When I began my career of providing executive management for technology trade associations, the idea of being able to customize technology to suit the needs of an individual business was not fully formed. It was often the other way around. Businesses created processes and workflows around the “computer”, as though information processing was a sort of fixed ritual that one had to learn to live with. The thread that links those days to these is choice. Whenever, whoever and however choices are offered, markets are made and standards are changed.
CPaaS sets new standards of possibilities and customer expectations. CPaaS allows for customized customer experiences and the crafting of better internal processes. Because CPaaS disposes of the need to build big back end infrastructure, its inexpensive and available to even relatively small companies. CPaaS delivers on many of the promises we’ve been discussing since UC dawned almost twenty years ago.
I should stress that CPaaS is much more than throwing in some SMS with a side of voice and an occasional cup of email. CPaaS presents us with the opportunity to transform everyday needs such as banking, shopping, health care, education and even commuting into something better. And because its cloud based, there is tremendous scalability. The private practice physician, the giant HMO, the local credit union, the largest bank, the three-hundred -member home owner association and the nation’s largest city, can now communicate with their respective clients, members or citizens, in real time, with more accurate and useful information. CPaaS, properly deployed, holds the promise of draining customer and staff frustration, by delivering contextual communication across an assortment of media.
To begin with, CPaaS changes the way companies are able to communicate internally. Collaboration has become a mandate in many companies. As ever, physical infrastructure reflects cultural infrastructure. The hierarchical and separateness of the wall and cubicle era has given way to the open office, with its long tables, work corners, stairway filled atriums and huddle spaces. CPaaS meets the needs of the collaborative workforce by seamlessly delivering mobility while offering collaborative workers the option of also working independently when needed. Tight integration with mobility devices offers team members the option to use their own phone, while sitting behind the company’s secure identity, thus protecting personal privacy.
For knowledge workers who must interact with the public or with each other on projects and other work, CPaaS delivers contextual communications. Improved contextual communications means more efficiency, fewer misunderstandings or miscommunication, or in a word, more efficient. For organizations that can use context in customer care, or customer development, context means more sales and happier clients. Companies and organizations can better find and match information as they communicate with their respective communities of customers. Customers enjoy a more personalized experience and the organization is more able to present customized products and services. And again, CPaaS’s ability to scale means that these powerful options are open to small firms and lumbering giants alike. Imagine the possibilities for organizations such as school boards, and government agencies at all levels, to be able to be able communicate with sometimes anxious people. “Painless” could become the way we see some everyday annoyances. Even the lonely parking ticket might be easier to pay if the interaction process becomes simple, accessible and less time consuming.
It is important for everyone involved in the development of the CPaaS market to recognize that even as work, consumption and recreation are changing, many enterprises must continue to deliver something that, at least on the surface, is highly recognizable as a continuity of a previous communication era. A hospital, for example, has operating rooms, recovery rooms, examining rooms, offices, restaurants, retail, and even warehouse and manufacturing like operations. It definitely has collaborative workers and huddle spaces, but a big part of the action occurs in the presence of phones hanging on walls, phones sitting on desks and so on. CPaaS won’t change that, nor will it change similar needs in many organizations that, at least on the surface, may seem impervious to change.
Look below the surface. CPaaS changes what all of those phones can do, and it can help a hospital in many significant ways. CPaaS means tighter and more timely communication to patients and their families. It can make out-patient clinic communicate more effectively. CPaaS can use mobility to stay in contact with professional care providers and others across the campus, while customization can drain distractions from mobility devices. The hospital is just one of many places where CPaaS can make be strides without disrupting need based processes.
It’s an exciting time to be president of an alliance of cloud providing companies at the moment when CPaaS offers our members the ability to deliver services that will transform the way many businesses and perhaps whole industries operate. Sometimes people have trepidation at change. Caution is a good thing. Having a choice is a good thing too. CPaaS simply opens up options for organizations from the smallest to the largest, providing people with real choices about how they would like their business to operate, to communicate internally and externally. Thoughtfully crafted, properly deployed, CPaaS will deliver better communications outcomes for the people and businesses our members serve.