Pankaj is the Founder & CEO of EnableX, a global full-stack communications platform and solutions provider. He is a highly experienced, successful business leader with an expertise in the management of global businesses. He is also, a serial entrepreneur for over two decades, Pankaj has created and scaled-up multiple successful IT and telecom businesses. Set-up as a joint venture between Arkadin (a global leader in remote communication and collaboration services) and Confer India, which he founded in 2004, Pankaj led Arkadin India as its Country Manager & MD for over a decade. Prior to Confer India, Pankaj set-up DIN Engineering Services, an IT services firm. An active angel investor, he believes strongly in mentoring start-ups & founders. His areas of interest include innovation, strategic alliances and partnerships, real-time communication technologies, and digital transformation.
Communication lies at the heart of the modern organization. Today’s customers use multiple communications apps each day and expect businesses to help them navigate their experiences quickly, accurately and effectively.
CPaaS (Communications Platform as a Service) solutions allow companies to integrate video, voice, and text messaging services into their existing business applications.
CPaaS is one of the fastest-growing sectors in the enterprise software industry. According to a report, the CPaaS market was worth around $8.73 billion in 2021. The report also projects the market to grow at a CAGR of 28.1% to $62.45 billion by 2029. CPaaS is becoming popular as increasing demand for real-time business communication, digital transformation during the Covid19 pandemic, and adoption of cloud computing take hold.
While working with leading businesses and system integrators across Southeast Asia, we’re seeing a few key trends play out:
Rise of Low-Code and No-Code
In this age of rapid digital transformation, business leaders want developers to implement new features and develop apps as quickly as possible. As a result, more businesses are turning to low- and no-code development tools to fast-track IT projects. From a cost and time standpoint, low code will soon overtake conventional software development across multiple industries.
According to a survey, around 85% of engineering leads think low-code and no-code are the future of software development. And 2023 will be the year of low-code/no-code CPaaS.
Traditional CPaaS development involves APIs, SDKs, sample code, and documentation. Developers then build applications, integrating with other business software, which is time-consuming.
Low-code tools help circumvent this long process- developers use pre-built templates and bits of code to create apps quickly. No-code tools need no coding expertise, allowing non-technical personnel to test launch applications seamlessly.
SaaS In SMEs and Middle-Market Businesses to Gain Pace
SMEs cite the cost of traditional business software, and the need for in-house IT infrastructure as the biggest challenge they face in their efforts toward business automation. However, SaaS makes it easier for them to leverage tools once available only to big companies.
In 2023, we will see more SMEs and mid-market businesses investing in SaaS to automate different operations, from project management and customer relationship management to enterprise resource planning.
The trend will have a direct and positive impact on the CPaaS sector. We will see an increase in demand for CPaaS tools tailored to the needs of SMEs and mid-market businesses.
Cybersecurity to Gain Prominence
While innovation is on the rise, increased cyberattacks on businesses globally are also a reality. Most cyberattacks first target the communication channels a company uses. 2023 will see a push for CPaaS solutions built with cybersecurity in mind.
Most businesses want to invest in an integrated solution, which includes safety of their communications, database, and other digital assets. CPaaS providers will have to offer protected APIs, data protection, and privacy features like end-to-end encryption. Government regulation across key industries will also play a role, from a data localization and risk vector identification perspective.
Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning
While AI and machine learning have long been buzzwords in ITES, they are now getting closer than ever to commercial use. For e.g- while website bots are dime a dozen, many of them only seem intelligent until they are collecting your information. With ChatGPT and other such technologies- the bots are getting ready to take over more of the mundane tasks a business conducts while interacting with customers! Instead, more industries and sectors will increasingly invest in these technologies to automate business processes and leverage data analytics.
CPaaS providers will rely on AI and machine learning to improve audio-visual communication and enable features like facial recognition, translation, text-to-speech, speech-to-text, and chatbots. CPaaS vendors also have valuable data at their tips. With AI and machine learning, they can perform different analyses to understand how their clients utilize the product and improve outcomes.
Blockchain Will Make Its Way to CPaaS
Even though blockchain is a novel technology largely limited to Web3 projects like cryptocurrency and NFTs, it has plenty of other use cases. 2023 will likely see many more blockchain-enabled CPaaS products in the market. Blockchain will finally remove the dependence of CPaaS on a centralized network to enable communication between consumers and businesses. At the same time, blockchain’s decentralized nature will ensure secure communication. We will see more CPaaS products built with peer-to-peer communication models in mind, making it easier for companies to implement and scale communication features in their existing solutions.
The trends I’ve shared above are some broad strokes on how I see the business developing in 2023. Overall, the future for CPaaS is bright- clients and prospects are excited to see what they can build with it. Digital transformation, cloud computing and various other buzzwords have had their day in the sun, and from here on, expect a lot of action on low code, smart automation and Industry 4.0!