By Pankaj Gupta, CEO and Founder EnableX.io
Like any other year, 2021 will soon become history. And as it happens always, old technology trends fade into oblivion while new trends emerge. As we head into the new year, what does 2022 have in store for CPaaS? Here’s a look at the top five trends that will define Communications Platform-as-a-Service:
- Omnichannel race will heat up
As consumers prefer to interact with brands through multiple platforms, offering relevant and contextual cross-channel communication experience becomes critical for businesses. According to UC Today, a highly respected communications tech publication, nine out of 10 consumers are looking for an omnichannel experience. McKinsey, a leading global consultancy firm, confirms this,” offering a compelling omnichannel experience used to be the bleeding edge of businesses. Now it’s necessary for survival.”
Enterprises have also woken up to this omnichannel reality now, and they are betting big on this cross-channel communication trend. They perceive it as a golden opportunity to gain a competitive edge in the market. Savvy brands, especially retailers, have already started using CPaaS for fast and cost-saving multichannel integration since they don’t want to lag in the race.
- Drift toward low Code/no code
Though the need to have a developer is not going away anytime soon, enterprises realise the importance of ease of adding new capabilities to their solutions and faster time-to-market. For example, building a live video calling UI that usually took weeks and months can now be stitched together in minutes with a few clicks with low-code platform.
The low code, no code pie may not be significant now, its market size will increase for sure in the future considering the significant enterprise interest. Many CPaaS players have already launched their low code products, some more players are seriously planning to enter this domain. In 2022, this LCNC (Low Code, No Code) trend is expected to catch momentum.
- Video is the new ‘voice’
Though video as a medium of communication was already gaining traction, the pandemic only hyper-accelerated this trend. The way we worked and collaborated at the workplace and conducted interactions have witnessed a tremendous change in the last couple of years. Physical meetings and small group discussions have been replaced with virtual meetings and more focused virtual breakout rooms.
Now, candidates can wait in a virtual lobby before entering an online video interview instead of visiting the physical premise. Daily meetings are being replaced with meeting pods. Value-added features like background blurring and replacement, noise suppression and cancellation have suddenly become a priority. The changing users’ preferences have bolstered the demand for CPaaS videos.
Though the entire CPaaS segment will grow, the growth in CPaaS Video is projected to be faster than all other communication channels (Voice, SMS and Chat). This growth will be primarily due to emerging use cases across industries and sectors, such as insurance, banking, telehealth and online training.
Various studies also confirm this view about the increasing importance of communications APIs. A recent Gartner report says,” building in-app video with APIs enables integrated workflow boosts the overall value proposition.”
Another research study by Global Market Insights predicted 19 per cent CAGR growth of video conferencing by 2026, eventually reaching $50 billion. The programmable video solutions will have a significant chunk in this overall CPaaS market growth.
- Smarter communication will evolve further with AI
Though AI has been a buzzword for some time, we have not seen significant end-use cases so far. AI is finally expected to come to the CPaaS forefront in 2022, a Gartner report predicts.
And that’s not all, as users become more comfortable with remote communications, they expect a more enriched communication experience. Therefore, just having a plain vanilla CPaaS offering will not work. For example, pairing live videos with Emotion Recognition Technology will drive exciting use cases in recruitment, retail, telehealth, and customer support.
In 2022, we will see more CPaaS providers adding AI capabilities to their engines. It will not just be a value-added offering but will be a part of the core product portfolio.
- CPaaS, UCaaS And CCaaS overlap will be more pronounced
There has been a growing realization among businesses about the importance of integrated communication experience in the last few years. In 2022, CPaaS will drive the convergence between UCaaS and CCaaS to facilitate a more integrated communication experience. That also means the traditional lines between UCaaS, CCaaS, and CPaaS silos will further blur. For example, Ericsson acquired Vonage with the prime goal of entering into CPaaS/Enterprise Market with integrated CPaaS and UCaaS offering. Twilio has launched its Contact Centre solution Twilio Flex. Both Zoom and BlueJeans, prominent UC players, have expanded their offerings with communications API via API marketplaces and technology partner programs.
As is evident, these emerging trends will reshape business communications in the future, and business success will primarily hinge on how well enterprises capitalise on these trends. Finally, enriched customer experience will be key to CPaaS growth in 2022, and it’ll be even more intertwined with enterprise digital strategies.