UCaaS vs. CPaaS: Making Sense of the Acronyms

Comparing UCaaS vs. CPaaS

In cloud-based technologies, we often find there is an acronym for everything, and often they are confused and miss-understood. While not every acronym represents a game changing solution or an innovative platform destined for international recognition, but when comparing UCaaS vs. CPaaS, we must understand the differences and similarities.

How are they similar? What are the key differences? What does it mean for companies implementing UCaaS and CPaaS solutions? Let’s take a look.

What is UCaaS?

UCaaS is the commonly known acronym for Unified Communications as Service and is a category of “as a service” or “cloud” delivery mechanisms for enterprise communications. With UCaaS, unified communication services can be made available from the cloud to businesses from SMB to enterprises. UCaaS is part of a global industry trend towards cloud services, also known as “digital transformation”. One of the greatest rationales for UCaaS is that it allows a company to shift from a capital investment (CapEx) to an operating costing model (OpEx) as well deliver a scalable platform that enables a company to rapidly increase their consumption and consume more licenses with ease, or decrease consumption without need for capital.

Some features and benefits of a UCaaS Platform include a streamlined user experience including custom integration with existing business processes, advanced data security, effortless multi-location management, decreased maintenance, reduced IT workloads and improved resource allocation, as well as flexibility for remote and mobile employees.

With advanced functionality including voice and telephony, conferencing, messaging, presence, mobile team collaboration applications, fully integrated multimedia contact centers, Artificial Intelligence (AI) capabililties and mobile first IP phones, UCaaS offers a completely virtual communications environment.

Now the most compelling communications infrastructure for businesses worldwide, UCaaS innovation is rapidly evolving to meet consumer demands.

What is CPaaS

CPaaS stands for Communications Platform as a Service and is also a cloud-based platform that empowers developers to add and customize real-time communication features to their own applications. The CPaaS component of the software stands as a foundation for other communication platforms that are simply “plugged” in; avoiding the need for extra hardware and software.

CPaaS capabilities are consumed by means of CPaaS providers and APIs. With CPaaS users can connect seamlessly while managing multiple devices including web browsers, tablets and mobiles and no longer is communication capability dependent on the device itself.

With CPaaS communications API, it’s possible to provide web-based chat through an application, click to call,  instant messaging, group texts and chats, conference calling, translate speech, request emergency help and more.

So what are the key differences?

UCaaS and CPaaS provide very similar capabilities, but they differ in how they provide the service. With UCaaS, all functions and applications reside inside of a single platform. CPaaS is a build and customize on your own model through APIs that embed communications into existing business applications.

So are they separate and distinct services? Not always.

Yes, there are some UCaaS providers that only offer UCaaS capabilities and limit customization, however, as enterprises continue to demand more communications synergy, both internally and externally, UCaaS providers are shifting toward incorporating CPaaS into their offerings to make their solutions more compelling for customers.

In conclusion…

Vendors that combine UCaaS and CPaaS together to marry their robust capabilities, are making it easy for enterprises to customize their UCaaS solutions to meet all of their communication needs via one vendor. 


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