In the last couple of centuries, communication evolved at a slow and steady pace and there was plenty of time to adjust to each new development. In the last couple of decades, however, the rate of progress in communication has accelerated and now innovation seems to be happening at breakneck speed. Prior to the advent of the internet and smartphones, telcos were in a comfortable position, with demand for their services more or less guaranteed. However, the recent leaps in communication technology have thrown things into disarray for telcos as they struggle to retain their monopoly over the communication industry.
The opening up of multiple channels has ousted traditional voice calls from its position of supremacy, relegating it to just another option among a list of many. Video messaging, social media messaging, chatbots and other modes of communication are rapidly growing in popularity. For telcos to stay relevant and competitive, they must be able to offer these new channels and this is where CPaaS comes in.
Communication Platforms as a Service (CPaaS) provides access to real-time communication software through APIs and pre-built tools. Just how fundamental this is to the world of communication can be seen through the projections made by Fortune Business Insights, which revealed that the global CPaaS market is projected to grow from USD 11.03 billion in 2022 to USD 62.54 billion by 2029, at a CAGR of 28.1%. The report also revealed that in 2021, the IT and Telecom sector held the dominant share of the CPaaS market at 22.6%, with this proportion expected to keep rising throughout the forecast period.
Clearly, CPaaS is the way forward for telcos. Not only does it keep telco services up-to-date and current, it is also a lucrative revenue generation opportunity. Partnering with the right CPaaS technology enabler will catapult a telco streaks ahead of its competitors. When looking for a suitable CPaaS enabler, telcos should pay attention to a few key factors: features, analytics, pricing, integration and support. Here is a guide on how to choose the right CPaaS technology enabler for a telco.
As far as communication channels go, SMS, voice and video messaging, social media messaging and chatbots are staples and the CPaaS enabler must offer all these. By giving their customers a choice in how to contact them, telcos can provide a much better customer experience. The freedom and flexibility customers get through being able to select the channel that they prefer will ensure their continued patronage, guaranteeing consistent business for the telco.
The CPaaS paltform must include both APIs and pre-built tools. The latter gives access to non-developers, tapping into the non-tech savvy market. Quite apart from democratizing the technology (a laudable achievement in itself), this throws the doors wide open for new services and greater creativity. With more people being able to use CPaaS, telcos can attract a whole new community of non-techie customers, earning a whole lot more.
Beyond the modes of communication, it is essential for the vendor to also provide data analytics. It is well known that data analytics plays a crucial role in ensuring business success and therefore it is redundant to elaborate on it. However, it is worth noting two valuable functions that data analytics performs in relation to CPaaS. Firstly, data analytics helps identify popular topics and fields of interests, thus giving telcos a clear indication of market demand. This will help telcos expand its user base by promoting and foregrounding the sought-after apps, ultimately leading to greater revenue.
Secondly, because CPaaS is an open platform, there is the risk of inappropriate content. Analytics that uses AI/ML can identify material that may be undesirable or offensive and such applications can be disallowed at the very onset, well before it makes its way into the public domain. In this way, telcos can protect themselves and the wider community of consumers.
It goes without saying that cost is a huge consideration when choosing a CPaaS enabler. Beyond just the numbers, what a telco needs to look at closely is the pricing structure. There are many CPaaS vendors who simply sell APIs, the deal being closed once the telco has made the purchase. While the one-off cost may be enticing, this is not the most profitable option for a telco.
For a telco to reap the financial rewards of CPaaS, rather than simply buying the product from a company, they should look for a vendor that they can partner with. The ideal CPaaS enabler to team up with would be one that works on a revenue share model, where the telco and vendor split profits according to a pre-arranged ratio. The long-term benefit of this is that, since the CPaaS enabler also stands to gain, they will be more proactive and involved in working towards the success of CPaaS, strategizing with the telco and helping them implement these strategies. Telcos can tap into the vendor’s expertise and thus gain the most from CPaaS.
The most suitable CPaaS solution is one that fits into the telco’s existing ecosystem. The CPaaS enabler should adapt the platform to suit the telco’s infrastructure so that the installation is simple and straightforward. The telco should not have to bear any additional cost or purchase new infrastructure.
The CPaaS technology enabler must support a telco every step of the way, starting with integration and carrying on post deployment. The customer support team must be available round-the-clock and needs to be contactable through multiple channels, including email, phone and chat. If required, the vendor should also provide training to the telco on the implementation and usage of CPaaS. Troubleshooting must be prompt and, wherever possible, preemptive action should be taken.
There are so many CPaaS vendors to choose from. Telcos need to strive to select a CPaaS enabler that has an outstanding product, is reliable and will enable increased earning. The five factors mentioned above – features, analytics, pricing, integration and support – are a sound framework for deciding on which CPaaS enabler is the best fit for a telco.