The Unified Communications as a Service (UCaaS) market is set to grow to $36.45 billion by 2026.
Yet Tomas Gorny, CEO of Nextiva, a prominent US provider of Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) cloud communication services, believes the future lies elsewhere.
His views are well-worth considering. Gorny has a sixth sense for business success in tech.
He came to the US from his native Poland in the 1990s at age 20. Two years later, he was a tech millionaire, after a hosting company he’d joined was acquired.
In the years since, he has faced business ups and downs, but always managed to persevere. He has displayed a particular proclivity for picking technologies set to take off. Most notably, the web hosting company IPOWER that Gorny built was acquired for $1 billion.
Nextiva is currently Gorny’s main venture. Here, he explains why he has decided on circumnavigating the UCaaS market and set sails for more promising shores – CPaaS.
Think CPaaS, not UCaaS
With the UCaaS market booming, competition is fierce. Many providers focus on grabbing market share, and so subscription prices are dropping. Gorny is taking Nextiva out of that race with a different approach to business communications.
His chosen alternative? Communications Platforms as a Service (CPaaS).
Most UCaaS providers attempt to centralize business communications by relying on countless integrations. CPaaS provides all the solutions – from communication channels over analytics to Customer Relationship Management (CRM) systems – in one place.
Operating under the newer CPaaS model, the provider creates solutions from whole cloth, without having to resort to troublesome integrations. This increases client satisfaction and reduces churn, meaning that they’re more likely to stick with the provider in the long term.
“We do not believe that you can be differentiating yourself with just one skill set,” Gorny explains. “You have to be good throughout the entire business operation in order to provide the service the customers need.”
Finding Gaps, Leveling the Playing Field
To identify those needed services, Gorny took stock of the current market and common customer pain points.
“I always try to identify the gaps in the market and see if there’s actually a market in that gap,” he jokes.
Gorny found tremendous potential in CPaaS, as he sees UCaaS providers focusing on the wrong issues: “A lot of products today in the market are designed to sell technology, not to solve pain points.”
A successful CPaaS approach has to be different, Gorny explains. “What we want to do is create a solution that sells itself. We pride ourselves in democratizing technologies. We want technology to be available for everybody, and we want to level the playing field of tech.”
Basing Platforms on the Latest Tech
One weakness of many UCaaS systems is that they are often built on the basis of siloed legacy technologies.
“Over the last six years, technologies have evolved tremendously,” Gorny reminisces, and continues to explain that companies like Nextiva, which are now moving into CPaaS, can harness recent developments. “We’re building on truly modern tech.”
Another issue, Gorny believes, is that many existing UCaaS platforms are weighed down by integrations. Instead of the promised efficient ecosystem of applications, these integrations often form a complex patchwork with countless problems.
“You cannot solve today’s communication problems by just building applications on top of each other, or with siloed technologies,” Gorny says. “There are a lot of individual products in the marketplace that promise that they will work nicely together, but they ultimately don’t.”
Gaining Points through User Experience
In building an outstanding CPaaS provider, Gorny is very clear on where priorities should lie: Business communications with the best user experience possible.
The key element to success in the industry, he believes, is to provide a fully functional platform that is easy to handle.
“We are very conscious about the user experience,” Gorny says. “When users look at something for 10, 12 hours a day, you want to make sure that you actually want to be looking at that.”
The right design and user experience, however, can help the CPaaS model conquer the market. Gorny firmly believes that they can reduce friction, increase efficiency, and sustainably convert customers.
Recent figures seem to support Gorny’s optimism. A July report by Juniper Research expects the global CPaaS market – now valued at around $7 billion – to expand rapidly to $25 billion in 2025.
Which companies will be able to convince customers with their platforms, though, remains to be seen.