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As communications platform as a service grows in popularity, more providers are emerging to address organizations' new communications needs. These providers range from startups entering the market to legacy unified communications vendors adding new capabilities.
These CPaaS providers are targeting a range of organizations and developers, from startups that don't require a full unified communications platform to corporate developers looking to streamline workflows by integrating communications with business apps.
"If you choose your vendor wisely, it can have a tremendous amount of success," he said.
Kerravala offered criteria to help organizations evaluate potential CPaaS providers and choose the one that will best meet their needs for integrating communications.
The first thing to evaluate is a CPaaS provider's global reach. A potential provider should not only service the geographies your organization is located, Kerravala said, but also have relationships with the carriers in those locations in order to provide services like SMS.
Organizations should also examine the breadth of a provider's application program interfaces (APIs). Most organizations aren't going to use all available APIs at once for integrating communications, but they should "find a provider that has a core competency in the thing you're trying to do now," he said. Organizations can select multiple providers in order to access all the APIs they need.
Organizations should examine a potential provider's go-to-market strategy. While a go-to-market strategy may not be an obvious evaluation criterion, it is vital to evaluating a potential provider's roadmap and future success.
"They do become important because it expands the reach and ecosystems of partners and expands the value it's going to bring your organization," Kerravala said.
Watch this video to learn more about the drivers for deploying APIs for integrating communications and other important criteria to evaluate CPaaS providers.