What is CPaaS?

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“Communication Platform as a Service” or CPaaS is ripping hardware-based platforms to the core. Here’s how and why

Right now, plenty of companies are marketing solutions to disrupt traditional — read: expensive, complicated, bad — hardware-based communications platforms.

When you have “voice where you want it,” you don’t need to maintain costly hardware or constantly pay consultants to set it up and tweak it. It just works when and where you need it. That’s the beauty of a CPaaS API.

So what is a CPaaS API and why should you transition your enterprise to a CPaaS API for each and every one of your communications needs? We’ll tell you.

What is it?

A CPaaS is based in the cloud (which, as thousands of techies’ T-shirts remind us, just means “other people’s computers”). It allows developers to build real-time communications (RTC), including Instant-messaging (IMs), voice calls, and video into their applications. No back-end construction required: features can be integrated in a totally seamless manner.

Previous options didn’t allow for such integration, and they also imposed a wide range of costs and hassles. Until CPaaS, RTC required purpose-built applications, such as your phone’s phone app, or Skype, or FaceTime. (You can order a pizza using Dominos’ app, but when you want to call the store and change your order, you have to use the phone app — there hasn’t been a feature within the Dominos app that will let you call them directly.) This is because it’s expensive to develop and maintain a system that can dependably handle RTC.

CPaaS does the heavy lifting

CPaaS solutions, on the other hand, offer a complete development framework so you can implement RTC without starting from the ground up. Solutions such as Clique’s offer APIs enabling the integration of a full range of RTC features, including voice and text with call logging, call recording/storage, call bridging (party line!), cross-platform connections, and more.

So, while CPaaS all but eliminates development time and the associated costs, possible deployments include:

  • Call-back request functions on your website, app or any other web property.
  • Text-to-voice converters to add accessibility options on your site.
  • Scheduling and setting up conference calls using a browser-based interface.
  • SMS alerts (“your pizza will be there in five minutes!”)
  • Call logging and recording.
  • And many many more!

Here’s why CPaaS is vital for the future

We manage our lives across different platforms, devices, and services. A company can now integrate all its communications streams and remain intimately close to its customers using a single solution, without having to make the often prohibitive (but always vast) initial and ongoing investments necessary to start and support a legacy-style RTC platform.

Compared to before, when it comes to implementing RTC solutions, the sky’s the limit.

Want more? Onsip published a cracking article on the basics.

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Image: Bhautik Joshi - Flickr