Microsoft Dives into CPaaS with Launch of Azure Communication Service
by Jim Lundy
Yesterday at eight, Microsoft announce its new Azure Communication Service (ACS), which is a communications platform as a service (CPaaS) offering built on its Azure cloud. While CPaaS vendors such as Twilio come to mind as far as competition this blog discusses the other implications of this announcement.
What Is Azure Communication Service?
As a CPaaS offering, ACS will utilize the Microsoft cloud infrastructure to allow enterprises to quickly add voice calls, video calls, chat, and SMS message capabilities to desktop applications, mobile apps, as well as websites with just a few lines of code.
Dynamics 365 and ACS: Targeting Service and Contact Center
It was clear during the Microsoft Keynote yesterday that Microsoft is looking to enhance the adoption of the Microsoft Dynamics 365 CRM platform, demonstrating communications to Dynamic for service applications, as well as build your own contact center functionality.
By contrast, Salesforce needs to partner with contact center vendors and either Amazon AWS or Twilio to enable the same functionality.
Roll Your Own Contact Center Is Not Advised
I have discussed this before, but contacts under applications are some of the most complex cases of telephony and omni-channel communication that exists. Building your own application with a CPaaS offering is complicated and not advised as an initiative that enterprises should take on.
Microsoft Refocuses on Dynamics 365
There is one thing that Microsoft never does. It never gives up, particularly when it sees a competitor growing. I’m referring to Salesforce. We expect Microsoft to leverage more of its competitive services as well as the new ACS capabilities to take on Salesforce in more accounts.
The battle between Microsoft and Salesforce just heated up. With its Ignite announcements, Microsoft pursues offerings that will give it more parity with Amazon and make it a CPaaS provider. Aragon feels ACS was clearly intended to bolster the Dynamics 365 business, and we think that it will definitely help given the loyalty of existing Microsoft shops through its enhanced Azure services. Given the significant success that cloud contact center vendors are having in the marketplace, Aragon recommends using one of those providers with this out-of-the-box CPaaS platform versus trying to build your own.