A contact center analyst recently asked me why a contact center would be interested in iPaaS, even mentioning that they usually look to their CCaaS solutions to handle similar use cases. Initially, I was shocked. Then, I realized there may be a knowledge gap of the benefits that an iPaaS could bring to several organizations. Let’s take a look further into both.
What are CCaaS and iPaaS?
CCaaS (contact center as a service) is defined as call center software that is hosted or built in the cloud, instead of hosted on-premise. The main function of a CCaaS provider is to develop, host, and maintain the software, which allows contact centers to put more focus in their customer experience.
In the early 2000s most contact centers were running on-premise software systems, meaning it was downloaded and maintained on in-house servers, which required a large investment of resources and costs. When software providers noticed there was an opportunity to host this in the cloud, CCaaS was born.
CCaaS puts the majority of their focus on communication with the customer with features like call routing to ensure customers are connected with the appropriate agents, call recording, to ensure agents are delivering high levels of customers service, and consolidating this data for analysis.
iPaaS, or Integration platform as a service, is a hosted offering where a third-party provider delivers the infrastructure and/or middleware that manages and integrates the organization’s applications. While CPaaS (communication platform as a service) is only able to manage integrating functions once everything is migrated to cloud, iPaaS integrations happen simultaneously and can also integrate data between on-premise, cloud and hybrid environments.
In the past, contact centers simply integrated their CRM and telephony systems with customer point-to-point solutions or (unnecessarily complex) expensive middleware that was often customer built or came with high costs that were relatively inflexible. As contact centers evolved and responded to the demands of customers preferred communication methods, IT decision-makers responded by adding additional applications and/or custom integrations to make their business applications and contact centers work more efficiently together.
With increased need for multiple applications, iPaaS solutions are increasingly more popular by providing prebuilt connections between applications. The “as a service” comes into play because all of the applications are already integrated within the iPaaS, allowing for simple migration and integration at launch.
|CCaaS Features||iPaaS Features|
|Call Routing/ IVR
Call Recording and Management Software Analytics Tracking
Customer Experience Tracking
Middleware/ Integration Management
UI & Data Exchange from Multiple Apps
Open Framework API
Would your organization benefit from CCaaS + iPaaS?
Are there features you need or waiting for?
In traditional point-to-point integrations, organizations either didn’t have access to what they needed or would have to pay for lengthy custom development. With an open framework iPaaS, development teams can easily create or integrate custom solutions in-house, saving considerable time and money. If you have a feature in mind, a developer can easily develop it and house it within the single pane of glass. If you’re relatively happy with the features you’re receiving from your CCaaS but having to create work-arounds to avoid waiting to be a part of their roadmap for features to be created, an iPaaS solution may be a good fit for you.
Do you need to integrate on-premise, cloud and/ or hybrid apps?
Another scenario to consider is if you’re planning a migration that requires integration between on-premise and cloud, or a hybrid of both. If you’re looking to integrate multiple applications that all aren’t in the same place, an iPaaS is one of the most efficient ways to accomplish this.
Do you need minimal downtime during migrations or new integrations?
Are you planning a migration soon and need minimal downtime? The beauty of an iPaaS is that you can choose one with prebuilt integration applications that you need and when you’re ready to migrate, everything is already integrated and sharing dating simultaneously.
For a full list of questions that help you determine is an iPaaS would actually make your life easier, check out this checklist.