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As we wrapped up another awesome CPaaS Showcase Challenge this week, where I was one of the judges, one thing absolutely floored me.

Spoiler alert… It wasn’t any of the great solutions from our contestants:

  • iotum‘s 2-way video solution that anyone can deploy in minutes
  • SpeechLogix‘s offering that is transforming telecom companies into SaaS companies
  • Vinix‘s post-call AI transcription for contact centers (powered by 2600Hz)
  • Crexendo‘s AI chat bot helping customers over Apple Messenger

This is all great stuff that marketing, operations, and sales teams should be using this year. But we’ve been talking about these things for 5+ years. None of this is surprising.

No, what caught my attention was a single comment at the end of the showcase: “Wow… I didn’t know you could do that!”

This one comment captured the greatest opportunity we have as an industry. Because it’s not just that one person who “didn’t know you could do that” with CPaaS.

It’s sales teams: Sales executives continue to tell me that “I still don’t have simple use cases and examples to start conversations about CPaaS.”

It’s communications providers: CSPs around the globe continue to struggle with how to sell CPaaS-enabled solutions to their telecom customers.

It’s channel partners: A channel executive recently told me that CPaaS providers “have never shown me how I make money with their products.”

The truth is you probably still “didn’t know you could do that” with CPaaS if you don’t write code for a living. Which means our industry still hasn’t connected with 90% of the people who should be using CPaaS.

But this CPaaS Showcase Challenge shows that we’re at an inflection point. We are moving beyond developer-focused APIs and technical capabilities. CPaaS is now being delivered through applications that put the power of CPaaS in the hands of non-developers.

This transition will drive CPaaS from a $16B industry today to $25B by 2025 and over $60B by 2029.

It’s exciting that we all get to be a part of that growth.

Yes, it’s more chaotic than ever. Gartner’s CPaaS Market Guide lists 20 “representative vendors” out of hundreds. And thousands of technology providers are creating CPaaS-enabled solutions.

But it’s also an even bigger opportunity than ever. We are no longer a winner-takes-all voice-and-messaging API market. We are a market where companies are innovating and creating new value for their customers. We are changing how businesses think about operations, customer experience, and employee experience.

I don’t know about you but that gives me goosebumps.

An opportunity this large deserves a community that brings together providers for mutual growth. A community that helps evangelize the power of what we’re doing as an industry. That’s why I’m so excited about the CPaaS Acceleration Alliance. And if feedback and member sign-ups over the past 6 months are a guide, you are excited about this too.

Where would we be now if this Alliance existed when we first talked about next-gen CPaaS back in 2017? Would I still have hair? Sadly no. Would other marketers, product leaders, and sales executive have less gray hair? Maybe. But I can guarantee more people would know “you can do that” with CPaaS. And I bet our industry would be twice as large as it is today.

So now that we have this community, we need to hit the accelerator. Our goal is to make sure more buyers, decision makers, and workers know that “you can do that” with CPaaS. We’ve got more shows to do, more workshops, more webinars, more podcasts, and more content to create this year. It’s going to be fun!

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Robert has spent over 25 years using technology to solve operations challenges, improve employee experience, and create winning customer experiences. As CMO and head of product at IntelePeer, he pioneered the expansion of CPaaS beyond developers and into the enterprise with no-code/low-code automation, integrated AI, and off-the-shelf campaign and analytics tools. Robert loves creating new things and is always asking big "what if" and "what's next" questions. Today he is working with technology and communications providers to expand their offerings, effectively reach new buyers, and create value for customers and shareholders alike.

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