CPaaS solutions have surged in recent years, increasing the ease of integrating digital channels and customer-facing systems.
In doing so, CPaaS providers strive to democratize customer communication channels – including voice, chat, and messaging apps – through programmable APIs and pay-as-you-go pricing.
Such ease of implementation and use initially made CPaaS attractive to market disruptors, more so than traditional industry stalwarts.
However, the market is evolving and attracting many larger businesses looking to pivot from on-premise solutions, tackling pressing CX transformation use cases at speed.
Recognizing this growing trend, Omdia – an enterprise technology research and advisory group – decided to assess seven leading CPaaS vendors. Here is what they found.
The Market Definition of CPaaS
CPaaS is a technology and services suite that allows companies to connect customer engagement channels with various enterprise systems.
According to Omdia, to qualify as a CPaaS provider, vendors must offer the following functionalities:
- Programmable APIs
- Phone numbers
- Cloud-based access to communications networks
- Developer resources
- Pay-as-you-go contract-free pricing
With that said, each of the three leading providers within the Omdia study offer additional capabilities, including security and authentication features, packaged solutions, and extensive partner networks.
By assessing each of these features – alongside other “core capabilities and characteristics for the CPaaS market” – the Omdia Universe: CPaaS Platforms report has separated vendors into two categories: leaders and challengers.
Leaders in the Omdia CPaaS Universe demonstrate a transparent vision for how their solutions can support forward-thinking CX strategies across an array of use cases and verticals. They also back their strategies up with all the necessary elements that support a “fully-realized CPaaS offering.” This year’s leaders are:
Soon to be acquired by Ericsson for an eye-watering $6.2B, Vonage took the top spot in eight of Omdia’s ten categories, including use cases, access and integrations, and partnerships. The vendor also received warm reviews from its customers, scoring highly in terms of “recommendation” and “product and Vendor experience”.
While it may not yet have the geographic presence of Vonage or Twilio, Infobip receives praise from Omdia, with the market analyst referring to the vendor as a “quiet achiever”. In the report, Infobip also leads the pack for its solution breadth, garnering acclaim for its forward-looking “matrix of capabilities”, features, and attributes.
Twilio earns special recognition in the report for its market traction, gained in part through a “developer-focused go-to-market strategy.” It has also made shrewd investments, acquiring infrastructure and various technologies to deliver a market-leading omnichannel customer service platform, which supported its recorded revenues of $2.84bn in 2021.
Challengers in the Omdia CPaaS Universe offer all of the fundamental capabilities expected of a CPaaS provider and can demonstrate a track record of successful implementations for specific use cases. However, they may fall behind leaders in terms of the depth of their portfolios, professional services, technical support, and other critical areas. This year’s challengers are:
Recently receiving a $750 million investment from Twilio, Syniverse is likely to soon build upon its promising CPaaS capabilities. Omdia highlights its large application-to-person (A2P) network as a particular strength. Meanwhile, according to the market analyst, the acquisition will enhance Syniverse’s enterprise and API services expertise.
As alluded to within the report, Bandwidth has an impressive record of delivering targeted CPaaS use cases to improve customer experiences. While it seems to lack in its breadth of solution, Omdia reports that the vendor boasts a “solid foundation”, enhanced by a 2020 acquisition of Voxbone, the former cloud communications provider.
As a highly-regarded CCaaS and UCaaS vendor, Avaya is fully equipped to become a leading CPaaS provider, already achieving strong market recognition. At the current time, it is still a relatively new player within the space, which is perhaps holding back its CPaaS maturity level. Nevertheless, it is rapidly bringing in partners that can integrate pre-built solutions to enhance its platform.
With a history of acquiring companies to add to its portfolio and scalability, the brand bought out six messaging businesses from 2009-2017 alone, under its former CLX Communications name. Making many more acquisitions since, Sinch has a plethora of CPaaS capabilities under its banner. While Sinch seems to have struggled to integrate these features, they enable the brand to be a significant challenger within the market.
The Future of the CPaaS Space
Reports like the Omdia Universe give a good overview of the CPaaS space, yet the study has a few significant absentees, including RingCentral, Amazon, and Plivo.
If these vendors participate in 2023, it will paint a clearer picture of a market increasingly coming to the fore as companies transition from siloed customer communication systems.
Yet, expect many more changes in the capabilities of CPaaS vendors in the next 12 months too, as providers strive to create more holistic customer engagement platforms.
These future platforms will likely include many more APIs to connect engagement channels, conversational AI solutions, and maybe Internet of Things (IoT) innovations.
Alongside these APIs may well come additional connectivity services, UC integrations, and service orchestration capabilities.
Eager to learn which vendors lead the CCaaS space? If so, check out our rundown of the Gartner Magic Quadrant for CCaaS 2021