The CP 20 is back, and this latest installment focuses on communications platform as a service (CPaaS), which is going mainstream, expanding beyond the core base of digital native companies, startups and developers, and into the enterprise segment.
CPaaS is a cloud-based platform that allows developers to add real-time communications features to their own applications without needing to build back-end infrastructure and interfaces.
The competitive landscape is changing rapidly, fueled by emerging providers now targeting the mainstream enterprise segment, as well as increasing M&A, which is allowing unified communications (UC) providers to expand their capabilities to CPaaS.
According to IDC, the global CPaaS market is expected to grow from $2 billion in 2017 to nearly $11 billion in 2022. CPaaS will continue to accelerate at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 39.2% through 2022, it said.
Raul Castanon, 451 Research’s senior analyst of workforce collaboration, said M&A activity has spiked in the last two years, significantly influencing the competitive landscape, with seven CPaaS-related deals so far this year and a total of 14 last year, according to 451 Research’s M&A KnowledgeBase.
|Looking for more? Check out our recently compiled lists of 20 top UCaaS providers and 20 top hosted PBX providers offering products and services via channel partners.|
“Cloud communications providers – including UC and contact center providers – are expanding into CPaaS with vendors such as 8×8, Sangoma and Voyant, following the lead of Vonage by targeting standalone CPaaS vendors,” he said. “These add to a growing number of vendors with CPaaS capabilities which includes vendors like Avaya, Alcatel-Lucent Enterprise and Mitel.”
Tim Basa, AppSmart‘s vice president of sales, said “we’re in a CPaaS hype cycle to be sure.”
“Many providers have sprung up to take advantage of API-driven environments,” he said. “What’s really interesting is that companies that were virtually unknown 24 months ago, Twillio [IPO in 2016], Nexmo [aquired by Vonage], for example, are top of mind in many circles today. Also, niche players like ZipWhip and MessageBird are interesting.”
Michael Brandenburg, industry analyst at Frost and Sullivan, said he can’t think of a market that’s been more M&A hungry.
“UCaaS, and even SIP trunking companies, have merged over the years, and CPaaS is the next frontier,” he said. “8×8-Wavecell is really the acknowledgement of the need for programmability within all business phone numbers. Vonage’s acquisition of Nexmo really set the tone for what a lot of the UCaaS providers are looking at how to respond to that. They’ve really rebooted what it meant to be a UCaaS provider in adding that API layer, and then going through the effort of retooling their UCaaS solution to release an application on top of that. That programmable platform in my mind has really changed the game that’s visionary.”
Based on feedback from analysts and industry experts, recent news reports and the 2019 Frost and Sullivan CPaaS Radar Report, we’ve compiled a list, in alphabetical order, of 20 CPaaS providers that are making the most of the current competitive landscape and charting success. The list offers a mix of well-known providers as well as lesser-known companies that are making big strides in CPaaS.
Castanon said 2600Hz is a standalone CPaaS provider worth keeping an eye on. It offers a white label, multitenant cloud-based telephony platform designed to simplify how businesses sell, deliver and manage communication services.
Brandenburg said Wavecell gives 8×8 a “jump-start into the CPaaS space.” 8×8 acquired the Singapore-based CPaaS provider for about $125 million in cash and stock. The purchase gives 8×8 an entry into the global CPaaS market, and is an expansion of its cloud business from UCaaS and CCaaS.
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