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What is a Communications Platform as a Service – and why does it need mobile access?

With TADSummit imminent, perhaps it’s worthwhile reminding ourselves of what a Communications Platform as a Service is, and the value it can bring. Until relatively recently, if you wanted to write applications that included telephony and messaging functions, you needed specialist hardware and had to write a hefty chunk of relatively low-level code to interact with the APIs that such components offered.

The resulting solutions would typically be connected directly to one or more networks and would require close control and supervision. Naturally, this meant two things. One, there was a healthy, but limited range of such platforms and the applications they supported. Two, the pool of developers familiar with the complexities of the underlying network was, to say the least, also somewhat limited.

While there were, for a long time, efforts to broaden this community and bring more developers to the table, they have often floundered over disagreements in approaches or other issues. Happily, things have changed in the last five years or so. Partly that’s because some operators have created their own APIs that allow external applications to interact with their networks. But, while there are also too many other laudable initiatives to mention, to a far greater extent, it’s because of the dramatic rise of the Communications Platform as a Service.

A Communications Platform as a Service is a cloud-hosted solution that offers high-level APIs to enable the widest community of developers to take advantage of communications processes, while masking the complexity of the underlying resources. It takes care of interconnection and interaction with one or many networks, allowing developers to add communications functionality to their applications.

It simplifies the level of code that needs to be created and distils interaction with networks to the lowest possible denominator. This means that more people than ever before have been able to leverage telephony and messaging in their applications, so a whole generation schooled in scripting languages from the web is now able to participate in developing new services and applications.

But, there’s another consequence of this and, in fact, it’s this that is the really interesting part. As a result of the rise of the CPaaS, we have seen the incorporation of communications capabilities into applications that may not have had them before. Rather than building a specific telephony application, say, or doing something for an individual network, a host of new capabilities have been realised. This has generated significant value. The rise of CPaaS solutions led to an explosion of innovation and clever new ways of interaction between services, applications and people – across the broadest range of networks and devices.

This is what TADSummit is really about. Enabling more and more developers to do interesting – and often cool – things with their applications. The CPaaS community has experienced tremendous growth and is expected to grow further, as more and more developers recognise the value of interacting with traditional communications networks.

Even so, much remains to be done. There are some areas of the network for which specialist help is needed, because of the unique complexity of some of the processes that they must support. Take mobile roaming, for example. This is difficult, it requires cross-network signalling and a huge array of notifications to ensure the right person is billed, that the right services are delivered and that the right capabilities are delivered. It’s also regulated in many countries, which adds another level of difficultly. There are many other examples – yes, developers can do a lot, but there are some things that they cannot do without deeper integration of CPaaS solutions with mobile and fixed networks.

And, that’s the problem we solve. At Partitionware, we know mobile and we know mobile networks. We understand how to connect in highly regulated environments and build services that can perform as expected while meeting stringent requirements. We have brought these capabilities to the CPaaS and development community, so that they can capitalise on yet more resources to boost innovation. We can help you.

So, if you are coming to TADSummit and are thinking about how you might mobilise your applications, you should talk to our team. Get in touch to make an appointment!

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