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EDITORIAL CPaaS and the engagement generation game

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It really has been the telemedia story of 2021: the rise and rise of CPaaS. And, as the year draws to a close, latest research shows that its only set for more uptake across 2022 – with the US market alone expected to top $15bn by 2026.

The driver for this is that consumers want engagement. Separate data shows that engagement is now a critical business differentiator for most consumers and it is rapidly shaping up to be the one key thing to have come out of the pandemic’s shift in digital habits.

The online world – be it for retail, gaming, content, or anything else – has become highly competitive. With many more eyeballs looking for their fix of digital goodness, interacting with these people has become a business imperative.

The fact that consumers now expect really fast, slick and engaging experience from the content and services they engage with means that all brands need to look at how they are going to engage with consumers. You have to deliver the Netflix experience to them.

In customer service in particular this has become a must. More people than ever are using WhatsApp and other OTT messaging services to talk to brands. And brands need to be there able to talk back.

This simple fact is what drives the rise of CPaaS and will continue to do so for the months and years ahead.

One of the aspects of this engagement and CPaaS explosion sits around video and live events. While it is ok today to be able to handle customer queries via WhatsApp, soon all brands are going to have to also offer video interaction. Many others are likely to also look at live streaming of events and tutorials, infomercials and more as new ways to drive digital engagement.

This boom in video traffic is only going to be possible with the extensive deployment of 5G – which is music (and video!) to the ears of MNOs.

5G has been a slow burn. Not many consumers have signed up to it and those that have have not really seen anything to make them think it is any different to 4G. But they are wrong. What 5G enables is going to start to play through in 2022, with more and better video interactions and communications.

MNOs have their fingers crossed.

Studies suggest that it is going to generate 77% of MNO revenues globally by 2026. Much of this is going to come from new experiences and live events. And by that we mean both at live events – so  concert or sporting event – or from live events that are streamed across the web from a brand.

Both these, along with new ways to communicate such as video tutorials, hook-ups with in-store staff to ask questions before buying online and even live ‘QVC style’ shopping events are all going to become the norm in 2022 – and 5G will be what makes it work.

All this is also going to feed into the growth of CPaaS, with brands that need to rapidly add this sort of functionality turning to CPaaS providers to plug it in for them. It will be this continuous evolution that needs commoditised tech delivered through the cloud that will keep the digital revolution rolling into 2022 and beyond.

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