What are CPaaS and programmable communications?

CPaaS programmable communications

Among the many acronyms used in the IT industry and more specifically in the software world, you have probably already heard of CPaaS, for Communication Platform As A Service. But what is CPaaS? What does it cover? And how can we take full advantage of programmable communications? 

Programmable communication, what’s that?

Programmable communications aim at exposing telecommunications functionalities (Voice, Video, Messaging, SMS) and making them consumable by web developers through programmable interfaces. 

Telecommunications has long been a world apart. Speaking its own language, using its own protocols and requiring deep specialization. This is still very much the case. The goal of programmable communications is to provide a layer of service to web developers so that they do not have to worry about this telecom complexity.

A programmable communications solution consists of the following components: 

  • APIs Rest 
  • Event management tools: WebHook & WebSocket
  • SDKs in different programming languages: JS, Ruby, Pearl, … 

Thus, developers can consume the exposed services (Voice, Video, Instant Messaging, SMS, …) without worrying about the underlying telecom and its protocols. They have a complete toolbox of communication functionalities to integrate into their Apps.  

Telecommunications enter the “API Economy“. 

CPaaS and programmable communications

Programmable communications have been democratized by CPaaS (Communication Platform As A Service) providers. These players offer Cloud solutions that generally include two categories of services: 

  • Carrier As A Service: They provide operator services through programmable commands. An API call can deliver a telephone number in any location in the world or set up a SIP trunk. CPaaS providers are thus new generation operators. 
  • Programmable Communication as a Service: They offer a service layer facilitating the management of communication flows on different channels: Voice, video, instant messaging (WhatsApp, Facebook, …), SMS, … It becomes possible to integrate communication functions in any application or business process. 

CPaaS providers thus have two sides: Operators 2.0 on the one hand and the ability to control its communications workflow through programmable interfaces on the other. The whole, targeting developers. Their economic model is generally related to the consumption of the communications carried out. Whether by SMS, by the minute for voice, or by provisioned phone number. 

There are other players, such as Wazo, only deliver to their customers the programmable layer, in a software-defined approach. You can then deploy these programmable capabilities in any type of infrastructure and remain free to choose your carrier. It is also an opportunity for operators to expose their services and infrastructure through APIs. 

What can we do with it? 

Programmable communications offer new innovation capabilities to developers, marketing managers, and customer relationship experts. They make it easier to build tomorrow’s communication solutions and customer experiences. They allow you to : 

  • Build an innovative, multi-channel call center integrated into the company’s business processes
  • Develop a UCaaS (Unified Communication as a Service) ou CCaaS (Call Center as a Service) solution
  • Integrate communication functionalities into business applications or workflows

So when you receive an SMS to confirm your order or to provide a shortcode to register to an online service, programmable communications are involved. When you are connected to your Uber driver without having to share your respective numbers, this is still programmable communications. A reminder of your next doctor’s appointment, still programmable communications.  

The benefits of programmable communications

Programmable communications open up endless possibilities for building unique communication solutions and experiences. They are sources of agility and innovation to enable organizations to : 

  • Create, differentiate and enrich their product offers 
  • Improve customer satisfaction through greater proximity and responsiveness
  • Develop new marketing approaches and increase sales
  • To increase the productivity of its teams by integrating communication at the heart of the information system.

In order to give you a better understanding of the use cases you can deliver with programmable communications, we created a series of blog posts. They will allow you to discover how to quickly build value. 

If you have challenges around the customer experience, the extension of your offer through communication features or if you want to build a new communication service, feel free to reach out.

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