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How CPaaS is transforming enterprise communications


Communications-Platform-as-a-Service (CPaaS) offers businesses pre-built applications, customisation options, and scalability without the need for costly infrastructure. How can businesses leverage CPaaS to enhance customer experiences, reduce costs, and facilitate growth in new markets?

Increasingly, customers want to communicate with businesses where it is best for them, whether that be by voice, text, instant messenger, mapping tools, or video call. To unify these channels and reach customers, enterprises require a single centralised platform that enables the management of this communication – a one-stop shop from which to connect over multiple touchpoints without the need for separate apps or complex integration.

Communications-Platform-as-a-Service (CPaaS) is one of the fastest-growing as-a-Service offerings changing telecoms and the wider tech sector, embedding everyday communications platforms directly into applications, creating a true omnichannel customer experience.

If you’ve ever used a chatbot popping up to help you as you navigate through a website, had a text message tell you when a delivery is due to arrive, or used two-factor authentication to log in, then you’ve probably been on the receiving end of CPaaS-generated messages, though it’s more likely you’ve used all three at least, demonstrating just how often we depend on these platforms every day.

Driven by the COVID pandemic and the ever-shifting demands of lockdowns, social distancing and enforced closures, CPaaS broke new ground in e-commerce, education and healthcare, and has played a pivotal role in facilitating their digital transformation and wider industry growth; now, the market is expected to reach $17.7 billion by 2024, at a CAGR of 33%.

It’s not only dedicated providers who have until now cornered this market niche, but also the tech giants are beginning to CPaaS-ify their offerings; in 2020, Microsoft launched Azure Communication Services, which offers capabilities like VoIP, chat and virtual appointments within Microsoft Teams, and Cisco acquired vendor IMImobile in 2021, merging its solutions with its proprietary contact centre technology.

CPaaS supports various message delivery options, including SMS, OTT messaging platforms such as WhatsApp or Telegram, and Rich Communications Services (RCS), with support for images, location services, file transfer, video and payment gateways, creating more opportunities for meaningful and impactful customer experiences, and also leveraging promotions, loyalty programs and subscription incentives.

A crucial part of the end customer experience is being able to choose the platform over which they want their messages delivered. Like using WhatsApp? That’s fine – set that in your delivery company preferences and all their messages will come over WhatsApp. Prefer classic SMS? No problem. And as the capabilities expand so does the intuitive nature of the communication. You’re hiring a car? You can have a pin dropped in your chat, showing you where to pick it up.

Key to CPaaS success is having flexible pricing models, letting service providers charge business users based on single events, message types or conversation-based pricing, taking into account factors such as the end customer, message origin, or platform partner. This allows businesses to align their costs with outcomes and optimise their communications expenses.

In fact, more and more CPaaS providers are now providing pricing models based around conversations and content, not just a simple push of information, making their services more appealing to businesses looking to truly engage with their customers.

CPaaS offers a level of customisation that means you can tweak your platform to meet any customer needs without having to subscribe to a glut of extra services that you’ll never use. With pre-built applications, SDKs and APIs, businesses can easily embed communications capabilities without reinventing the wheel.

If you decide later that you would like to add or remove an integrated feature, open architecture enables this; development is also driven by low-code and no-code options, which make it easier to create, configure and modify applications.

Cloud-based CPaaS systems offer scalability and interoperability without the need for costly infrastructure. They also usually operate across multiple countries, meaning international businesses can quickly scale their communications capabilities without significant upfront investments or implementation time.

And CPaaS vendors offer technical support for their products, meaning you’ll never have to deal with a problem without help, making CPaaS an ideal choice for businesses of all sizes looking to engage with and grow their customer base.

By integrating various communications channels into a unified platform, CPaaS not only improves conversions and customer retention but also builds customer loyalty through more “sticky” conversations - what were once monologues become dialogues as more and more companies roll out digital assistants and AI to handle customer queries. CPaaS ultimately enables businesses to deliver exceptional customer experiences with easy integration, customisation options, and outcome-based pricing models.

Cerillion has a long track record of success in automating business operations and managing multi-country / multi-currency business models such as CPaaS, leveraging our proven capabilities in partner management and customer billing to drive deep revenue assurance on what is at heart a margin business. Real-time visibility into gross margin between the MNO/OTT wholesale cost and the B2B retail bundle price, and the ability to least cost route the traffic and manage partner agreements, are all crucial to the success of any CPaaS provider. Cerillion provides the platform to automate CPaaS operations and drive profitability - find out more in our LINK Mobility case study.

About the author

Adam Hughes


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