Communications-Platform-as a-Service (CPaaS) market is currently experiencing a period of exponential growth. According to IDC, enterprise spend on CPaaS is forecasted to grow from $2 billion in 2017 to $10.9 billion by 2022.
Early adopters of CPaaS were typically digitally transformed enterprises that were highly agile and disruptive. However, this is starting to change as more established businesses across the globe have realized the value of embedding communication technology into digital business processes (and applications) to maintain business relevance.
For example, countries in the Gulf Cooperation Council are rapidly adopting digital transformation. With a median average age of 27 (in the region), you can expect a highly flexible and integrated approach to technology across industries.
In this scenario, CPaaS is a crucial driver because it enables operational efficiency, creates new opportunities to generate revenue, and improves customer engagement through differentiation and personalization.
So what else can we expect to see in 2019*? Let’s take a look.
1. Augmented Reality (AR)/Virtual Reality (VR)
Both AR and VR technologies have evolved considerably over the last few years. Today, there’s an opportunity for CPaaS vendors to leverage this technology to enhance communication experiences.
The market is slowly evolving from video conferencing to video interaction, and this has created an opportunity to use AR and VR in embedded video solutions (to deliver highly immersive experiences).
According to research, the global AR and VR market is expected to reach $94.4 billion by 2023. Exponential demand for these technologies will be primarily driven by retail and e-commerce sectors.
However, we can also expect to see AR and VR making an impact in the following industries:
Telehealth As cloud-based platforms allow both developers and citizen developers to integrate custom communications into both mobile and web-based applications, there’s a potential to drive new innovative customer experiences and business outcomes.
2. Application Programming Interface (API) Enablement in the Telecoms Ecosystem Breeds Agility
The CPaaS approach is cloud-based with APIs, so businesses don’t need to invest in costly propitiatory hardware that lacks adaptability and scalability. With the help of APIs, companies can configure and embed their own real-time communication and collaboration solutions without building any backend infrastructure.
The voice and text messaging market within this niche is already mainstream, and many companies are adding APIs to their portfolio to take advantage of present interest and demand.
In the digital age, it’s essential to leverage APIs to build an engagement ecosystem around a product or service. When the enterprise network is open and extensible, businesses are free to innovate and gain a competitive advantage.
Serverless environments will become a force to be reckoned with because it enables developers to build and deploy product-grade applications that help scale businesses seamlessly. This can be achieved without any operational burden as the cloud provider will be charged with maintaining the enterprise communication infrastructure.
4. Visual and Integrated Development Environment, IDE
CPaaS vendors will make it much easier for citizen coders to build in-house applications to enhance business processes leveraging IDEs. These solutions could take the form of communication and collaboration tools that are designed for specific tasks or projects.
In the MEA region, enterprises share the universal problem of attracting and retaining top tech talent. This makes it difficult to scale and diversify product portfolios to meet the needs of a rapidly evolving market.
As a result, technologies such as the DIY drag and drop model now prevalent in the CPaaS industry help fill the talent gap to make companies more agile and highly adaptable. When there isn’t a need to write countless lines of code, just about anyone from HR to marketing can quickly design and deploy these applications to enhance efficiency and boost productivity.
The global A2P messaging market is forecasted to grow over the next three years. Across the MEA region, growth will be primarily driven by rising support for smartphone connections, increasing population, the use of SMS for authentication, marketing, and customer relationship management
While SMS will continue to play an important role in business communications, it’ll be necessary for enterprises to also pay attention to other communication channels, especially social communication channels.
An omnichannel model to CPaaS will demand seamless integration of applications like Facebook Messenger and WhatsApp for customer interactions. This approach will also provide an opportunity for businesses to communicate with customers through their preferred communication channel.
6. Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML)
The fourth industrial revolution will be data-driven, and this includes all the data generated by internal and external communications. Today, with the power of AI and ML, companies are well-placed to analyze and visualize the data and leverage business intelligence in real-time.
A lot of CPaaS technologies already come with data and analytics capabilities. So it can be used to optimize operations, performance, and end-user experiences.
Going forward, chatbots will become the norm as part of cloud-based communication platform vendors’ omni channel offering. However, we still have some distance to cover as we need better conversational interfaces and smarter bots to meet the demands of various enterprise channels.
CPaaS is evolving rapidly and growing exponentially across industries. As businesses and government agencies move their communication infrastructure on to the cloud, they will be well-placed to seamless reap the benefits of AI, AR, VR, ML, and big data and analytics.
When companies don’t embrace cloud-based communications platforms, they risk being left behind. In the digital age, enterprises need to engage their customers according to their individual preferences, and CPaaS is the ideal platform to accommodate such an omnichannel approach.