A Quick Guide to Finding a Voice & Messaging API Platform
You’re looking for a CPaaS (communications platform as a service) provider that has the voice and messaging APIs to help your business integrate communications into your application, but there are more than a few to choose from and you’re a bit overwhelmed. That’s understandable — finding the right provider can be frustrating.
But what if we take some of that frustration away (and the anxiety) and give you some advice on finding the right API platform provider for your application?
Sound good? Let’s dive in.
CPaaS providers and their platforms
At its most basic, CPaaS providers are a cloud-based application layer that allows software developers to quickly and easily integrate communication functionality into their applications through the use of APIs.
So why does this matter to you?
It means you can add communications (voice, SMS/MMS, phone numbers, emergency services, etc) to the applications your customers already love, giving them a better overall experience without you having to invest in becoming an expert in telecommunications along the way (even the simple telecom stuff is complicated).
That’s why finding the right CPaaS provider is critical.
How do you want to use communications APIs?
Your customers expect communications to be a feature of your apps – they want to call, text, and use virtual phone numbers without having to leave the confines of your app. So what types of interactions could this include?
- Notify your users of appointments or updates via SMS
- Enable users to click-to-call from within your application
- Allow users to use web-based chat in your application
- Seamless launching of group texts or chats
- Allow users to request emergency help quickly with 911 call routing featuring accurate location data
These are just a few of the ways you can integrate communications into your application through APIs (and certainly not all of them). Each of them allows your users to communicate, either with you or with each other, without ever having to leave the application, providing them a better experience.
Pick the right partner
The desire to bring communications into your app really comes down to one important decision — picking the right CPaaS partner.
So what should you look for, and what are the differences?
It really comes down to four areas:
Calling & Texting
- What features do you require? Basic voice & messaging are standard, but not everyone offers MMS or 911 connectivity.
- Do you need international coverage & support?
- Is mobile of particular importance to you? If so, you may require a mobile SDK package as well.
- Does your provider have APIs that are flexible enough to allow you to build the solutions you want while also allowing you to scale?
- Do you just need a few numbers, or do you need an unlimited nationwide supply?
- Will your app require users to transfer their numbers from other carriers? Can your CPaaS provider handle bulk number porting if that’s the case?
- Do you need features like call forwarding, call recording, and call tracking?
- What kind of support structure do you expect or need?
- Do you need 24/7 support and a dedicated account manager, or access to online support forums, code samples, and document libraries?
- Do you need the flexibility to choose your own call routes to optimize quality or costs?
- Do you need quick responses and a root cause for any potential issues?
- Is quality a concern? If you’re focusing on voice or video calls, quality is a prime area you may be focused on.
The bottom line
What’s best for your business? Ultimately that comes down to what you need and which provider can best fill that need. Still trying to figure that out? Talk to a Bandwidth expert to see how we can help you integrate communications into your application with APIs.