General • Last Updated 9/29/2023

A UCaaS and CPaaS Primer: Part One

There's a lot of aaS out there, what makes UCaaS and CPaaS the newest trends for cloud software and communication applications?

By Mclain Roth

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PaaS, SaaS, DaaS, Naas – that’s a lot of aaS! Software in the cloud has profoundly changed the way people do business and get work done, and with emerging trends like UCaaS and CPaaS, communication has become the next frontier for as-a-Service solutions. The question then is, how ready are you to take an application-centric approach to the way you communicate?

Unified Communi…what?

Unified Communications – in its simplest form – is a buzz term that “refers to the integration of communication tools that help people exchange ideas and do their jobs more effectively,” per TechTarget. Basically, if your organization figured out a way to seamlessly integrate your synchronous communication tools – think phone, messaging and video conferencing – with your asynchronous communication tools – think email and any other non-real-time modes of communication – in an easy-to-use system across multiple devices, then you have, in a sense, unified communication.

Of course, it’s more complex than that when we include additional concepts to the mix, like business process integration (BPI) and the smorgasbord of other applications that different enterprises use – CRMs and any analytical or marketing automation platforms, to name a few. We also have this thing called rich presence or presence information, which is the status of a person’s current availability – like when you used to change your status on IM to _awa_y even though you’re really there, and people still bothered you anyways – and is a crucial component of UC altogether according to PC Mag.

UCaaS on the Rise


Eliminating communication silos is the ultimate goal of UC, and an on-premise solution could potentially solve this for an enterprise, but the strength of an app-centric approach to unified communications comes in the form of scalability and cost, even though the latter could be debatable if we talk about total cost of ownership.

Regardless, plenty of enterprises see the value in UCaaS Markets and Markets predicts a CAGR of 10.6% for the market, growing from $17.35 billion in 2016 to $28.69 billion by 2021. The presence of a lot of major contenders in the space is also becoming more and more apparent. We hear a lot of buzz these days from companies like RingCentral, 8x8 and West, all of which are in Gartner’s 2016 UCaaS Magic Quadrant (which is where I imagine wizards get sorted if their school didn’t have a sorting hat).

Is UCaaS Right for You?

Perhaps. Enterprises aren’t the only ones moving to the cloud. The UC Buyer provides some compelling reasons why small and midsize businesses are switching to UCaaS platforms as well, including improvements in overall company productivity through better collaboration, and ease of deployment and administration, to name a few. Of course, if you’re interested, doing your due diligence by researching companies that best suits your needs should be your first step. Some factors to consider include the service’s pricing structure, additional features necessary for your needs, means of scalability and overall quality of service.

Don't think UCaaS is the right fit for your needs? Let's talk CPaaS then!

Up next: CPaaS

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