CPaaS (Communication Platform as a Service) – An Easy Guide

  • 5 min read

So, you are building an app for millions of users, but you do not have the capability to interact with those users?

You want to develop the communication capabilities in your app, but the huge costs associated with server installation and maintenance are giving you nightmares?

What if we told you that there was an easy and cheap way to build such capabilities for your app? No, we aren’t kidding.

An easy and cheap way to build communications capabilities in your app does exist – it’s called CPaaS.

Let’s understand what this acronym is all about.

What is CPaaS?

CPaaS or C PaaS is an acronym for communication platform as a service. CPaaS is a cloud-based, programmable communications platform that enables app developers to add communication capabilities to their apps.

CPaaS is omnichannel. With CPaaS, developers can build custom communication capabilities such as chatbots, video, voice or even SMS inside their apps. CPaaS, put simply, is a plug-and-play communications platform where developers can choose to plug in their choice of communication channels in a manner they want.

How Does CPaaS Work?

CPaaS works via either APIs (Application Programming Interfaces) or SDKs (Software Development Kits). CPaaS platforms that use APIs usually have different APIs for different communication channels. For example, Airtel IQ is a CPaaS provider that has flexible APIs for video, voice, and messaging. Developers can simply select which communication channels they want to integrate and then add the appropriate APIs.

CPaaS platforms with SDKs are slightly different. An SDK is a packaged solution that includes APIs and other coded manuals. With the help of an SDK, any developer can build a communication solution for their app. CPaaS platforms with SDKs offer lesser customization ability to developers, as compared to CPaaS with APIs.

Features of CPaaS

CPaaS providers offer a wide range of features in their CPaaS solutions. Here are some features that you may find in most CPaaS solutions available in the market:

  1. Cloud hosting – CPaaS providers host the communication platform on cloud servers.
  2. Omnichannel – CPaaS provides access to multiple communication channels such as video, voice, messaging, and chat.
  3. Privacy protection – CPaaS uses virtual phone numbers and masks your customer and service representatives’ numbers. This enhances privacy protection for both your customers and employees. For example, Airtel IQ has helped app-based riding services such as Rapido to seamlessly connect riders and drivers without showing their original numbers to each other.
  4. Plug and play – CPaaS, with its plug-and-play capabilities, makes it very easy for developers to integrate communication channels of their choice and build customized solutions around such channels.
  5. Personalization capability – CPaaS, with either Application Programming Interfaces or Software Development Kits, enables developers to build truly personalized communication capabilities inside their apps.
  6. Use of AI – Advanced CPaaS providers use Artificial Intelligence technology to help you use conversational bots and other intelligent features in your app.

CPaaS Vs UCaaS Vs CCaaS

CPaaS or communication platform as a service has many similarities with UCaaS or unified communications as a service and CCaaS or contact center as a service.

Firstly, CPaaS, like UCaaS or CCaaS, is built on cloud-based servers. Secondly, all three acronyms refer to omnichannel communication options. Thirdly, all three solutions use advanced features such as AI. Finally, all three solutions are significantly cheaper than building on-premise communication capabilities.

However, CPaaS is also very different from UCaaS and CCaaS.

Most importantly, UCaaS and CCaaS provide an entire suite of communication channels to businesses. However, CPaaS enables developers to add communication channels of their choice. Thus, CPaaS is cheaper to use, as compared to UCaaS or CCaaS.

In addition, UCaaS and CCaaS are usually rigid in their utility and offer lesser customization capabilities for developers. In the case of CPaaS, developers can build custom communications solutions that enhance the personalization experience for their customers.

Benefits of CPaaS

CPaaS offers several benefits for app developers:

  1. Scalability – CPaaS solutions are built on cloud servers and enable you to scale your app rapidly. With CPaaS, you can actually build your app for millions of customers without having to worry about customer service.
  2. Low-cost deployment – CPaaS, with its cloud backend, is a significantly cheaper option than building communication capabilities in-house. You do not need to install expensive hardware such as on-premise servers or employ maintenance staff. You can simply focus on your app’s underlying business.
  3. Plug and play – CPaaS solutions are very easy to integrate inside your apps. You can simply add the relevant APIs or build a communication platform using the instructions contained in the SDK.
  4. Pay for what you use – With CPaaS, you pay for only the communication channels you use. So, if you are only using chat and voice, you do not need to pay for video and SMS messaging. This makes CPaaS cheaper compared to UCaaS and CCaaS.
  5. Customization – CPaaS enables developers to build customized communication capabilities inside their apps. This enhances personalization and provides a world-class customer experience.
  6. Technical support – CPaaS solutions usually provide significant technical support to developers in the form of tutorials, guides, and forums. With the availability of such support, developers can easily integrate CPaaS into their apps.

Use Cases of CPaaS

CPaaS solutions can be used in multiple industries. Let us look at some use cases of CPaaS:

  1. Healthcare – CPaaS can enable online fitness sessions and teleconsultation by doctors. Solutions also provide TeleOPD features.
  2. Education – Online education apps and businesses can use CPaaS to conduct online classes and assessments.
  3. FinTech – CPaaS can enable video consultation and facilitate the KYC process for customers.
  4. Entertainment – CPaaS helps app developers build OTT streaming apps where content can be created and uploaded fast and in a cost-effective manner.

Build Your App with CPaaS to Enhance Customer Delight

Be it a small or a large business, a startup or an established company, CPaaS solutions like Airtel IQ are a cost-friendly way to build world-class communication capabilities for your app-based business. Adopt it today and see your business grow to a million happy customers!