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OPINION Why fax is integral to any CPaaS strategy 

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Scott Wilson, Vice President, Sales & Service, eFax, believes fax still has a role to play in consumer engagement. Hear him out

Communications-Platform-as-a-Service or CPaaS is a platform that is primarily focused on enriching customer communication channels, no matter what they are. It’s a route for businesses that lets developers program the entire breadth of real-time, cloud-based communications platforms into their existing applications to give customers the best experience available.

According to eFax, the cloud-based fax solution for businesses, its benefits will fail if the portfolio does not meet the needs of the end-user.

The benefits of turning to a CPaaS solution are clear. From in-house customisation that aligns with broader digital transformation strategies, to not needing to replace existing business applications and benefiting from scalable, flexible cloud-hosted infrastructure, it is no wonder that enterprises are turning to CPaaS platforms to meet their requirements.

For partners, whether managed service providers or those that focus purely on communication application programming interfaces (APIs), this could be a huge opportunity. However, they need to meet certain criteria.

First, partners need to be comfortable with an as-a-service model, with recurring revenue rather than capital expenditure and maintenance contracts. This is a major change to incumbent ways of revenue raising and may in turn require a broader change to corporate mindsets.

Second, they need to have a stable of applications and services that meet the needs of enterprises. That means partners need to be able to offer solutions and build a portfolio that aligns with the benefits of using a CPaaS platform.

The options available are vast, with CPaaS solutions covering everything from standard business services to emerging technology. That includes artificial intelligence, virtual assistants, video and WebRTC, to more prosaic offers such as cloud PBX, phone, messaging, and SMS.

In addition, partners need to  remain focused on the end-goal – supporting the enterprise to deliver the right customer experience. That does not necessarily mean going for the most cutting-edge technologies available – in fact, while the latest and brightest offering may be generating all the hype and headlines, it could well be that other, more suitable options get overlooked.

One example of this is faxing.

We would argue that it is therefore critical that partners do not overlook what they might consider analogue technology. Not that fax is analogue, of course. Digital cloud faxing services offer businesses a way of seamlessly integrating fax into their digital operations, using the tools (such as email) and workflows employees are using day-in, day-out, to securely share documentation and information, irrespective of location, without impacting productivity.

As such, MSPs and comms API providers need to evaluate whether they want the hassle of trying to develop digital cloud fax applications with varying degrees of success, or work with a supplier to provide that capability to the overall CPaaS portfolio. The latter option is likely to be the preferred route, as long as the right digital cloud fax provider can be identified and engaged.

Those providers delivering CPaaS to enterprise customers have a massive opportunity to grow their revenue streams. In what is undoubtedly a competitive market, achieving success comes down to being able to put together the right portfolio of applications and services. To do that, partners need to be conscious not only of what enterprises want, but how it fits with the end goal of improved customer experiences. They need to be conscious of not simply going for the latest and brightest new tools, but aware of everything available and the best way to integrate it within their portfolio.

 

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