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CPaaS vs UCaaS: What's the difference?

Nov 1, 2020

Question: CPaaS vs. UCaaS: What's the difference?



Answer: A great question and one that needs careful consideration before adoption one or both solutions.


Communication Platform as a Service (CPaaS) allows an organization to use communications tools like voice, messaging, video and integrate them into existing applications or processes.


For example, if I run a bank and wanted to integrate video for live support on my branch website, I could do this by using a CPaaS platform.



What's interesting about CPaaS is that you're essentially leasing a communication application for a low cost.


We're literally talking about paying by the minute for a video or voice call which could be a significant value add for your customers while keeping capital expenses at a minimum.


There's several CPaaS providers in the market with new ones coming online daily. Twilio is a market leader in this space.


I'm personally evaluating their platform as well as 8x8's as they've recently introduced their CPaaS offering.



Unified Communications as a Service (UCaaS) allows an organization to use voice, video, messaging and collaboration in a single platform.


Where CPaaS gives you the freedom to customize communication applications, UCaaS offers a standard solution with a variety of features.


Think about your current phone system, video application and conferencing solution. Once these are setup, users learn to incorporate them into their operations.


Sometimes these solutions are from different vendors and don't work well with each other or operate independently from one another.


This problem is avoided with UCaaS.


8x8 Work UCaaS app


Apps are designed to work together seamlessly which results in higher productivity.


Not to mention that you now have only one solution to learn.


Cost are fixed for the most part compared to CPaaS which could fluctuate depending on your usage.


RingCentral and 8x8 are current leaders in this space but there are several others in the market.


I write frequently about my own UCaaS experience with 8x8's platform on Quora, on my website ( and vlog on my YouTube Channel.


CPaaS + UCaaS

The current trend in the market is for cloud providers to offer both UCaaS and CPaaS.


They already have the platform built out which makes it easy for us to use based on our needs.


We'll see this continue as more organizations move to cloud communication infrastructure.


Adoption has accelerated due to the pandemic and will continue as more organizations realize these tools will allow them to operate from anywhere.