UCaaS, CCaaS, CPaaS – What’s the Difference?
With the increasing demand for quick and convenient ways to reach organizations, various innovative technologies have taken place in the past few years. UCaaS, CCaaS, and CPaas are some of the few technologies that have gained a lot of recognition in these years. All these technologies are cloud-based technologies and share similarities. However, they are quite different from each other and serve different purposes. In this blog, we will get a detailed insight into all these three cloud-based technologies.
In today’s knowledge-driven business world, how a business shares and exchanges information defines its success. Companies, especially the call/contact centers, sales and service teams, and many others are reorganizing and updating their communication strategies to stay competitive. Various developments have been made in the way people share and exchange information. However, the major development throughout this shift has been the emergence of cloud technology solutions. You might have already heard about the term ‘cloud’, also known as cloud computing and technology.
What is cloud computing?
Cloud computing is simply an array of services delivered over the internet or the cloud. Instead of relying on local hard drives and private data centers, cloud computing uses remote servers to store and access data.
Before the emergence of cloud computing, businesses primarily depended on databases, servers, hardware, software, and other supplements to take their businesses online. Companies used to invest heavily in purchasing and maintaining their own servers to meet their business requirements. To minimize the risk of outages and downtime and to accommodate peak traffic volume, businesses had to buy enough server space. In such cases, businesses end-up having large amounts of server space unused for much of the time.
The emergence of cloud services has made it easier for businesses to store and maintain information without investing a huge amount on servers. With these services, companies can save a lot by eliminating the need for onsite servers, maintenance workforces, and other costly IT resources. Instead of buying, owning, and maintaining physical data centers and servers, users can access various technology services including databases and storage as per their specific requirements from a cloud provider. With all these things in mind, it would be correct to say that cloud computing has completely transformed the way businesses used to store and share information.
Who all can use cloud computing?
Businesses of every size, type, and industry can benefit from using cloud services for a variety of reasons such as:
- Data backup
- Software development and testing
- Disaster recovery
- Virtual desktops
- Big data analytics Customer-facing web applications, and more
The most popular cloud-based services: UCaaS, CCaas, and CPaaS
Since businesses are swiftly shifting from on-premises communication models to cloud-based communication models, they are using various types of services to enhance their business communication. If we talk about different types of “as a Service” models in the cloud-based communication systems, then the most popular models are:
- UCaaS (Unified Communications as a Service)
- CCaaS (Contact Center as a Service)
- CPaaS (Communication Platform as a service)
All these cloud-based communication systems share similar characteristics but vary in terms of their services and functionalities. Still, many people get confused about these cloud-based services.
For a better understanding of each service, let’s discuss all these cloud-based technologies in detail.
What is UCaaS?
UCaaS is the short form of Unified Communications as a Service. It is an all-in-one cloud-based platform that has developed from the concept of unified communications (UC). With the help of UCaaS vendors, businesses can streamline and integrate their communication channels as well as people easily and effectively. The UCaaS vendors generally emphasize areas like voice, SMS, chat, and conferencing applications. This cloud-delivered unified communications model is widely used to support various communications functions including:
- Enterprise telephony
- Unified messaging
- Meetings (audio/video)
- Instant messaging and presence
Since the cloud hosts UCaaS services, companies don’t need to install and maintain any additional hardware or infrastructure. UCaaS providers are responsible to own and maintain the platform and software. With the help of UCaaS services, agents can provide superior customer service. They can access various advanced company tools and data to assist customers without having to switch back and forth between applications. Even customers can connect with businesses in their preferred medium which makes their support experience even better.
Advantages of the UCaaS Model
Some of the key advantages of choosing the UCaaS model include:
- Cost-efficient model: With UCaaS, businesses need not invest in costly hardware. Also, there is no need to reconfigure their on-premises phone infrastructure. Besides, UCaaS empowers advanced functionality without the addition of an expensive setup.
- Unified services: UCaaS allows a comprehensive integration of communications services to help businesses set up and manage virtual office solutions that meet their operational needs. Some of these services include web, audio, instant team messaging, email and unified messaging systems, etc.
- Integrated tools and applications: UCaaS help agents to align key communications systems with common operating system tasks. They can easily track their workload and performance via the UCaaS-supported tools and existing internal communication systems. Moreover, UCaaS allows the integration of various business applications like Customer Relationship Management platforms (CRMs), data storage and management, customer support, etc.
- Improved customer experience: UCaaS helps in offering better customer experiences. It allows customers to reach a company using their preferred communication channels such as phone, live chat, social media, email, and any other channel.
- Easy and quick scalability: As compared to traditional on-site solutions, cloud-based communications services are easy to manage and exceptionally scalable. Companies can easily add or remove applications, manage users in terms of access requirements and security, update telephony resources, and much more.
What is CCaaS?
CCaaS is the short form of Contact Center as a Service. CCaaS enables organizations to use a remotely hosted and cloud-based set-up for the smooth running of their contact center operations. The vendors of CCaaS build different products on APIs (Application Programming Interfaces) that work across several operating systems and Internet browsers. The service providers generally focus on offering companies enough capacity and tools to handle and manage customer interactions, queries, and service/support cases easily. Using CCaaS, contact center agents can easily access their company’s contact center software from their mobile device or any web browser, from anywhere and at any time. The CCaaS model is widely used to support various communications functions including:
- Automated Call Distribution (ACD)
- Call recording
- IVR (Interactive Voice Response) / Virtual Attendant
- Advanced analytics and reporting
- Live monitoring and agent coaching
- Inbound and outbound dialing with a softphone application
Due to the increasing dependence on digital communication channels, especially after the pandemic situation, the CCaaS market offerings are expected to grow to $27.8 billion by 2023. Since the platform is hosted in the cloud, users need not invest in any costly hardware. It lets customers connect with a company via their preferred way of communication which leads to a better customer experience.
Advantages of CCaaS Model
Here are some of the key benefits of choosing a CCaaS model:
- Cost-effective: CCaaS model can help businesses in lowering their IT expenses. As the CCaaS vendor is responsible for hosting and managing contact center tools in the cloud, companies can save a lot on the capital investment in technology. This way their IT staff can focus on other important tasks.
- Quick startup: Several CCaaS providers nowadays provide their software as plug and play platform. It means that companies can opt for a CCaaS offering and start using it as soon as they install it on their devices. It’s that quick and easy to use.
- Self-service options: CCaaS tools let customers interact with a customized automated response system to help them get quick answers to their general queries, view and edit account information, make purchases, track or cancel orders, and much more.
- Flexibility and scalability: CCaaS providers offer users enough flexibility to flourish and adapt to their business requirements. Companies just need to pay for the level of service they need and can regulate their requirements accordingly.
- Better analytics: CCaaS allows companies to track and monitor calls, agent performance, and review call data as and when required. This further helps them in making informed decisions related to the growth of their contact center.
What is CPaaS?
CPaaS is the short form of Communication Platform as a service. This platform is an extension of both UCaaS and CCaaS. It allows companies to add various communication features to their existing applications. To do this, they do not need to invest in completely new hardware or infrastructure or any additional technical assistance. In simple words, the CPaaS platform lets users build real-time communication features without the need to create their own tech stack. CPaaS vendors provide users with different APIs and code snippets to add to the environments of the cloud-based platforms. The CPaaS model is widely used to support various communications functions like:
- Outbound voice calls
- Inbound call routing
- WebRTC-based calling
- Text messages
- On-demand SIP trunking
- Social media messaging
- Multimedia and video messaging
- Number masking, etc.
CPaaS provides users with prebuilt features and communication channels, thereby eliminating the need to hire any expert team to add APIs and code snippets. The platform includes almost everything like pre-built applications, sample codes, an application programming interface (API), and more to assist companies in integrating desired solutions quickly and easily.
Advantages of CPaaS Model
- Easy scalability: As there is no need to install any hardware or infrastructure, businesses of any size can easily utilize a CPaaS to manage their operations. They can add or remove features as per their specific business requirements.
- Customization: CPaaS allows companies to add and customize features to meet their business expectations. Companies can even select additional integrations from a provider-curated library or a user community.
- Cost-effectiveness: As compared to on-premises systems, CPaaS allows businesses to pay for only the services they use. Also, everything is cloud-based in CPaaS which means companies don’t need to invest in IT infrastructure.
- Seamless customer experience: CPaaS platform works with an Omni-channel communication approach which leads to a seamless customer experience. Customers can easily connect with businesses via their preferred communication channel.
- Integration: CPaaS Platforms can fully integrate with all other systems and tools such as CRM systems, supplier systems, and others. CPaaS also empowers technologies like voice recognition, AI integration, Machine Learning (ML), advanced analytics, and more by offering full access to the latest in communication technology.
Difference between UCaaS, CCaaS, and CPaaS
Before looking at the key differences between UCaaS, CCaaS, and CPaaS, let’s see what similarities these platforms share. First and foremost, all these platforms are cloud-based business communication tools, no hardware is required to use these communication tools, these platforms offer complete scalability and flexibility, and most importantly these platforms are very much affordable to use. Now, let’s see the difference between all these cloud-based services:
UCaaS, CCaaS, and CPaaS are all widely used, popular cloud-based technologies. All these technologies help in augmenting the communication experience. You can choose the one based on the specific needs and demands of your business. Choosing the right technology can help you add agility, reliability, security, and control to your overall communication system.