• Dean Ramsay

New models of CPaaS strengthen CSPs enterprise offerings

Updated: Apr 23, 2020

Communications Platforms as-a-Service (CPaaS) is a method by which enterprises can embed real time communications features into business and consumer applications allowing user to click-to-call from within a web browser, social media app or business application. For progressive CSPs, this means that new revenues can be generated by a simplified set of engagement options for enterprises wanting to implement Real Time Communications (RTC) features into their existing interfaces or build them into new service offerings. They do this by using APIs and Software Development Kits (SDKs), allowing their developers embed communication capabilities and modify the CSPs existing CPaaS framework using their own code. Through APIs and a web management dashboard the solution could support the activation, control and monitoring of a wide range of data, voice, video and messaging services, including Short Message Service (SMS) and Multimedia Message Service (MMS). These services are often charged as a pay-as-you-go flexible pricing model with the opportunity to scale as required, CPaaS is a good example of CSPs empowering their B2B customers to expedite their own digital transformation.

In many cases enterprises use CPaaS as part of their unified communications strategy, allowing companies to build extra functionality into applications without a major overhaul of their existing systems.

Advanced options coming to the fore in CPaaS

The concept of CPaaS has been around for a number of year, but in 2020 we are seeing some more advanced deployment options appearing from AT&T and KPN that may have other CSPs taking another look at their CPaaS strategy. AT&T’s solution is based in the cloud, allowing developers to simply pick up the package at their digital marketplace and use it to embed connectivity into their apps, systems and even smart, connected IoT products using APIs. This simplicity of use over various use cases including IoT may be its strength in the coming decade.

Orange business services in France developed a CPaaS proof-of-concept for hotels, which provides omnichannel customer service and real-time interaction via a context-aware bot. The PoC speculated that guest would stand a 30% improved chance of booking a room in a busy hotel, their room costs can be reduced by up to 15%. They can then provide digital office services to the guest’s room, complete with videoconferencing facilities and IoT services throughout the hotel.

CPaaS potential benefit for CSPs in future value chains such as IoT

In order to bring new business models to market, IoT companies do not want to have to broker deals with individual mobile operators in every country that they operate in. Ideally they will simply drop that multi-regional capability into their offering, customize it appearance and capabilities accordingly and then be charged for the connectivity their service consumes. CPaaS in this way has the potential to bring together multiple connectivity providers for applications in IoT and digital services, providing a layer of management that tailored to certain grouped types of enterprise customers.

If CPaaS booms under IoT, it could be a competitive market

MNOs version of CPaaS obviously leverages their ubiquitous wireless connectivity capability but there is potential for competition from non-telco service providers such as cloud, data management and storage IT players. As the world of IoT devices is hugely varied and no one communication scheme fits all use cases, there will be opportunities whereby CPaaS can be delivered over fixed networks or alternative non-cellular wireless.

The MNO should have an advantage in its BSS solution being able to provide a differentiated customer experience for both the enterprise customer and their end-user customer. It is important for CSPs to have an OSS/BSS architecture in place that allows them to be able to quickly assess and address opportunities like CPaaS as a potential way in to IoT markets that would be otherwise closed to them. They can then leverage the power of their existing software ecosystem to rapidly exploit the sales opportunity and then use their digital network operations to provide the necessary capacity and technological features to take market share.

In 2020 CPaaS is now a mainstream tool that established multinationals such as AirBNB, Uber and Lyft have used to great effect, improving their customer’s communications and customer service.

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