The Q4 CSP Roundtable organized by CPaaSAA was a valuable opportunity for half a dozen CSPs (Alianza, e&, KPN, NextGen, Telecall, TelecomsXchange) to come together and share their experiences with adopting a CPaaS (Communication Platform as a Service) strategy. In an open setting, under moderation of Kevin Nethercott and with input from Rob Kurver and Critz Chan of the CPaaS Acceleration Alliance, they discussed their experiences, challenges and opportunities for the coming years.
Interestingly enough, there was no discussion about the need for CSPs to adopt CPaaS, only about the way towards success – which of course may be different in different regions and depending on the CSP. Here are some of the main issues discussed:
One of the main themes that emerged from the discussion was the increasing demand for more communication channels from enterprise customers. CSPs are finding that their customers are looking for ways to reach out to their own customers through a variety of channels, including SMS, email, chat, and social media. As a result, CSPs are under pressure to offer a wider range of communication options to meet this demand.
Change is hard
Another challenge that CSPs face is the difficulty of implementing change within their organizations. It can be difficult to get buy-in from all departments and stakeholders, and it can take time to migrate to a new platform or system. Some CSPs have found it easier to start with a UCaaS (Unified Communications as a Service) solution and then expand to include other channels as they become more comfortable with the technology.
To differentiate their offering from OTT CPaaS providers, carriers and mobile operators have the opportunity to develop their own network and security APIs. These APIs can be used to provide enhanced security and reliability for communication services, as they are built on top of the telco’s own network infrastructure. By offering these types of APIs, telcos can offer a more differentiated and potentially higher quality service to developers and end users. Additionally, telcos can use their own APIs to create new revenue streams by offering premium services or charging for high usage, especially important to monetize their new 5G networks.
Marketing to developers
CSPs also talked about the challenges of selling APIs (Application Programming Interfaces) to developers. While APIs can be a powerful tool for developers to build custom solutions, they can be difficult to market and sell. CSPs are finding that they need to find creative ways to reach developers and showcase the value of their APIs.
SI and solution focus
One key to success for CSPs has been the development of a strong SI (Systems Integration) group within their organization. This group is responsible for working with customers to design custom solutions that meet their specific needs. CSPs that have had the most success with their CPaaS strategy have also found it helpful to focus on specific solutions or verticals, such as healthcare or finance, in order to build expertise and a reputation in those areas.
Finally, CSPs discussed the growing importance of low-code and no-code platforms for building custom solutions. These platforms allow non-developers to build custom applications without needing to write code, making it easier for CSPs to reach a wider audience. Selecting the right partners to work with is essential, taking into account not only current technology but also roadmap and co-creation enablement.
The CSP Roundtable was a valuable opportunity for CSPs to share their experiences and learn from each other. The key takeaways from the discussion highlight the importance of offering a wide range of communication channels, the challenges of implementing change within an organization, the difficulty of marketing APIs to developers, the value of a strong SI group and focus on solutions/verticals, and the growing importance of low-code/no-code platforms.
By sharing their experiences and learning from each other, CSPs can stay up-to-date on the latest technology and possibilities in the fast-changing industry, and keep their customer focus front and center. With the growing number of options for CPaaS Enablement available choosing the right strategy and partnerships is essential, and this is where the CPaaS Acceleration Alliance is a valuable help to bring the ecosystem together in online and in-person events to learn from peers and experts.
Over the past 30 years Rob (co-)founded various tech companies, including one of the leading Dutch hosted voice providers (before hosted voice became the new normal). Today, he works with telcos/CSPs and some of the world’s leading technology providers on innovation and growth, especially in the rapidly changing world of cloud communications and CPaaS. Rob has this crazy belief that the strengths of corporates and innovators should be combined in new ecosystems to create optimal customer experience, new business models and solutions for some of today’s big problems.