What does this mean to the market? And also, does it cannibalize revenues for the UC/CC OEM’s? Enterprises and ISV’s designing Mobile Apps are increasingly moving towards making MultiChannel communications an integral part of the Mobile Apps that help consumers interact with the Enterprises. CPaaS makes it tremendously easier for App developers to integrate these capabilities into their Apps. Uber is a great demonstration of this – an incredibly high volume business relying primarily of Twilio for all its communications needs through its mobile App.

While these Apps may seem to be complementary and broaden the market for unified communications, there may be an unforeseen impact on the market for traditional hardware and software for customer service organizations that are big buyers for UC/CC solutions. Digitization of the customer interaction at the source – in the Mobile Apps and moving to a MultiChannel experience – SMS, Email, Chat, Video takes away from the need for large agent-based contact centers in the long run.

That brings us to the next question – is CPaaS mainstream, or a niche, disruptive subset of the larger UC marketplace. In Gartner’s Magic Quadrant for Unified Communications, Aug 2015, the only reference to CPaaS was a mention of Cisco’s acquisition of Tropo (https://goo.gl/dO8zmn). The quadrant itself has no real disruptors from CPaas yet – unless you consider that Cisco with Tropo, Avaya with Zang, Unify with Circuit, etc. But realistically Gartner’s assessment of these vendors is mostly based on their traditional On-prem and Cloud/Hosted offerings and not really the CPaaS offerings which are yet in their infancy.

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Let’s wait and see if Gartner will include a couple of these CPaaS disruptors in its MQ this year.

In the meanwhile, watch this space for more updates on the evolution of CPaaS.