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6 Questions to Ask Before Selecting a CPaaS Provider

As with any major purchasing decision, the questions you ask can help you select a provider that works and grows with you. Since communications platform as a service (CPaaS) is such a new and exciting market segment, we've pulled out a few make-or-break questions that can help you identify a voice and messaging partner that will produce the business-grade quality and support you need.

The Basics: Calling and Texting APIs

    1. What features do you require? Basic voice and messaging services are a typical offering for most of the providers in the market, but some also offer picture messaging (MMS), video messaging, group messaging, 9-1-1 connectivity, number management APIs for purchasing phone numbers, and more that aren't always standard offerings.

    2. Where do you require coverage/support? Some CPaaS providers specialize in certain locations, or may rely on third-party carrier partners to provide network coverage -- making it more expensive for you. If international coverage is a concern, you may want to consider using multiple location-specific providers to cover each region as a means of cost control.

    3. Do you have a mobile app? If you have a mobile app, the update process is more intense than it might be with a simple software platform. A mobile software development kit (SDK) will help you effectively maintain your API's functionality through all of the iOS and Android update cycles.

The Crucial Elements: Phone Numbers and Number Management

    4. How many phone numbers do you need? Do you simply need quick access to phone numbers for a few thousand users in a particular local area? Or do you need an unlimited nationwide supply? In order to make sure your voice and messaging API provider can answer to user demand, it's helpful to come to the table with an expected amount of phone numbers you'll need, as well as a general guideline to where your users are located.

    5. Does your application require users to transfer numbers from other carriers? If your customers use your application as a primary line of communication, the ability to handle bulk number ports with an API should be of particular consideration. The relationships your provider has with other carriers, and their average porting times, should be questions you bring to the table as you choose your perfect partner.

    6. Do you require features like click-to-call, click-to-message, or call tracking? Some use cases may work better with a toll-free number -- like call analytics or an embedded click-to-call or click-to-message button. It's important to understand your needs and what a potential CPaaS partner can provide for you.

Want even more insight like this? Check out Frost & Sullivan's guide to identifying an enterprise-grade CPaaS provider. It will help you navigate this growing market so you can identify the real business-grade provider that works for your application.