As the CPaaS industry continues the growth momentum set by last year, we could expect a number of important trends. CPaaS is by no means a young or nascent market, but new opportunities are emerging every day, powered by sophisticated APIs, and industry-wide thrust into the cloud, and growing demand for embedded communication among customers.
If 2020 marked the coming of age of CPaaS, 2021 is when it really matures, finding as much as 90% later stage adoption in the next two years.
When asked about 2021’s top CPaaS trends, Kim Jones from Kandy mentioned a move towards the ecosystem approach, bringing together multiple comms components seamlessly.
“There will be a move towards programmable communications that bring together the UCaaS, CCaaS, and CPaaS worlds. We will see a multi-service world that includes a digital marketplace and a service layer, along with e-commerce, billing, provisioning, and configuration APIs”
Programmable communications will be implemented at a far more rapid clip, said Jones, allowing CSPs to compete with web or applications services providers. “Faster rollout of programmable communications offerings through a white-label CPaaS platform will enable CSPs to launch services in the market at web speed vs traditional telco speed,” she said.
As a result, CPaaS providers must look at productising themselves and ease implementation for different business use cases. Jones believes that a managed services approach will be vital when catering to mid-to-large enterprise rollouts/migrations – “especially in complex, multi-site, multinational environments with global PSTN coverage.”
In addition to this, she predicts the following four trends in 2021:
Jonathan Bean from Sinch singled out just one trend that will shape CPaaS in the next twelve months – “the big trend for 2021 will simply be the exponential growth of CPaaS.” He pointed out that in 2020, just 20% of global enterprises were leveraging API-enabled CPaaS offerings to enhance their digital competitiveness.
This number will rise to 90% by 2023, he said, referring to Gartner forecasts – firmly cementing CPaaS as a business staple.
The usual one-way communication model perpetuated by legacy rich communication services (RCS) could be a thing of the past, making room for a far more sophisticated RCS opportunity. “We can expect a radical shift among organisations, as they transition from having one-way communication with their employees and customers to embracing true two-way conversation. This conversational shift will be enabled through the OTT channels (WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, etc) including the RCS opportunity, plus chatbot solutions like Chatlayer,” Bean said.
The implications of this are immense. With the rise of non-call communication channels, organisations have an opportunity to transform customer experiences while also reducing service costs as investments are diverted away from expensive call centre solutions. This would allow CPaaS users to increase revenue and conversion while increasing overall customer satisfaction.
As Bean put it, “If you’re not already taking advantage of this, why not?”
Noel Pierre-Yves from Alcatel-Lucent Enterprise noted that CpaaS has successfully brought about enterprise automation in several cases, and 2021 will only add to this, by enabling secure integration with external companies and by data-enriching communication services.
“A lot of automation in enterprises (within their business processes) has already been achieved using cloud platform adoption and integrating on-premise software,” Pierre-Yves mentioned. “2021 will see 2 elements add even more efficiency to Enterprise automation.”
Both these trends are powered by the interaction between programmable comms interfaces and programmable infrastructure, enabling what Pierre-Yves calls value creation in “the programmable enterprise.”
He also discussed how Alcatel-Lucent Enterprise is pursuing this objective, preparing for these imminent trends of 2021.
“At Alcatel-Lucent Enterprise International, we will use these technology trends to build strong technology partnerships in selected vertical segments. We are convinced that enterprise comms is a standalone element in the software ecosystem of each vertical. So, we are organising and investing to develop technology partnerships in key verticals like healthcare, government, and education. This will help us bring communications at the hearts of our partners’ solutions,” he told us.
It is this combination of cross-border automation and data-enriched comms that holds tremendous opportunity for the sector in 2021, transforming “value transmission between people, business processes and infrastructures.”
The advent of CPaaS marks a true revolution in how businesses communicate, putting the customer at the centre of it all. End-customers can expect heightened flexibility when choosing to interact with their favourite brands here on, without compelling said brands to invest exponential time, effort, or spends in overhauling their communications infrastructure. The simplicity, extensibility, and the increasingly stronger security of CPaaS will reach vital information to the hands of the relevant audience, creating a connected communication ecosystem in 2021.
We would like to thank Kim Jones, Jonathan Bean, and Noel Pierre-Yves for taking the time out to share these enlightening insights with our readers.