October 2015 – Prepared by Zeus Kerravala

The unified communications (UC) industry is currently transitioning from a collection of standalone applications to a set of capabilities. More and more enterprises want to quickly integrate collaboration functions into business applications and processes. Using traditional development platforms can be a long, expensive process because racks of infrastructure need to be procured, installed and maintained to deliver the required functionality. This is one reason why communications-enabled applications are still in their infancy.

The last few years have seen the rise of the “communications platform as a service” (cPaaS) market, driven by several startups that enable developers to access collaboration functions such as short messaging service (SMS), multimedia messaging service (MMS), speech recognition, telephony, video and other functions from the cloud. The ability to easily embed these collaboration functions into web-based and mobile applications can reduce costs and create new ways of interacting with customers, and it is a key to transitioning to a digital business model.

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