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The CF List: 20 CPaaS Providers You Should Know

8x8 is here. So are Vonage and Avaya. See who else made our list and why.

Edward Gately

January 10, 2022

20 Slides

COVID-19 accelerated the digitization of customer and employee experiences, therefore boosting business for communications platform-as-a-service (CPaaS) providers.

A number of services can be considered part of CPaaS platforms. Those include messaging technologies such as texting, rich communication services (RCS) and over-the-top (OTT) messaging applications. Many CPaaS offers also include push notifications, voice services and email.

Our latest CF List focuses on CPaaS providers. Analysts shared their views on what it takes to succeed with the technology. It includes an updated list and fresh views on changes in the competitive landscape.

Rising Customer Expectations

Raul Castanon is senior research analyst with 451 Research, part of S&P Global Market Intelligence.

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451 Research’s Raul Castanon

“According to 451 Research’s CPaaS Market Monitor, [the pandemic] resulted in total market revenue increasing by 48% in 2020,” he said. “This in turn gave CPaaS more visibility across the entire value chain — including enterprises, service providers and channel partners. These factors are influencing market requirements, raising customer expectations in terms of how well CPaaS vendors are able to address their requirements. For instance, enterprises will be looking for more vertical-driven support, while channel partners and service providers will be looking for vendors that understand how this translates into business opportunities for them.”

Michael Brandenburg is industry analyst at Frost and Sullivan. He said the pandemic accelerated the natural progression to CPaaS.

“Anytime someone says in organizations that they’re going through a digital transformation. APIs and communications are going to get rebooted in that process,” he said. “The pandemic and work from home, and pivoting to a lot of digital workflows is driving interest in CPaaS. And that’s something that I think it’s going to be very sticky. It’s not something like, ‘OK, the pandemic is over. I guess we can turn down curbside pickup.’ We’re creating all new use cases and workflows, and that’s going to be very persistent. On the provider side, there’s been a lot of recognition of that and adjusting road maps to make sure they are part of that on supply side. But the demand side was always going to be there, it just stepped up.”

2 Types of CPaaS Adoption

There are two modes of CPaaS adoption, Brandenburg said. The first is the quick “we need to solve this now.” Those solutions are quick and agile.

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Frost and Sullivan’s Michael Brandenburg

“In most of those cases, you could just grab a phone number and start using it,” he said. “Where I think things become more strategic is when we start thinking about how channels fit into omnichannel, and how do we use our telephone numbers as business assets and how do we assign CPaaS functions to our business numbers? There’s not one true fit.”

Art Schoeller is vice president and principle analyst at Forrester.

“CPaaS and CCaaS will blend for customer service,” he said. “CPaaS vendors like Twilio that offer capabilities via APIs will continue to move up market. They will add more fully featured, packaged apps for contact centers, as well as lower-level APIs to support customizations. In parallel, the CCaaS vendors that focus on packaged apps.”

More customization will come from prebuilt componentry, Schoeller said.

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Forrester’s Art Schoeller

“Growing libraries of prebuilt modules and models will help service a range of vertical needs, such as prebuilt intent models for natural language endeavors that use conversational artificial intelligence (AI), desktop widgets for agent guidance, integrations with new channels and sensors like IoT and augmented/virtual reality, as well as more extensive libraries of low-code components,” he said.

Massive Revenue Growth Expected

CPaaS revenue generated in North America will reach $15 billion by 2026, according Juniper Research. That’s up from $3.7 billion in 2021.

Based on feedback from analysts and recent news reports, we’ve compiled a list, in no particular order, of 20 CPaaS providers that are making the most of the competitive landscape and charting success. The list offers a mix of well-known providers as well as lesser-known companies that are making big strides in CPaaS. This is by no means a complete list.

Scroll through our slideshow above to see who made the cut this year.

Want to contact the author directly about this story? Have ideas for a follow-up article? Email Edward Gately or connect with him on LinkedIn.

About the Author(s)

Edward Gately

Senior News Editor, Channel Futures

As news editor, Edward Gately covers cybersecurity, new channel programs and program changes, M&A and other IT channel trends. Prior to Informa, he spent 26 years as a newspaper journalist in Texas, Louisiana and Arizona.

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