Leveraging CPaaS enables CSPs to offer advanced enterprise communications
The benefits of embedding real time communications features into business and consumer applications are by now well-known. People would much rather click-to-call from within a web experience, social media site, or business application to connect with another person than find their phone and dial a number and wait in queue.
The breakthroughs in Communications Platforms as-a-Service (CPaaS) are making it increasingly easier to embed voice, messaging, chat, and video into experiences than ever before, and visionary Communications Service Providers (CSPs) like AT&T are opening up new ways to serve their business customers while driving new revenue streams by offering low code/no code options for implementing “one touch” Real Time Communications (RTC) features.
For contact center operations alone, for example, CPaaS-based applications that enable customers to get their questions answered from a specific webpage or social media page without having to wait for a live agent means better service at a much lower cost.
Those contact centers can resolve problems faster, while offering an automated path to reach a live expert depending on the complexity and value of each consumer’s inquiry. CSPs have a long history in contact center solutions, and those who are adapting to the new digital world where instant gratification comes when consumers can choose their channel of choice and get their issues resolved in faster, friendlier ways.
But contact centers aren’t the only beneficiaries of CPaaS innovations. Web developers can add options to get answers automatically or from an expert without a full contact center being necessary. Even small and medium businesses can now interact with their prospects and customers when communications channels are embedded into their websites or mobile apps, directing questions about specific products, orders or services to exactly the right person in the company who can receive inquiries via text messaging, email or voice without any intermediaries (and cost) necessary.
The marketplace is alive and well!
As an industry, we’ve spent the better part of the last few years building out software-defined RTC embedded solutions, and the uptake has been stunning – unlike changes to network modalities in the past, like many new technologies today new services take only days or weeks to create, launch and promote, versus weeks or years.
Companies like AT&T and KPN, the Netherlands’ largest telecom provider, have established platforms and marketplaces which make access to their solutions simple and fun.
These e-commerce stores allow developers to go in and find complete solutions that require very little time to first experiment with (cut and paste code) and then scale efficiently (given flexible pricing models).
This is the future of embedded communications and CPaaS - turnkey digital solutions that can be sold by the drop or by the seat, using value-based pricing in an “SaaS” type model, which drives consumption including minutes and messages.
The future is low/no-code digital solutions that are already helping large CSPs like AT&T and KPN grow ARPU and creating exciting opportunities for ISVs to gain access to massive distribution models with millions of subscribers (and large global sales forces).
Forget long-term contracts, so onerous they often fail to materialise. CSPs have something easy to sell, implement, consume and manage, services that are made better by their more efficient virtualised networks. It’s a match made in heaven.
What’s even better is that the old-world requirements of “ripping and replacing” of communications stacks is over. In the new world, with the right CPaaS technology and packages, with creativity and planning, businesses can now do things with CPaaS that would have been impossible without the support of APIs.
We are just at the beginning of even more exciting and valuable applications as Artificial Intelligence (AI including voice recording, transcription and analytics for greater insights) and Natural Language Processing (NLP which make bots sound like humans, in multiple languages with multiple choices for voices) leaving old breakthroughs like IVR’s in the dust.
CPaaS makes it easier to add immersive communications solutions into existing applications, allowing companies to introduce innovations such as “communications-enabled business processes” (CEBP).
Because they are based on the cloud, developers can go to the marketplace, find and easily adopt connectivity into their apps, systems and even smart, connected IoT products using APIs.
Development teams have amazing tools which help them create more competitive products and services, some which improve the Customer Experience (CX), some which improve internal productivity, and many which dramatically lower the cost of things like “customer service.”
The flexible nature of CPaaS, and “pay as you grow” business models, means any organisation can start small and grow as big as they wish, as long as the platform can scale without degrading quality of service. CSPs are in the best possible position to offer CPaaS services given their network investments, including most recently the virtualisation of their networks, and their commitment to software-defined operating systems.
CPaaS is a future-proofing approach, which can change based on how the “channels change” for customers and can be added into new business applications on a moment’s notice.
Given all these proven benefits, we’re still early in the cycle. Follow the leaders, like AT&T and KPN, or become a leader yourself. Jump in – you may be surprised how easy it is to roll out services your customers will love.