Microsoft has added email APIs to Azure Communication Services, its CPaaS platform.
CPaaS allows businesses to inject real-time communications channels into online or in-app customer journeys with oven-ready APIs.
Now, Microsoft offers these APIs for email, alongside voice, SMS, and video.
The new Azure Communication Services Email APIs leverage the broader Microsoft suite – namely its Power Platform and Azure Logic Apps – to offer low-/no-code capabilities.
Moreover, Microsoft offers embedded analytics and engagement tracking, which allow businesses to continually optimize their communication strategies.
Yet, perhaps most interestingly, the move means that email will likely soon come to the Microsoft Dynamics 365 Customer Service solution – its CCaaS platform.
After all, Azure Communication Services provides its underlying infrastructure, which is becoming increasingly feature-rich.
Now, with a comprehensive set of email APIs, developers can send emails en masse quickly and securely, with multi-media content including images, videos, documents, and audio.
Other nifty features include the capacity for bring your own domain, sender authentication, and multi-sender support. The latter will enable enhanced branding and a consistent customer experience, Microsoft claims.
Sharing more in a blog post, Balakrishnan Shanmugam, Principal Program Manager at Azure Communication Services, stated:
By combining Azure Communication Services Email with the existing SMS, voice, and video services, businesses can create a multichannel communication platform that enables high-volume notifications.
The platform centralizes communications to offer developers the capability to build custom applications that integrate one or more channels.
Such an offering gives customer experience teams an agile base to pivot from as they handle the rise of many new customer touchpoints and embrace the era of composable applications.
Yet, it is also helpful for many contact centers that wish to leverage the cloud for use cases such as proactive customer outreach while keeping their core operations on-premise.
Such use cases may even harness elements of conversational and generative AI.
Jason Shave, Senior Software Engineering Manager at Microsoft, showcased this on CX Today in February. He created a voicebot application on Azure Communication Services that drinks from Azure’s new Open AI platform.
Yet, there are many more possibilities. Shave’s colleague, Roy Dehing, Principal Program Manager at Microsoft, gave another example, stating:
There is Azure Percept and Azure Edge, where we bring machines and IoT into the back-end to create custom applications built on top of Azure Communication Services.
With this agile foundation, businesses may also build many applications for their specific industries – and there seems to be an opportunity for Microsoft to start pre-packaging such solutions.
As Azure Communication Services sits at the base of its contact center too, expect Microsoft to start developing sector-specific CCaaS platforms too – a goal shared with CX Today by Tony Lorentzen, SVP & General Manager at Nuance, last year.
First, it must play catch up with CCaaS leaders, such as NICE, Genesys, and Talkdesk, in its core capabilities. Yet, with such an agile, feature-rich CPaaS platform at its back-end, expect Microsoft to accelerate its CX innovation.
Eager to delve deeper into the CPaaS space? If so, read our article: What Can I Do With CPaaS That I Couldn’t Do Before?