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CPaaS: is a Communication Platform as a Service right for you?

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Todd Kamp

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Jun 22, 2022
5 min read

CPaaS. Another day, another acronym. However, unlike EBITDA or AHREF, or HTML, CPaaS is a little easier to understand. And it’s especially relevant if you’re a business or organization that needs to get things done fast, efficiently, and at scale.

So, what does CPaaS mean?

If you breezed on past the title of this blog, CPaaS stands for Communication Platform as a Service, which is basically a digital, cloud-based system for delivering a variety of communications across different channels like email, SMS, or voice, via a single, dedicated platform. A CPaaS is also a cost-effective way to send and receive messages internally and externally without having to switch between multiple platforms or learn multiple interfaces.

Essentially, a CPaaS is Software as a Service (SaaS) with a strict focus on communication as the primary value proposition.

How does a CPaaS help businesses?

With only so much time in a day and limited staff to juggle multiple titles at once, the last thing companies need is to worry about how to get important messages out, and on time. This means they need a communications tool that can take the heavy lifting off their plates. Heavy lifting, like…

Omnichannel reach – no more hopping between different platforms and user interfaces when you want to send a simple message to your audience. Send to more channels from one place.

Contact management – use contact management to understand your audience and segment them into different groups, so that you can send messages that are more targeted and relevant.

Automated workflows – even if it’s two in the morning, intelligent workflows allow you to set pre-defined emergency notifications to go out without any manual intervention required.

It's all about the API

While it’s yet another acronym, an application programming interface (API) is a pretty important component of any competent CPaaS. The best CPaaS providers should offer seamless integration with the applications you already rely on – even third-party apps – without sacrificing real-time communication or requiring a dedicated IT team to get it up and running.

According to 400 SaaS companies analyzed in 2022, there’s an average number of 189 product integrations in play at a typical company (Pandium eBook). This means, there’s no room for a CPaaS that can only handle a few integrations at a time. It must be robust and scalable.

For instance, if you’re a software company that requires a ticketing system to address outages, a proper CPaaS should fold into your ticketing system, connecting incoming requests to the right resource automatically. Think of it as a middleman, a messenger, or an Alexa without the need to give directions.

Organizations adopted new channels or enhanced existing channels to reach and serve customers in a pandemic world. Respondents reported that common areas of investment included e-commerce, customer support via chat and text, and contactless digital systems—all of which relied on APIs (Postman 2021 State of the API Report).

What to look for in a CPaaS provider

Now, this is where we’d typically tout the power of Whispir, but we’re more interested in making sure you choose the best CPaaS for your audience and your business goals.

Choice

Today, the most common communication channels are SMS and email. However, as technology continues to advance, the demand for an all-in-one text, voice, video, web chat, and social media-capable platform is becoming clear. For instance, with more than 2 billion users, platforms like WhatsApp can no longer be an afterthought when it comes to outreach.

Security

With the type of sensitive data (including contact info) that’s passed between your system and the CPaaS, you’ll want to make sure your CPaaS offers 2FA authentication, as well as both cloud and non-cloud encryption. You’ll also want to make sure that your CPaaS is ISO certified. That means, they’ve proven to follow industry best practices.

Support

Even with the best CPaaS at your side, updates are going to pop up when you least expect them, and outside factors like SMS throttling are going to need a quick workaround. However, your CPaaS should be supported by a team that works to get you up and ready, so you don’t miss a beat. This is especially important when transactions are on the line.

Customization

The voice you use for a happy birthday message probably isn’t appropriate for an outage alert going out to thousands of homes. Just the same, a retail shop probably doesn’t need the same type of messaging you’d find at a construction company that requires routine check-ins for its remote workers. Look for a CPaaS that allows you to build messages by contact list, intention, and even tone.

The best CPaaS providers can facilitate:

  • Hiring and onboarding communications

  • Outage and service alerts

  • Welcome and nurture campaigns

  • Timely promotions

  • Wellness checks

  • Ticketing systems

  • Call center escalation

  • Recurring surveys and feedback

  • Crisis communications

  • Hazard reporting

  • Message building

  • Dynamic distribution lists

  • 2-way conversations

  • Automatically triggered workflows

You can also look for a CPaaS provider that offers templated messages to help streamline your message building so you’re not working from scratch when time is of the essence.

Real-time reporting

A communication platform with the ability to provide real-time data and in-depth analytics regarding engagement rates and deliverability should be high on your list. Otherwise, the performance of your messages will always be a matter of guesswork. The key to a successful communications strategy (and ROI) is the ability to keep a pulse on your audience so you can adjust, increase, or pull back when it makes the most sense.

Scalability

Whether it’s a happy birthday message to a single employee or a weather alert to an entire community, your CPaaS should be able to offer communications in the same, reliable manner no matter how large or small the recipient list. Plus, with business always changing, including the number of leads you may need to nurture, communications should never be stifled by the inability to flex. This leads us to…

Deliverability

When it comes to text messaging, the ability to send bulk SMS while navigating the tricky world of regulatory and compliance best practices is paramount. With telecom providers cracking down on unsolicited text messages, you’ll want a CPaaS that eliminates duplicate SMS, offers automatic throttling, and clear ways for users to opt in and opt out.

It might be time to Whispir

No matter which industry you work in, whether it’s healthcare, insurance, or you’re a local government or non-profit serving disadvantaged communities, the importance of secure, reliable, and timely communications cannot be understated.

Whispir is a CPaaS with more than 20 years of experience in digital communication. We reliably serve a wide range of clients, partners, and non-profit organizations to help them communicate on a more human level.

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