The cloud has been an undisputed blessing to modern IT. From seamless scalability to simplified deployment, it’s never been easier to do more with your infrastructure. However, one vastly underrated aspect of the cloud is its near-limitless supply of additional acronyms.
Really, pick any combination of uppercase letters, stick “aaS” on the end, and you’ve got the newest cloud technology. Seriously, though, the sheer number of acronyms floating around these days is nearly impossible to keep pace with. Fret not! The following are answers to some of your most burning questions surrounding one such acronym, including, “What is CPaaS?” and, “What makes it different from UCaaS?”
Knowing Your CPaaS from Your UCaaS
First and foremost, it’s important to decipher these conveniently ambiguous acronyms. CPaaS stands for communications platform-as-a-service. Unsurprisingly, it’s simply a cloud-based platform. But wait — don’t we already have one of those in unified communications-as-a-service (UCaaS)? Well, yes and no.
CPaaS and UCaaS share the same cloud foundation while being delivered over both public and private IP networks. They also make great platforms for businesses of just about any size. But those similarities — and the fact that they both find themselves in the communications field — pretty much mark the end as far as common ground goes.
CPaaS is primarily focused on enriching customer communication channels. It acts as a platform for businesses to combine the reliability and back end of proven communication services with their own customer applications through the use of APIs. For example, you could use a chat app API to integrate messaging platforms that your customers likely already use, like Facebook Messenger or Viber, into your own mobile offering. Simply put, CPaaS lets developers program the entire breadth of real-time, cloud-based communications platforms into their own applications to give customers the best experience available.
So, in a nutshell, CPaaS is a back-end communications platform with APIs that allow you to present it to front-end offerings. Think chat, voice, and video capabilities embedded in your customer-facing applications. In contrast, UCaaS is a platform for internal channels that unifies communications into a consistent experience regardless of device or location.
Why You Need to Know About CPaaS
Now that you can confidently answer the question, “What is CPaaS?” there’s yet another question you may be asking: “Why should I care?” It’s a great question indeed. A recent article by Customer Experience Insight described some communication expectations your customers likely have. To summarize, its research shows customers want communication that is personalized, consistent, always-on, and that preferably comes in as many channels as possible.
This is exactly why you need to know about CPaaS. When it comes to communication, especially mobile communication, customers simply expect more — more options, more reliability, and more accessibility. You get the picture. CPaaS provides all of the above with a back-end communication infrastructure, presented “as-a-service” from a vendor, that is then tightly integrated with your own app offerings through extensive APIs. CPaaS is a great tool for companies looking to go global without breaking the bank.
CPaaS is a useful technology for businesses of all sizes. If you have an audience that has any expectations when it comes to communication, CPaaS is worth exploring.
Contact Vonage Business to learn more about how cloud-based communications can aid your company.
At first, the cloud may have seemed like a lot of hype and just another technology for enterprises to spend money on because “everyone else was doing it.” You know, like mobile, the internet, or social media. Of course, all three of these today are vital tools for enterprises to increase productivity, raise brand awareness, and better engage with customers. In fact, it’s hard to imagine a business surviving in the digital age without a website, Facebook page, or mobile app.
Though enterprise cloud solutions have also become indispensable to organizations seeking to be more agile while saving money, some businesses are still hesitant about moving to the cloud. After all, a cloud migration is a lot more complicated than building a website or even managing employee BYOD devices, right?
Not really. The truth is, moving IT processes, data storage, and communications systems to the cloud is much easier than many business decision-makers believe. Conversely, the longer a business waits to move to the cloud, the harder it is for it to compete in the digital economy. Businesses that still haven’t jumped on the cloud can put themselves at a competitive disadvantage. For example, enterprises with on-premises legacy phone systems and contact centers struggle to meet the requirements of digital-savvy employees and customers.
Enterprise workers today demand the ability to do their jobs from anywhere and using any device. They want the flexibility to remotely collaborate and communicate with colleagues from their homes, to join video conferences on their smartphones, and to access Salesforce on their laptops during a client meeting in the field.
The High Costs of Resisting the Cloud
Legacy communications systems simply can’t support these critical functions. The end result can be lower productivity, frustrated employees, and higher turnover. According to the Future Workforce Study 2016 from Dell and Intel, 42 percent of workers ages 18–34 are likely to leave a job because their employers provided substandard technology. That percentage is likely even higher among workers whose jobs require constant use of technology, such as call center agents.
Likewise, older, in-house communications platforms can’t scale to handle data and service requests from the growing number of mobile users who want real-time service and the luxury of communicating with customer support via phone, online chat, messaging, or any other digital channel.
However, cloud-based communications systems are flexible and scalable and allow enterprises to satisfy the productivity needs of a mobile, remote workforce, the scalability and cross-channel functionality of a busy contact center, and real-time service requests from mobile customers.
In addition to enabling a business to compete more effectively by leveraging the most advanced digital technologies, moving communications virtually to the cloud eliminates the need to replace expensive on-premises PBX equipment. The result can be an efficient transfer of capital expenses to operational expenses, or even an overal cost reduction.
Migration and Support Made Easy
Enterprise cloud solutions today are available to organizations of all sizes. The key is to partner with a provider with deep experience and roots in cloud technology to provide support throughout the process. A provider with an enterprise cloud backup service can store data in multiple geographic locations, enabling businesses to maximize uptime, even during and after disasters.
Moving to the cloud may appear daunting to some businesses, but even the most ardent cloud holdouts are beginning to realize that the alternative — falling hopelessly behind the competition — is somewhat more daunting. The right enterprise cloud solutions can lift any business that chooses the right partner.
Is your enterprise ready for the cloud? Contact a Vonage Business consultant today to get started.
At times, managing people can be a real chore. It certainly doesn’t get easier when the only thing connecting your team is a few cables and a couple thousand pixels. Fortunately, the same technology that frees users from cube life also provides some pretty nifty ways to tackle mobile workforce management. After all, a virtual office is still an office.
Workforce Management in a Nutshell
When the topic of workforce management is discussed — virtual or otherwise — two main aspects boil to the surface fairly quickly. The job really comes down to coordinating efforts and equipping your team members with everything they need to succeed. Accomplish that, and the rest is just minutiae. For teleworking employees, however, you’ll need a slightly different strategy. First up: orchestrating a team you can’t see.
Coordinating the efforts of your team is a simple matter of communication. Since you aren’t often going to be physically available to your team members, this requires a certain mastery of technology. Actually, that’s not entirely true. Rather, a certain level of technology is required to master communication in a virtual setting.
Ultimately, the best communication technology is the one you and your team are most comfortable with. Some offices thrive on phone systems, some love text-based chat, while others still prefer visual communication through video conferencing solutions. Either way, it’s imperative to choose the technology that poses the least resistance to your team’s communication.
Tips for Managing with Technology
Whatever piece of communication technology you use — and perhaps you are using several — here are a few key strategies to keep in mind that will help you get the most out of each:
- Visibility: The technology you choose to communicate and coordinate with your remote team must empower visibility. Something as simple as a “presence” indicator that lets team members know who is available and at what capacity will go a long way toward keeping communication flowing.
- Tracking: Remote team members can be tough to manage due to the autonomy a few hundred miles provides. To make management easier and encourage productivity, a little tracking goes a long way. Before you break out the ankle bracelets, just know that those same communications platforms likely have time-tracking capabilities as well. Cloud phone systems even provide built-in analytics and reporting, which allow for a real-time and historical record of employee call activity to gauge productivity.
- Collaboration: Unless you work in an industry where each individual contributes in complete isolation, you’ll need some way to collaborate, be it on documents, communications, ideation, etc. Again, the idea here is to make it as seamless as possible. Look for technologies that tackle collaboration in an inclusive manner while still providing clear ownership and organization.
- Fun: This one goes back to one of the greatest shortfalls of mobile workforce management. When people rub elbows on a regular basis, they naturally form social bonds. This, called by another name, is culture. While it happens naturally to some extent in a physical office, it takes much more discipline and effort to create the same kind of atmosphere in a virtual environment. Some advice? Give your team members the tools to creatively express themselves, even if it doesn’t directly help productivity. No matter how much you disdain animated .gif images, they may just bring your team closer together.
When all is said and done, managing remote teams doesn’t have to be an exercise in futility. With a well-cultivated crop of supporting technologies, coordinating efforts and equipping your team for success becomes a trivial affair.
Contact Vonage Business to learn more about how cloud-based communications can aid your company.