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What Is CPaaS? (Communications Platform as a Service)
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What Is CPaaS? (Communications Platform as a Service)

CPaaS (short for communications platform as a service) is a cloud-based platform that connects enterprises and customers in a simple and easy-to-use way. In a world where consumers are increasingly preferring direct, authentic interactions, CPaaS solutions allow companies to develop real-time communication (RTC) features (like voice, video, and instant messaging) that can be directly embedded into proprietary apps and software.

What is CPaaS, and how can it help your business? Learn about the uses and benefits of this fast-growing solution, as well as how Syniverse is helping to connect the world with CPaaS Concierge.

CPaaS Meaning

To understand what CPaaS (communications platform as a service) is, it helps to understand “PaaS” first. PaaS (platform as a service) is a cloud service that allows businesses to build and deploy applications—without having to manage the underlying infrastructure. You manage the data, while a PaaS provider handles the servers, hardware, storage, and more.

“Pizza as a service” is a common analogy used to describe how PaaS and other aaS solutions work. When you order a pizza, the restaurant (the PaaS vendor) manages the oven, electricity, fire, and pizza. All you have to do is choose the drinks, the friends to share it with, and the dinner conversation.

CPaaS is simply a communications-focused PaaS. A CPaaS vendor like Syniverse provides the communications infrastructure, while you build the custom, front-facing applications your customers will use, or add new communication features to your existing applications.

Examples of communication capabilities a CPaaS can offer include:

  • Short message services (SMS)
  • Multimedia message services (MMS)
  • Social channels (WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, and WeChat)
  • Voice and VoIP
  • Video and teleconferencing
  • Rich communication services (RCS)

How Does it Work?

CPaaS uses communication APIs to connect existing applications and software. An API (short for application programming interface) is a type of programming code that requests, sends, and receives information between servers.

Highly customizable, enterprises can pick and choose which CPaaS APIs they want to use. For example, a healthcare company may use a CPaaS to provide an experience that is completely mobile to streamline check-ins or communicate post-appointment updates. Or an airline might want to add an SMS service to text passengers about last minute flight delays or gate changes to ensure customers are being notified of these types of time-sensitive events as soon as they happen.

While CPaaS companies are able to provide everything you need to start communicating, leveraging a CPaaS solution does require some technical knowledge. Many enterprises utilize an IT team in-house to get things up and running, but that doesn’t mean businesses without a dedicated IT department can’t take advantage of this cloud-based service. Some businesses choose to outsource the process to a systems integrator (SI) or work with a consulting company instead. Or, even better, they choose a company like Syniverse who does it all.

CPaaS Market Overview

The CPaaS market is on the rise, growing at an estimated rate of 40% annually. As consumers rely more and more on their mobile devices, brands are realizing that it’s increasingly important to build in a communications strategy and solution that allows them to meet people where they are.

The COVID-19 pandemic has been a major driver of growth for the CPaaS market. For many traditional enterprises, 2020 was a wake-up call—establishing a mobile relationship with customers was no longer something they could put off. Large, multinational companies were suddenly faced with the challenge of dramatically changing the way they interacted with customers providing more than just a support number and a mobile app and CPaaS solutions provided a way to quickly adapt and still deliver quality services without disruption to their business.

The CPaaS market is showing no signs of slowing, either. International Data Corporation predicts that by 2024, the CPaaS market will grow to $17.7 billion by 2024—that’s up from $4.2 billion in 2019.

What Are the Benefits of CPaaS?

Necessity isn’t the only reason behind the growth of CPaaS—more and more enterprises are discovering the communication platform’s unique time and money-saving potential. Let’s look at five ways CPaaS is revolutionizing business communications.

Cost Reduction

Because CPaaS is a cloud-based solution, companies don’t have to spend money setting up their own infrastructure. And because CPaaS solutions are so customizable, companies only have to pay for the features they actually use.

In addition to an inexpensive setup process, there are many other ways CPaaS can help a company cut costs and operate more efficiently. Examples include:

  • A doctor’s office sending out appointment reminders to reduce the cost of missed appointments
  • A logistics company texting package delivery updates to reduce the number of redelivery requests
  • A company implementing a support chatbot to reduce the cost of live support calls

Meaningful Customer Experience

Back in the days of traditional advertising, enterprises had no choice but to try and appeal to as many people as possible. In today’s connected world, enterprises can now provide a highly personalized customer experience through text, voice, video, and emerging technologies like rich messaging.

Communicating with customers one-on-one through CPaaS gives businesses more opportunities for meaningful engagement. Examples of these engagement opportunities include:

  • Digital coupons
  • Expiring offer reminders
  • Abandoned cart reminders
  • Live chat assistance
  • Appointment reminders

Stronger Security

A CPaaS solution can add an extra layer of security to your company’s communications. Implementing two-factor authentication (2FA), adding phone number verification and sending instant fraud alerts are just some of the ways businesses can improve customer trust and minimize risk.

Fast Deployment

APIs make it easy to quickly develop and deploy real-time communications features like messaging, video, and voice, into web, mobile, and enterprise applications. By removing the need to own and manage hardware, CPaaS can be set up and ready to use in just a matter of days.

Flexible Customization Options

The needs of your business and your customers are unique, so why settle for a one-size-fits-all solution that doesn’t fit perfectly? The simple “plug-and-play” nature of CPaaS makes it easy for companies to completely customize their customer communication channels to fit their budget, capabilities, marketing strategies, and customer experience needs.

What Is CPaaS Used For?

Because they’re so flexible, communications platform as a service solutions can be used to fulfill a variety of enterprise needs. The most common applications for CPaaS are:

Security and Fraud Prevention

CPaaS can be used to help companies that handle sensitive data protect against leaks, fraud, and other security threats. In the finance and banking industries, where keeping customer data safe is especially vital, SMS APIs are used to set up 2FA and instant fraud alerts.


CPaaS offers no shortage of opportunities to engage with customers at every touchpoint. Communication APIs can be used to acquire new customers through promotions and subscription incentives, retain existing customers by setting up loyalty programs and cashback alerts, or reduce the rate of shopping cart abandonment by sending automatic reminders.

Customer Service

When a customer contacts support online, through a chatbot or messaging app like Facebook Messenger, they shouldn’t have to re-explain their issue if they decide they want to talk with live support over the phone. CPaaS providers help businesses create more seamless customer service experiences with faster resolutions by retaining customer information between channels, wherever the conversation happens to start.

Internal Operations

In addition to customer-facing communications, CPaaS can help improve internal, employee-facing communications, too. Keep everyone in the loop by sending company-wide alerts via SMS, or show your employees you care by sending personalized birthday wishes. CPaaS can also play a vital role in workplace safety by notifying employees about security incidents, inclement weather, or other emergencies.

Types of CPaaS Solutions

CPaaS companies can take various approaches to how they provide the solution for their customers.

Syniverse is unique in that we take a white-glove, co-creation approach by providing developmental support and expertise to ensure businesses have the right tools and resources to meet their business needs. Syniverse CPaaS Concierge is designed to simplify the development and implementation of enterprise communications solutions. Depending on a company’s needs, we offer three custom solutions:

  • Ready-To-Use

Our ready-to-use CPaaS solutions provide the fastest deployment times, allowing enterprises to hit the ground running. Optimized for specific use cases and industries, this option does not offer as much flexibility as a modular or co-creator solution, but it is the most cost-effective.

  • Modular Approach

A modular approach to CPaaS deployment is highly flexible, allowing enterprises to take advantage of the specific communications APIs and features they need to build the best experience for their customers. We take care of everything on the backend, but you still have full control over every front-facing module.

  • Co-Created

For companies without a development team or that would prefer to have development outsourced to a CPaaS provider, Syniverse’s co-creator approach offers expert guidance to provide a competitive customer experience. A collaborative effort, the co-creator model is for enterprises that need a fully comprehensive and unique CPaaS solution.

Can CPaaS Help Your Business?

With so many ways to leverage CPaaS, from cutting operational costs to driving sales, any industry could benefit from this future-friendly tool. Syniverse works with Global 2000 companies across a variety of market segments, including finance, retail, hospitality, healthcare, technology, travel, and logistics.

It doesn’t matter how “digitally advanced” your company is, either. CPaaS is easy to use no matter where a company is on its digital transformation journey. Whether you plan to leverage it for consumer or employee communications, it’s easy to get started.

Learn More About Syniverse CPaaS Concierge

As the CPaaS market continues to grow, Syniverse is connecting enterprises to their customers in more meaningful and personalized ways than ever before. As the world’s most connected company, and recognized by Gartner as one of the leading CPaaS companies, we’re in a unique position to help enterprises power their connections through our extensive global network.

Our CPaaS solution, Syniverse CPaaS Concierge, is designed to give enterprises the flexibility and customizability to create an end product that fits their exact needs. Here’s a look at what Syniverse CPaaS Concierge offers clients across markets:

  • Communication channel options. From SMS and voice, to apps like WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger, rich communication service (RCS) options, and more, find the communication channel that helps you best connect with your audience on a personal level.
  • Robust security tools. To keep data safe, Syniverse CPaaS Concierge offers a variety of security features that protect users and enterprises alike.
  • A “plug and play” feature library. Choose from a library of premade integrations and programmable connectors to create a customized solution that works for your needs—without requiring your team to create solutions from scratch.
  • Syniverse Orchestration Engine. Streamline your workflow, seamlessly integrate front-end features, and use decision intelligence to encourage mobile engagement.
  • “White-glove” support model. Allow the Syniverse team to “co-create” a custom solution with you—while leaving the reigns in the hands of your development team.

To learn how a cloud-based communications platform on the world’s largest private network can meet your enterprise’s unique needs, or how our newest CPaaS solution Syniverse Hyperscale Communications Platform can help you reach more customers around the world, connect with a CPaaS expert.