. Just one-third of organizations handle their CPaaS-related projects with communications-specific developers. The rest either obtain developer resources from elsewhere within the organization or outsource development to a third party.
For anyone involved in communications or customer engagement, CPaaS represents a valuable tool in the toolbox. It can drive measurable improvements in customer engagement, as well as quantifiable benefits in terms of sales, cost minimization and optimal resource use.
Evaluate CPaaS use cases to see if they apply to your organization, or consider developing your own based on the organization's specific needs. Also consider the addition of application development expertise to your communications teams to accelerate your ability to realize CPaaS' benefits.