With all of these new “- as a Service” companies entering the market, the acronym dictionary is growing every day– it’s hard to know what’s what! The name Communications Platform as a Service, or CPaaS, is relatively new, and is often confused confused with the similarly communication-focused Unified Communications as a Service (UCaaS) grouping.
So what’s the difference?
CPaaS could be viewed as an offshoot, subset or accompaniment to a company’s Unified Communications strategy—but it can also be bitten off and chewed in very small pieces allowing any software developer to quickly and easily pack voice and messaging features into their own applications without building any backend infrastructure or interfaces. In the most basic description: Unified Communications (UCaaS) deals with the hardware– the phone on your desk, for example– Communications Platforms (CPaaS) is the back-end provider– they are the power behind that phone.
As businesses have increasingly expanded to include remote offices, and remote employees, Unified Communications has become all the more important– this branch of communications allows for employees to collaborate and operate off of a unified phone, messaging, or conferencing platform. Creating one central hub for employee communication and collaboration is crucial for success– especially among enterprise sized businesses. CPaaS often plays a part here– whether that might be serving as the network power behind the phone calls, or delivering messages from an instant messaging system. A few UCaaS players have even purchased CPaaS companies over the past couple of years, further blurring the lines.
The chart below provides information on the key differences between UCaaS providers and CPaaS providers.