AI, CX, and security: A look ahead at CPaaS in 2024

It’s been an eventful year in the CPaaS market. Our experts share why they think 2024 is going to be even bigger.

Jay Patel

6 minute read

2023 has been a challenging year for businesses around the world. Between widespread economic disruption and huge swings in customer needs and demands, it’s been hard to drive growth and maintain loyalty. But for many organizations, CPaaS technology has helped improve their business outcomes by increasing operational efficiency and cutting costs.

At a time when engaging customers with relevant offers and services is more important than ever, CPaaS solutions have enabled organizations to interact with their customers—when and how they want it.

Looking ahead, there’s a lot to be excited about in the CPaaS world. In this blog, four of Cisco’s leading experts from Webex CPaaS Solutions share their predictions for what 2024 will have in store for CPaaS customers and our market at large.

As organizations adopt new capabilities to meet rising customer demands, CPaaS will keep them focused on the big picture.

Jay Patel, VP & GM, Webex CPaaS Solutions

We’ve long spoken about customers wanting frictionless, conversational messaging experiences, wherever, whenever, and however they choose to engage with your business. Those experiences have now become a basic expectation, year on year we are seeing increases in conversational messaging volumes and the recent Black Friday/Cyber Monday events saw unprecedented growth in outbound messages. When you contact them, customers expect personalized, relevant, and secure experiences, conveniently delivered through their preferred channel.

Moreover, organizations must recognize that every one of their communication channels need to coexist within a multi-modal environment. They must think holistically, rather than just focusing on the latest and greatest technology and capabilities. Every new touchpoint or experience must integrate with the rest of their communications estate to support seamless, multi-channel journeys.

That said, the AI-based (and generative AI) opportunity can’t be ignored. Generative AI is here to stay, and it’s going to help all of us make automated, self-serve interactions better, faster, and more cost-effective.

Now’s the time for organizations to invest in building up the data, machine learning, and AI capabilities they need to understand their customers at a granular level so they can optimize every interaction they have with them across every channel.

As organizations take steps to integrate AI into multi-modal communication environments and journeys, I’ve seen interest in CPaaS platforms rise significantly. Indeed, the advantages of AI extend beyond enhancing the customer experience through features like chat summarization and improved automated interactions. Developers also reap significant benefits by accelerating build and deployment processes through the automation of routine tasks and standard code. This automation results in substantial gains in terms of resources, efficiency, and cost-effectiveness. Such efficiency becomes especially critical in an environment where retaining or finding expert developers presents a considerable challenge. Looking ahead, I expect this trend to continue and mature well into 2024.

AI has already transformed how organizations and customers interact. But what we’ve seen is just the beginning.

Brian Heikes, Director, Product Management, Webex CPaaS Solutions

As per above, Generative AI dominated technology headlines throughout 2023—this isn’t set to change. Many organizations are already witnessing the impact that AI-powered, automated communications can have on CX and customer interactions, and many more are experiencing this for the first time as it becomes more accessible, quicker, and cost-effective. But what they’ve seen so far is just the tip of the iceberg.

AI is an enabler, allowing many different parts of the business to more efficiently perform their functions. From conversational interfaces to experience creation, and from analytics to content creation, AI will accelerate how your business transforms your customer experience.

As an example of the transformative power of AI we unveiled a new Webex Connect offering at Webex One this year that enables businesses to harness generative AI technology to create and send personalized video communications across multiple channels at scale. For the first time, thousands of organizations will be able to harness the power of video and our CPaaS solution for customer engagement without the long creation times or high development costs traditionally associated with the format.

AI-accelerated creation is one of Gartner’s top 10 strategic technology trends for 2024. As AI finds its way into more areas, including CPaaS solutions, we’re set to see a huge increase in both the quality and quantity of rich content we receive through messaging platforms.

2023 saw the arrival of numerous rich AI-powered CPaaS use cases, from supporting banking transactions to enabling customers to book entire trips through rich messaging. And I expect to see many more exciting use cases emerge throughout 2024.

To improve proactive engagement, more teams will embrace a platform-based communications approach.

Sudarshan Dharmapuri, Vice President, Products, Webex CPaaS Solutions

In recent years, proactive communications and outreach have become part of our daily lives. Whether it’s delivery updates, appointment reminders, or just timely and relevant offers, we’re all used to seeing notifications pop up on our mobile phones.

But those communications are far from perfect. For example, they aren’t very conversational; they’re usually short, blunt, and clearly one-way. They don’t invite a response from you, and even if they did, you likely couldn’t provide one.

That’s typically because they’re being created and delivered by siloed systems. There’s lots of data about you and your journey that those systems can’t see, and they’re fundamentally disconnected from the systems and platforms companies use for two-way communications.

One of the greatest strengths of a CPaaS platform is that it enables two-way proactive outreach and engagement.

With every communication channel unified through a single platform, proactive outreach can become an integrated part of our multi-modal communication journeys. As more organizations take steps to improve proactive outreach experiences and bring them in line with the rest of their conversational two-way communications, I expect their interest in CPaaS platforms to rise.

Great CX is built on trust. So, however you want to evolve your communications, security must come first.

Ramy Riad, Head of Innovation and Messaging Strategy, Webex CPaaS Solutions

Following the recent announcement by Apple that Rich Communication Services (RCS) will become available on iPhone in 2024, the global number of RCS users is set to surge above 2 billion next year.

The growth in RCS adoption is creating valuable opportunities for organizations across all industries to engage with their customers in new ways and provide them with more offers and services than ever before. But it’s also attracting a growing number of bad actors.

Messaging-based fraud, scams, and data theft are all on the rise—and customers are increasingly wary of them. So, if organizations want to drive engagement with their communications and rich new messaging-based services, they need to give their customers total confidence that what they’re doing is secure.

Zero trust approaches are helping organizations tackle that challenge. But their choice of CPaaS platform can also have a major impact on security. Clear, consistent corporate branding helps to reassure customers that a message or service is legitimate.

Looking ahead, I expect organizations to invest a lot more into both the security and capabilities of their CPaaS solutions—and choose platforms that customers already recognize and trust.

Choose the right platform and make the most of the CPaaS opportunity today

With the CPaaS market set to grow significantly, and powerful new capabilities on the horizon, the best thing an organization can do to set itself up for CPaaS success today is select and implement a future-ready platform.

Introducing Webex Connect

A highly capable, widely integrated CPaaS solution engineered to grow alongside your CPaaS strategy and changes in consumer preferences and technology.