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CPaaS Trends in 2022

In earlier posts, we’ve taken a look at the evolution of Communications Platform as a Service (CPaaS) technology over the last couple of years, including a study of how the pandemic has accelerated its adoption. However, it’s still early days for CPaaS. Providers are continually perfecting ways of streamlining customer service against the continuing background trends of hybrid working and increased mobile channel interactions. We expect that 2022 will be a breakthrough year.  

Before we get started, let's review some of the different ‘as a service’ products. You are likely noticing the rapid evolution of these technologies, so it’s important to understand what distinguishes them from each other. To start, ‘as a service’ means that it is in the cloud. If something is ‘on-premise’, this means there’s a box on-site making the decisions. Let’s break this down further: 

Unified Communications as a Service (UCaaS)

UCaaS is a cloud-based phone system. It provides a dial-tone and allows you to make and receive calls. It also includes messaging and video conferencing. It’s hosted in the cloud and not on-site (such as traditional on-premise phone systems).

Contact Center as a Service (CCaaS)

CCaaS is a cloud version of a contact center. What differentiates it from a UCaaS system are that CCaaS solutions offer queues and reporting. 

Communications Platform as a Service (CPaaS) 

If we go a step further, CPaaS offers features and enhancements to on-premise and cloud-based phone systems alike, allowing for enhanced customization. 

We’ll continue to take a look at these basic differences in future articles. Today, we’re going to examine upcoming trends for CPaaS in 2022, and we’ll make a few predictions as to how this technology is likely to take shape over the next 12 months, with a few ideas on how your customers can benefit. Of course, that means improved customer satisfaction and a boost to your bottom line.  

Post-Pandemic Upgrades 

Today’s businesses are feeling the pressure to offer virtual experiences that rival in-person connections. Companies still offering a scaled-back contact center or UC service in the aftermath of the pandemic have a job to do. They now need to not only restore full-scale operations but also identify how to connect both employees and customers over multiple channels, in an adaptable, intelligent way.  

Companies are starting to make way more use of video in all areas. It’s used for far more than meetings, and it’s now integrated across a multitude of customer and employee workflows. CPaaS video will only become more popular. We expect to see more use of open APIs, customizations, and integrations that enable organizations to build their own tailor-made solution. 

That’s the beauty of CPaaS. While UCaaS provides the convenience of a simple unified communications environment, CPaaS goes further by establishing a dynamic ‘build-your-own’ model. Developers can add their own features, allowing organizations to evolve, without needing to develop a new back-end.  

Scalability is just one benefit of SaaS. Most businesses don’t have to support millions of customers, but it would be wise for them to adapt to the massive worldwide popularity of OTT chat applications like Whatsapp. One of the more innovative developments we’ve seen allows customers to deflect from interactive voice response (IVR) or voice bots to the WhatsApp OTT service over a flawless channel connection.  

Differentiating Your Brand 

Rich Communication Services (RCS), the next generation of SMS, brings a new era of messaging using rich-media features such as logos, verified profiles, suggested actions, images, and gifs. Google announced its rollout in several countries in November 2020, and we expect to see much greater use of RCS in surveys, notifications, promotions, customization, and branding, from next year. 

CPaaS providers are hoping that value-added services, including customer data platforms (CDPs), will help to differentiate their software. The promise of CDPs is that they can equip businesses with actionable insights into end-user preferences, including contact channel,  contact time, and upselling opportunities. Number intelligence (the platform’s accuracy in validating numbers and providing routing information) will be the key to their success. 

The March of IoT 

We’ve seen how AI bots are beginning to take over easy-to-close customer inquiries, while humans tackle more complex queries. Voice bots can pick up the phone and start a conversation using various types of CRM data from the customer’s profile. However, the more daring enterprises and technology evangelists still aren’t satisfied and are intent on more granular improvements to business processes. At Symplicity, we expect the Internet of Things (IoT) to fulfill those expectations in the years ahead. 

Sensor-based communication is set to play a starring role here. It’s not difficult to imagine new cars sending a WhatsApp message to the driver in the event of a dangerous malfunction, offering instructions, and booking an emergency appointment at the nearest workshop in their Teams calendar. Such a system would create value for drivers, car dealers and mechanics alike. But it’s just one of many likely examples. Similar scenarios can be found in the healthcare, manufacturing, retail, and banking sectors. 

Low-Code, No-Code Platforms 

Many companies are taking a greater interest in low-code and no-code CPaaS solutions.  

For example, one law firm has added CPaaS to its in-house case management system in order to automate the dispatch of time-sensitive, critical information after a new law update.  

The benefit of a low-code, no-code solution is that it can be put into action rapidly, in hours rather than days or weeks, regardless of scope and scale, using best-of-class customer communications experience templates. There is no need for extra hardware investments. We expect the healthcare sector, in particular, to embrace this approach. 

Changing Security Challenges 

As businesses move ahead with digitizing their operations for the new age of communication, data breaches are likely to pose a considerable threat. Hackers are now performing reconnaissance around the clock to identify and intercept unprotected APIs. For this reason, many enterprises are re-examining collaboration choices they made at the start of the pandemic and deciding to return to the drawing board. 

Businesses must choose CPaaS companies that prioritize data privacy and security. If you are serious about protecting your own assets and customers’ trust, then you need to make sure your API technology providers are on the same page. To find if they are fully committed to security, you should check for certifications like ISO 27001, GDPR, Schrems II, HIPAA, and compliance with other regulations. 

We look forward to 2022 with great anticipation and excitement. Many brands are aiming to achieve a new level of customer intimacy and be available online 24/7 as soon as the technology permits. At Symplicity, we believe their vision will be much closer to reality a year from now.