All About CPaaS: Exploring Communication Platform as a Service Solutions

Categories: InsightsCommunications

Across education, healthcare, banking, and more, connected device solutions have revolutionized how companies communicate. Direct communication with end users is essential across all channels including voice calls, video calls, SMS, web notifications, and social media. When done right, these consistent communication channels improve the user experience and drive revenue. Organizations are looking for modern software that provides a fully integrated solution.

Enter the Communication Platform as a Service (CPaaS), which has practical and impactful applications across every industry. In this article, you’ll learn what CPaaS is, how various platforms provide off-the-shelf CPaaS solutions, and how CPaaS is used in various sectors. You’ll also find evaluation parameters and guidance on selecting a suitable CPaaS provider to help inform your own search. Let’s get started.

What is CPaaS?

CPaaS is a cloud-based delivery model that enables businesses to improve communications channels end-to-end with seamless application integrations that do not require expertise to understand underlying complexity related to real time communication.

Consumers expect great service across various communication channels such as instant messaging and chat, video calls, email, social media, and SMS notifications. CPaaS facilitates these communication capabilities with minimal spending on deployment and maintenance. CPaaS provides APIs (Application Programming Interfaces), SDKs (Software Development Kits), libraries, and unique components which help developers build and embed communication strategies in existing solutions. 

Recommended reading: Cloud-Driven Innovations: What Comes Next?

CPaaS offers small to medium companies an affordable option to add communication streams and digitally transform their products. In addition, CPaaS provides unique solutions and use cases to deliver services. 

CPaaS vs UCaaS: What’s the Difference?

Like CPaaS, UCaaS (Unified Communications as a Service) facilitates communication between employees and their customers, enhancing communication without owning and maintaining the infrastructure. And like CPaaS, it also provides communication tools through the cloud, enabling teams to use standard messaging, video, and phone capabilities.

But while CPaaS provides unique API, SDK, and libraries for integrated and customized application solutions, UCaaS offers unique integration capabilities with CRM tools such as SalesForce. There used to be a difference between UCaaS and CPaaS due to their customization and API support options, but the lines are beginning to blur as many UCaaS providers have started providing APIs for customization. 

Here are a few key differences between CPaaS and UCaaS:


Requires integration using API/SDK  Ready to go without any developer intervention
Focused on customization of solutions Focused on communication (employee-employee or employee-customer)
Can be initiated by application Majorly initiated by user
Pay-as-you-go pricing model Per-seat pricing model


Emerging Use Cases for CPaaS


During times of peak COVID infection, healthcare systems were put to the test like never before. Many healthcare providers were forced to begin building or enhancing their existing applications and solutions. One innovation was providing secure telehealth video calls for remote assistance and patient consultation, for example. Additionally, hospitals opted for CPaaS platforms to build messaging and voice solutions for communication between hospital staff.


Online education has gained mass adoption in recent years and is now largely powered by CPaaS solutions that provide video calling and presentation. Education platforms can enhance learning services by adding interactive solutions like digital blackboards.

Banking, Financial Services & Insurance (BFSI)

Over the last decade, BFSI companies and organizations have increasingly digitized to keep pace with evolving customer expectations and security, privacy, and operational challenges. By using CPaaS, banks can enhance their applications. For example, many banks provide a dedicated relationship manager or customer service provider to customers through online chat or phone through their banking applications. Similarly, insurance companies now often use video calls to meet with customers.

Recommended reading: Cloud – A Great Refactor for the Financial Services Industry

Tips for Choosing a CPaaS Solution

There can be business and technological implications in your choice of CPaaS. The following are the major considerations to consider while evaluating your options and selecting a CPaaS provider.

Feature Coverage

The CPaaS solutions space is crowded, with some covering every aspect and others providing niche functionalities. Choosing the correct solution is important as it impacts the short-term vision of early market release and the long-term vision of future product expansion and maintenance.


One of the major differences between UCaaS and CPaaS is the customization options of APIs and SDKs. Ideally, you’re looking for a comprehensive solution for both API and SDK. For example, if the platform claims to provide a notification service using API for Android devices but lacks notification capabilities for iOS and web browsers, it’s not a comprehensive solution. In addition, there should be coverage for development platforms and languages for SDK, such as iOS, Java, JavaScript, and C#.

Community Support

Platform providers should have the infrastructure to support end-to-end environments for application development. However, even when providers have these aspects, developers may face challenges. Resolving these issues alone by trial and error can be time-consuming and resource-intensive.  Active community helps to have access to support and a community of expertise to help resolve issues.

Security and Compliance

Security and compliance are essential not only in regulated industries such as healthcare or BFSI but in general, given the inherent vulnerabilities of customer-facing communications and data. Look for security policies and a history of updates that safeguard usage and personal data.


Consider licensing costs and the support and usage structure of each CPaaS candidate. In general, CPaaS providers claim to follow a pricing model per interaction rather than per set basis. Once an application is launched there is no turning back, which is why it’s important to consider the CPaaS platform cost thoroughly from the beginning.

Prominent CPaaS Providers Compared

Based on the latest Gartner CPaaS Review and Ratings report, there are three CPaaS providers with top ratings: Twilio, Message Bird, and Bandwidth.

CPaaS Features Comparison (as of Dec 2022)

Features Twilio Message Bird Bandwidth
SIP Trunking Yes Yes Yes
SMS Yes Yes Yes
Bulk SMS Yes Yes Yes
Email Yes Yes No
Bulk Email Yes No No
Chat Yes Yes Yes
Notification Yes Yes Yes, Limited
Audio Call Yes Yes Yes
Video Call Yes Yes No
PSTN calling Yes Yes Yes
Conferencing Yes No Yes
Voice Recording Yes No Yes
Video recording Yes Yes No
Screen Sharing Yes , limited No No
Social Media Whatsapp API Whatsapp API, also with other social media available No


CPaaS Parameters Comparison (as of Dec 2022)


Parameters Twilio Message Bird Bandwidth
API/SDK Coverage Good support for both Server as well as client SDK

Good support for Server SDK, No client SDK

Good support for both Server as well as client SDK.

Community and Support Support and Active Twilio community


Support and Less Active developer community

Security and compliances Certified ISO/IEC 27001

Major Compliance : HIPAA, GDPR

Certified ISO/IEC 27001:2013

Major Compliance : GDPR

Certified ISO 27001:2013

Pricing Pay as you go Plans, no cost for support

Monthly as well as Pay as you go plans. Additional support plans

Pay as you go Plans, no cost for support


Each application has a similar goal: to provide users with the best information or communication features inside a seamless experience. With a consistent need for application digitalization, CPaaS will continue to play an important role in improving customer communications in a wide spectrum of industries. 

With the rise of AI in the last few years throughout every domain, application-initiated communication is more prominent. We should expect to see CPaaS remain a significant partner in delivering quality communication options to end users for years to come.

Looking to modernize and personalize your company’s contact center? We help clients craft proactive, predictive customer experiences across channels and adapt quickly to your customers’ needs. Explore GlobalLogic’s data-driven customer experience services here.

More helpful resources:




Abhishek Gedam

Principal Architect,Technology

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