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A Guest Blog from Cloud Communications Alliance

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 today 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, it’s inexpensive and available to even relatively small companies. CPaaS delivers on many of the promises we’ve been discussing since UC was introduced 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, healthcare, 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 homeowner association and the nation’s largest city, can now communicate in real time with their respective clients, members or citizens with more accurate and useful information. CPaaS, when 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. 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 working independently. 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, CPaaS delivers contextual communications. Improved contextual communications means 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 customers. Customers enjoy a more personalized experience and the organization is more able to present customized products and services. 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 government agencies to be able to painlessly deal with some everyday annoyances, such as parking tickets. The parking ticket could be easier to pay if the interaction process becomes as simple as paying through an app.

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 strides without disrupting need based processes.

It’s an exciting time to be president of an alliance of cloud providing companies with CPaaS offering our members the ability to deliver services that transform the way many businesses and perhaps whole industries operate. Sometimes people have trepidation of change. Caution is a good thing, but having a choice is a good thing too. CPaaS opens up options for organizations of all sizes to provide people with real choices about how they would like their business to operate and communicate both internally and externally. Thoughtfully crafted and properly deployed, CPaaS will deliver better communication outcomes for the people and businesses our members serve.

About the Author

Joseph Marion is the President of the Cloud Communications Alliance, an international association of companies in the hosted communications business. He also serves as an advisor to several technology associations including MissionLink, an association of companies in the cyber security industry, the Association Service and Computer Dealers International and the North American Association of Telecommunications Dealers. Mr. Marion served as President of the William Marion Company in the last 70’s and 80’s. The Marion Company was an IBM and ATT Business Partner that specialized in the sales, leasing, maintenance and programming of mid-range computer and telecom systems. The Marion Company was sold to Datapoint subsidiary Intelogic Trace in 1989. Joe remained at Intelogic Trace until 1991, serving as the head of its equipment resale division.