Today’s consumers expect on demand responses and quick resolutions, making effective real-time communications now part of the customer journey for most businesses. Communications Platform as a Service (CPaaS) delivers multiple communication services through a single API, allowing for a business to make stronger connections to the customer and deliver a customized experience.
Expected to grow to nearly $17.2 billion by 2023 according to IDC, learn how these cloud-based services can enable your business to better connect with customers.
So you’re looking for a Communications Platform as a Service to power your app or service. There are a lot of options with different capabilities and at different prices, so how do you know which one to choose? This will depend a lot on your preferences around what you would like to build and customize, your budget and your business goals.
To help you out, we’ve pulled together this list of things you should consider when selecting a CPaaS Platform.
1. Identify your needs and goals
What types of communications are you trying to embed? Video? Voice? Messaging? AI & bots?
And what are the goals you are trying to achieve? Automate a business process? Create a new product? Increase your reach? Cut costs? Connect internationally?
Before you start taking a deep dive into any provider, we would first recommend that you make a list of what you are looking for and what you would like to achieve. This will make your research and decisions easier.
2. Functionality & Features
Every use case is different, and rather than spending time and money integrating multiple solutions and technologies, it is easier to find a one stop shop platform that offers all of the features that you need to make your app a success. Leveraging a CPaaS you can create and customize a solution that fits all of your needs including multi-platform SDKs, recording, phone number masking, cloud contact center functionality, IVR, Call Tracking, Dialogflow Connectors and more . FYI - you can check out what Voximplant offers here.
3. Ease & Speed of integration
When creating an app, we know that the sooner you can get to market the better. There is little point in choosing a CPaaS provider that requires a detailed understanding of technologies or languages that your team is not familiar with, or has clunky and difficult technology or tools.
4. Omnichannel offering
When it comes to communications, customer and team expectations are always changing and the number of different options is ever growing. In order to meet these demands, you should look for APIs & SDKs that enable you to offer an omnichannel service. Whether you are looking for communications across voice, video, messaging, bots, and more, find a provider that can power it all and enable you to interoperate between them.
5. Intelligence & Automation
AI integrations including speech recognition, speech synthesis and NLP engines can be used to create human-like voice and chat bots and to easily enhance customer experience and intelligently automate processes. Leveraging this type of technology, businesses have the opportunity to optimize customer experience, helping them to get resolutions faster and to offer 24/7 support. Additionally, by using AI for routine tasks, valuable agent or representative time can be used elsewhere and more efficiently. Businesses are therefore set to reap the benefits of cost and time efficiencies.
If this is something you are interested in, you should look out for pre-built AI integrations (e.g. with Google, Amazon, Yandex etc), voice options, supported languages, and voicebot integrations (e.g. Dialogflow).
Better yet, some providers will provide pre-built NLP capabilities making it easier than ever to embed human-like voice and chat bots into your applications. Natural Language Processing (NLP) is one subset of AI driving human-machine interactions forward. From helping with direct calls to providing robust alternatives to human workers, it holds many possibilities for customer service on both the front and back ends of the work.
With Avatar, users can easily integrate NLP functionality & get to market faster, at a lower cost. There’s no need to deal with multiple vendors, write complex backend logic, or set up integrations and data management workflows. Companies only need to set up their custom business logic. Better yet, there is no personal data transfers between vendors and syncing their data policies – this is especially important in the age of GDPR.
6. Flexibility & Scalability
APIs are the backbone of any CPaaS solution. Two important factors to keep in mind when considering a provider are scalability and customisation. You may look at a set of APIs from a provider and think it’s perfect for your current needs, but what about when your business grows and you need to make changes? Whether it’s voice, video, WebRTC, or SMS, your potential provider needs to be able to cater for your current and future plans, as well as make custom changes, specific to your business needs.
Here at Voximplant, we are committed to empowering our customers with future proof communications. Our fully serverless platform is built to scale with your needs. You don’t need to sacrifice future flexibility.
On premise infrastructure can be difficult and expensive to both set up and maintain. That’s why many developers and businesses prefer to use cloud-based options.
It is crucial when creating any sort of communications service, that it is built upon a reliable and global infrastructure which ensures low latency and data sovereignty. This is especially true in cases where users want to scale their apps globally. This is something that we have worked hard on at Voximplant and are proud to say that we have the most redundant infrastructure compared to any other CPaaS provider, data centers in 14 countries and a live status page. This means we can keep our customers up and running always.
When you are building and scaling your application, we would recommend looking for a “pay as you go” service, meaning you only pay for what you use. The ability to add additional functionality and upgrades down the line, whether it’s new communication components, APIs, security, or additional support coverage, combined with the “pay-as-you-go” model, ensures your CPaaS can evolve alongside your business, and allows you to scale your communications platform to your needs.
9. Docs & Community
Developers are usually the first to admit that when they face a problem in their code, the first thing they do is search for the solution online. So ensuring that there is useful and relevant documentation, as well as an active and helpful developer community available is worthwhile.
Developer forums on Stackoverflow and Discord can be a fantastic source of knowledge and reassurance for your team. They are also an excellent place to share product development ideas and suggestions, which actually means you get a say in shaping the communications platform in a way that would suit your business.
10. Reliability & Security
When dealing with cloud services and sensitive customer data, high security is a must to ensure peace of mind for your business and end-users. CPaaS providers should deliver high levels of security, for example encryption of media files at rest, data storage options, and compliance to standards such as ISO 27001.
We know that securing your network and ensuring your user’s privacy is not optional. That’s why Voximplant provides a robust set of security technologies, privacy controls, and compliance options that protect your applications and users.
Although this list may seem long, we are sure that if you run through it now, it will help you get up and running quicker in the future. And remember, if you don’t have development capabilities, you can always use pre-built solutions that require no coding.
As a final piece of advice, we would recommend that you start with a trial so you can test out the functionality for yourself.
We’re looking forward to seeing what you build.