HITT Series Videos

HITT- CPaaS Feb 27, 2024

February 27, 2024



Hello, Telarus partner family.

Those of you who don’t know me, my name is Adam Hyatt, and I’m the director of UC programs. And today, we’re gonna be sharing another exciting hit series brought to you by the Telarus family. Today’s focus is going to be on CPaaS and demystifying, dispelling, and debunking some of the common themes that we see, some of the common pushback, and some of the common challenges that we hear from our partners with regards to this technology.

Common Myths about CPaaS

I’m gonna be spending about seven minutes, hopefully less than ten, sharing some insights into the CPaaS technology itself, where we’re seeing it be successful, and also how to talk about it with your customers. And we’ll also spend about five minutes talking with one of our suppliers who has an extremely interesting and comprehensive solution within the CPaaS space. And that is Vonage, And the messaging will be brought to us by our friend Vincent DeChico.

That being said, let’s go ahead and dump into what some of these common myths are.

First is CPaaS is confusing. Right? What exactly is it? Is it unified communications? Is it contact center?

Is it something in between? I can’t quite wrap my brain around it, so I can’t quite figure out how I would ultimately sell this technology or find opportunities to position to my customers. Secondly, it’s complicated.

This has been sold to me as a technology that requires, dedicated development resources or expensive professional services to take advantage of. We’ll talk about that a bit further.

Expensive, like all technology, that’s probably, because it’s a little confusing and sometimes, unnecessary complicated, we assume that it’s going to be expensive, and that’s also not quite true. We’ll talk just a bit about that. And lastly, that CPaaS isn’t really commonplace. It’s not a technology that very many of our customers are investing in or exploring, and we wanna talk about how that’s just really not quite the case.

Understanding CPaaS

So let’s jump right into what CPaaS is. First of all, communications platform as a service. Think of it as a customer communication cloud where a provider like Cinch, Vonage, Intellipier, Infobip, few of the suppliers in our portfolio, they have put together all the necessary components to be able to work with whatever your customers already have to create very purposefully built solutions that create hyper personalized interactions and experiences for their customers.

So it can be anything from messaging, chat, voice, video, email, you know, specific forms of customer outreach, such as in the verification and the deliverability space.

But these are very purposely built and purposely deployed technologies in that they usually have a singular outcome or a couple of outcomes behind why they’re put into place.

Those outcomes are really going to be customer dependent, but it’s going to be an outcome that they simply aren’t able to achieve today with their existing technology stack.

That existing technology stack is comprised of a unified communication technology, oftentimes includes contact center, but is missing something that prevents them from covering all their bases and being able to reach out to their customers in all the ways that they want and have all those interaction types be covered.

So the suppliers are bringing these programmable APIs and SDK kits to their customers, allowing them to create these very purposely built solutions that are achieving these business outcomes. And that’s really where we can stop because CPaaS in and of itself is simply that. It’s a set of features. It’s a set of functions.

It’s a tool bag of ways that we can go to our customer and say, listen. Are you able to communicate, reach out to, work with your customers in every way that you want and every way that they want? And if the answer is simply no, it doesn’t always have to be a rip and replace, right, of the UC or contact center solution they already have. It can simply be a bolt on, an add on that allows them to fill that single gap, maybe make more of a permanent transition into the omnichannel space, or it’s a wedge, which we’ll talk about later with Vonage, that allows us to have a lot more conversations down the road about a more comprehensive overall to their communication stack.

Use Cases of CPaaS

So one of the particular use cases that we see very commonly within CPaaS is the conversation API itself, which is that chat, which is that SMS, m m m s type interaction.

And this is really what that in that, solution would be comprised of. It’s going to start with the customer already owning and already having in place an application that holds customer data. That could be their CRM. It could be a ticketing system.

There are many common, applications on the left hand side of this slide here that we all know our customers use. Some of them are also very vertical specific, like Epic.

We’re able to integrate into those via open APIs that either push or pull data that we can then send to our customers via their preferred interaction type, which can be everything from that MMS that MMS to other social channels, your WhatsApp, your Facebook Messenger, and more.

Now our customers are sitting on their end with their mobile device, and our customers are able to interact with them, sending them information, requesting information to get sent back, verifying things, in in a way that our customers are feeling served, and our customers’ customers are feeling very respected and appreciated and thus that much more loyal to the organizations that they do business with because they don’t have to call in. They aren’t being forced to email.

And, and it seems to work really well for the customers who are adopting this. Some of the more common vertical applications of CPaaS are in the health care, retail, and financial space. Because if we think about the whole concept of messaging our customers’ customers, what common interactions would take place within that channel? Everything from appointment reminders, which are incredibly common in the health care space, through booking confirmations, critical alerts, and even looking at technology like HIPAA compliant fax can all be solved through CPaaS solutions.

In the retail space, it’s a great new technology that allows us to capture those those customers who abandon their carts. We reach out to them and say, hey. We noticed you left your cart. It still has three items in it.

Do you have any questions on those items? Would you like to go ahead and complete your your checkout? It has allowed our health care customers preserve revenue from meetings excuse me, appointments that otherwise might have gone incomplete. It helps our retail customers, preserve the revenue that sits in those abandoned parts and in the financial space.

What we often see are great applications that have to do with preventing fraud and allowing our customers to do everything from setting up new accounts to completing mortgage applications all from their preferred mobile device. Now why does all of this matter? I’ve explained the technology. Hopefully, I’ve made it seem a little bit less complicated.

Importance of CPaaS

Hopefully, the confusion is diminished a bit. But why is it so necessary that we talk about it? It’s because, as I mentioned earlier, the mobile device and the mobile platform is the future of all forms of customer interaction moving forward. It is the preferred channel of choice. It is the preferred medium.

And if we don’t help our customers communicate with their customers via this that they are truly trying to hit. So the fact is I mean, it could prevent them from being able to achieve those business outcomes that they are truly trying to hit.

So the fact is I mean, this is true for all of us. Right? We are all on our phones constantly. We are checking SMSes constantly, and I thought that this statistic was pretty powerful.

But seventy percent of SMS messages are viewed within five minutes of them being being sent. And oftentimes, up to eighty percent of them are responded to within those five minutes. If that’s the experience that we all have gotten comfortable with in our personal lives, that’s the type of interaction that our customers could achieve by communicating with their customers via this channel.

We get that immediate return. We get that immediate verification. We get the value of this incredibly popular and powerful medium.

So how do we go about talking about CPaaS with our customers?

First, it’s identifying those very unique business outcomes that will provide value for our customers. And focusing on what vertical they’re in is a great place to start. If we know they’re health care customers and they don’t have a tool in place today for things like appointment reminders, then that’s a conversation starter. If they’re in the retail space, if they have a sales organization, being able to send out promotional information via a channel that we know will get viewed is a great way to have a conversation with somebody in marketing within those organizations.

Right? The conversations we can have really are endless, but it’s about identifying a single business outcome, a single interaction type, and being able to provide a solution for that starting small and then watching as that customer finds new and more ways to leverage the top technology to serve their needs.

Interview with Vincent DeChico

So, hopefully, this was a great quick, once some might say intense technical training on communications platform as a service. But what I’d like to do now is jump into a quick interview, as I mentioned with Vincent DeChico from Vonage. And we’ll talk a little bit more about, their approach to this space. Alright. Vincent, thanks for joining us today, everybody. This is Vincent DeChico, national channel manager for Vonage, supporting Telarus and our Telarus partner family.

How you doing today?

I’m doing well, Adam. Excited to be here. Thanks for having me.

Yeah. Thanks for being here. This is, our first high intensity technical training, and they’ve asked the new guy to kick things off. So fingers crossed this goes well, but I’m super pumped to have you here. We’re talking about a subject that, has been floating around in the technology space for a while, but I think a lot of people have been a little apprehensive to dive in to CPaaS.

For the last ten minutes or so, I’ve broken down what CPaaS really is. Not from a too technical perspective, but more from an application perspective. How are customers actually using this technology to find value, to create new ways of engaging with their customer community. Really hyper personalized engagement, and customer experiences, right? These are the things, the topics that our customers are gravitating towards right now.

So we brought you on because Von Shaz has a really unique, comprehensive approach to CPaaS. And if you wouldn’t mind just taking a couple minutes to brief us on Vonj’s approach to CPaaS.

Yeah. Thanks, Adam. No. I’d love to. I think to your point, CPaaS in general is part of the conversation that partners are having with their customers today whether they realize it or not.

Right? If you’re a partner and you’re having a communication conversation with your customers, whether that’s replacing a unified communications platform or replacing a contact center platform. There are CPaaS applications within that conversation.

And so our approach here at Vonage is is a bit unique because we own and operate our entire communication stack. So we’re fortunate enough to have a CPaaS component to that stack.

And where I see a lot of success for partners when they’re having these conversations with their customers to identify CPaaS opportunities is almost from a consumer perspective. So look at these organizations that you’re having these conversations with. Do some research. Look on their website. Do they have the ability for you to interact with them on some of those different channels, whether that’s web chat, whether it’s SMS, whether it’s video?

Are they creating their own application where they’re gonna need to embed some form of, of channel of communication? That’s a great opportunity, and it’s really low hanging fruit to identify these kind of kinds of CPaaS opportunities really quickly with your customer and be able to ask those conversation or ask those questions to open the conversations of what are you doing to solve for this specific business use case?

Yes. You’re saying put yourself in the customer’s position. If you were customer of this organization, would you be satisfied with the experiences that they’re offering? Right? And if not, then that’s a great way to start the conversation.

Yeah. A hundred percent. And I think what’s unique about CPaaS is it’s it’s really kind of a Swiss army knife. I like to say it’s the building blocks of communication.

So the art of the possible when we’re talking about CPaaS, but you can really use it as either a a wedge to get in with a new client that may not be and you know, you’re you know this better than better than most, Adam. A lot of times an entire forklift of a communications platform is a is a, you know, it’s a big project for organizations. And a lot of times those enterprise sales cycles take a long time. And they may keep telling you as a partner, hey, we’re we’re working on it.

It’s it’s fine for now. We’re not ready to make a change. But what’s what’s awesome and unique about CPaaS is you don’t have to forklift the entire environment to be able to provide your clients with value from the solution or an ROI. So it could be that wedge for you to really get in with the client and solve one business use case.

I like to say if you own the front door, it’s most likely that you’ll be able to own the building at some point, and CPaaS is really kind of that wedge to get in.

So so I like that. So what you’re saying is for all the partners listening, we all have customers that are at some point in their journey. They already have a phone system. We all know that.

They may or may not have a contact center. Their phone system’s either on prem still or they’re early generation cloud, or maybe they just signed a contract, and you sit there and wait until they’re ready. Right? Which could be next month or it could be five years from now.

We don’t really know, but they still have needs. Right? They still have we still have opportunity to position to them new technology that will dramatically impact the way that they engage with their customers, and that’s what CPaaS is. But what you’re saying is not only is it the wedge to start the conversation, but it can also become more.

Yeah. Absolutely. Again, if you’re able to own that front door, so whether that be with starting off with the marketing line of business, right, how are they promoting new products? How are they promoting maybe an upcoming sale to their customer base? Right? A lot of organizations have this data within their CRM that they’re so heavily invested into.

But that contact center and that unified communications platform that they’re currently leveraging may not provide them the ability for that outreach that the marketing team is looking for. And we all know marketing teams tend to have some of the largest budgets. Right? And that kind of brings me to my next piece.

When you when you look at CPaaS, I think the misconception is that it may be this expensive or large undertaking from a project, point of view. It’s actually all usage based. So it could be something as simple as we wanna send out fifty thousand SMS messages a month to our customer base, our client base promoting this new product that we’re releasing or this new promotion that we have within our organization to either cross sell or upsell some some form of, you know, solution or offering that they have. That is a perfect use case for CPaaS.

No. I’d love I didn’t know that. So when you’re actually talking about the cost component, it’s a variable, which is a good or bad thing, but you don’t have to go into with a super big budget. Right?

You can go into it and kinda grow, see how effective this new technology is for your business, and then kinda ramp up or ramp down as needed. Also, a lot of businesses are seasonal. Right? They don’t have to pay ongoing, for a service or a feature that they’re not using all year round.

Right? Pay as you go.

Yeah. Absolutely. That you took the words right out of my mouth. I was gonna say there’s a lot of seasonality.

Like, think of when Halloween comes around. We’ve all visited a spirit store at some point. Right? Right.

You know, In your life, right?

And so for, you know, for that seasonality of the business being able to send a text message out and let their customer base maybe know where is the location gonna be this year because they’re they’re never in the same spot every year. Right?

That would be a perfect use case for CPaaS. And again, there’s no there’s no, minimum monthly commitment like we’re used to on the UCaaS or CCaaS side. Right?

So it’s it’s a much easier technology to discuss than we all, I think, really realize. It’s about, sending messages. It’s about digitally interacting with your clients. Often times it’s built around that mobile experience.

But whatever message you need to send, which could be a notification of a store opening, information on a sale, it could be notification on a shipment or tracking information, it could be a way to start an interaction. Hey, you know, we recognize that there was a charge on your credit card from Europe. Are you in Europe? So all of these various scenarios are all serviced digitally, mobile first, but our customers are struggling because they don’t have technology that currently supports that.

Because they’re at a certain point in their journey, they’re on prem, so or their UC or contact center solution they invested in three years ago doesn’t support it. But they’re not quite ready to make that switch to something different. Enter Vonage. You guys mentioned that as a wedge, it’s we have solved their need now, but then also Vonage is gonna look pretty because you’ve solved that need.

And then when the project does roll around in a month or three years, you’re there to talk about the rest of your offerings, which is a complete UC CC suite.

Yeah. Absolutely. A hundred percent.

Anything else you’d like to add? I appreciate you being here, but I felt like this was a really quick, educational session with hopefully some really meaningful information for our partners. Last thoughts from Vincent.

Yeah. No. Again, thank you for having me. I would just encourage all of the partners that watch this clip to really start thinking of CPaaS as something that is a pull through to the conversation or a, initial way to kick start a conversation that they’re already having with their communication project clients?

I couldn’t have said it better. I think it’s a great way to start the conversation. Keep it simple. Keep it focused.

Maybe one line of business, one business outcome. It’s that wedge, and then things will grow from there. So thanks again, Vincent. Really appreciate you joining.

Have a great rest of your day.

Thanks, Adam. Appreciate you for having me.