CPaaS contributes to a full customer experience and ensures that you can be in contact with your customers at any time of the day. How is CPaaS growing in the Middle East and how can businesses benefit from this rising real-time communication framework?
Wael Ali is the Regional Director of CM.com in the Middle East. CM.com is a Gartner-recognized representative CPaaS vendor. Based in Dubai, Wael experiences the growth of CPaaS in the Middle East and will explain this and the benefits of CPaaS for businesses.
CPaaS is growing worldwide. Do you also witness this in the Middle East?
Yes, absolutely. And especially in the Gulf region (Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the UAE). These countries are very well developed and advanced. When opening a business in a new market, timing is very important and currently it is the right time in this area. Big companies like Uber, Amazon and Netflix are starting to operate in this region as they want good quality and a short time to market, CPaaS is the right answer to that. There is a big population over here, and the people like multimedia, high tech and entertainment. It’s a very promising market for businesses.
Do you recognize any trends currently?
The Middle East is part of the worldwide global market, so the trends here are similar to the trends somewhere else, but of course, there are different levels.
I see three big trends currently. The first one is virtualization, businesses are working less with servers and more in the cloud these days. This results in lower investments, no capital expense, no need for data centres and servers, faster time to market and no limitation in locations.
The second trend is the use of omnichannel. Businesses in the Gulf area are using SMS and voice for a very long time but are also looking for other means now. For example, chat apps and chatbots are very upcoming to realize one-on-one contact with customers.
Another trend I witness is automation, especially in e-commerce. A customer does one thing in a web shop and the whole process will be automated afterwards. From digital marketing to confirmation e-mails, to SMS, to delivery etc. The full customer journey is automated.
What communication means are mostly used?
SMS and voice have been used for years. In the Gulf countries, wherever you go, everything is linked to your mobile phone number. It’s like your second passport. For every company that wants to reach a customer, it’s via their mobile phones. For voice there are two use cases, call centres use voice to call and promote products. When it comes to voice campaigns, so text to speech, it’s more for surveys. And these days, chatbots and push notifications are also becoming increasingly bigger.
What countries are front-runners in the Middle East?
Currently, the United Arab Emirates is pioneering. But especially the countries in the Gulf area are on the rise.
CM.com is a recognized CPaaS partner and operates since 1999. What are the benefits of CM.com’s CPaaS?
CM.com has already built a very good reputation, which started in Europe. In 19 years, the company has grown into a trustworthy international player with offices everywhere around the world. Operating worldwide, it is important to understand the markets and the customers. That’s why we work with locals, such as myself, that understand the culture and the languages. One of the main important assets of operating in this area is to understand the needs of the market and its end users.
Besides that, the products of CM.com are of high quality and innovation plays a crucial role. CM.com has a 24/7 customer support team and a variety of products such as SMS, voice, hybrid messaging, chat apps, payments, ticket etc. all in one platform. We can offer all the options for businesses to be able to reach their end users.
What about the competition?
The competition is high as every CPaaS company wants their share. Especially in the six countries I mentioned earlier. There are local competitors and international competitors. Businesses will choose a CPaaS partner, based on their wants and needs regarding products and channels. Companies that want a full service with SMS, voice, payments, chat, ticketing etc. will choose for a bigger international player such as CM.com who can provide them with all channels together. In this case it’s more about innovation, understanding and a sustainable cooperation instead of the lowest price.
How do you see the future of CPaaS in the Middle East?
CPaaS is the future, especially in this region. As I already mentioned, mobile phone numbers are used for a lot of purposes. Whether it is for personal or commercial issues, everything is linked to your mobile phone number. Every business interacts with its customers via mobile phones. Normally, people receive 8 to 12 texts per day from all kinds of companies. This is different from Europe where you have the GDPR. Campaigns here can be done based on age, sexes, religion, and even on salary. Anyone in this area can get access to a database.
Communicating with clients via mobile phone is very important for (digital) marketing and for all other related businesses. And as mobile phones are getting so advanced, SMS is not the only solution anymore. Every form of communication can be handled via our mobile phones.
What advice will you give to businesses regarding CPaaS?
CPaaS is the future, it is less costly and the time to market is much faster. Now is the right time.
I want businesses to know that if you are looking for reliable solutions in the Middle East, please don’t hesitate to contact me. I can think with you regarding digital marketing and any digital transformation. I am always here to help and make success stories together.