You’ve probably heard of Software as a Service (SaaS). But what about Integration Platform as a Service (iPaaS)? In this blog, we discuss what this is—and what it means for contact centers.

SaaS applications are individual services hosted on a cloud-based server. So, what is iPaaS?

A related term, Integration Platform as a Service connects SaaS applications to allow a seamless flow of data. But it doesn’t stop there. iPaaS also connects cloud-based technologies to on-premise systems, creating a fully accessible, hybrid environment.

Here’s why this is important for contact centers.

What is iPaaS for Contact Centers?

Contact centers often leverage up to ten or more different tools to interact with customers, team members and management. When siloed, these communications are much more susceptible to breaking down.

Now more than ever, it’s essential for your contact center technologies to work together to deliver the ultimate experience for your customers and agents.

That’s why contact centers are looking to optimize their technology stack by integrating everything. Telephony systems. CRMs. Marketing automation platforms. Communication tools. For the best results, these need to be linked together—and iPaaS is what makes it possible.

How It Works

An iPaaS provider combines a robust core engine with prebuilt connectors for leading technologies, making it easy to integrate and configure with zero custom code.

The iPaaS provider supplies the infrastructure and tools for building, testing, deploying and managing applications in the new cloud-based, on-premise or hybrid environment. You don’t have to worry about an IT lift (or associated heavy cost burden).

Here’s why iPaaS is a great option for enterprise contact centers.

Why iPaaS? 3 Core Benefits for Contact Centers

#1. Fast

Unlike custom integrations, iPaaS solutions can be deployed in weeks (or less).

It is the fastest way to directly integrate your contact center technology. What once took the better part of a year can be accomplished in days or weeks.

This is ideal for enterprise contact centers that need to focus on delivering value to customers without their technologies getting in the way.

#2. Cost-Effective

The lifetime cost of ownership is dramatically smaller compared to custom integration projects.

In fact, a custom integration project can cost over $160,000 over the course of three years, with significant costs up-front in year one.

iPaaS can cost over 45% less with no up-front expenditure. So, for example, a three-year cost of ownership of $75,000 would be spread evenly across those three years.

#3. Features

Most importantly, a fully connected ecosystem through iPaaS provides amazing features for contact centers.

Because systems are seamlessly communicating with each other, iPaaS gives contact center agents the information they need – when they need it. This makes it easier to delight customers on every call.

For example, agents can do things like access caller information via screen pop, in which name, location, service history and other customer information populate before they even accept the call and say “hello.”

With the right integrations, other features can include:

  • Automated user, ticket and item creation
  • Archive call information and recordings
  • Detailed call metrics and reporting

Selecting an iPaaS Provider

Not all iPaaS solutions are created equal. Here are important qualities to look for as you explore your integration options:

#1. Clear Technology Roadmap

Look for a provider that has an established plan for adding more connectors. This will make it easier if you ever need to add a new integration to your ecosystem.

#2. Focused on Contact Centers

Enterprise contact centers will want to work with an iPaaS provider that natively connects with leading CRMs, telephony systems and other kinds of critical customer service technologies that they often rely on.

#3. Proven

When it comes to working with a third party to handle your mission-critical tools and customer service data, trust is critical. Look for a solution that’s stable, time-tested and already in use by companies that put customer service first (no matter what industry).

#4. Customer Service Oriented

Providing quality customer service is important to your contact center. But you should also be receiving quality customer service, too.

Look for a company that’s more than just an integration provider. One that offers professional services so you can make the most out of your technology stack as new needs and circumstances evolve.

What About MuleSoft ESB?

At this point, those already leveraging MuleSoft Enterprise Service Bus (ESB) might be wondering what the difference is between iPaaS and the ESB architecture.

Generally, ESB works in a similar way to iPaaS. They play a similar role—integrating enterprise applications and systems—but have their own strengths and weaknesses.

ESB is more complex than iPaaS and is ideal for legacy systems. iPaaS is typically a more lightweight, flexible solution and is ideal for integrating new systems into an existing framework.

But they’re better together. Connecting your MuleSoft ESB to a contact center-specific iPaaS solution will give you the best of both worlds. All of the powerful contact center features and functions from the iPaaS solution can drive features and functions of other products within your ESB—even those that the iPaaS does not support natively. This allows you to expand your integration capabilities (and customer service excellence) even more.

Conclusion

iPaaS is a great option for contact centers that want to quickly and cost-efficiently integrate their telephony, CRM and communication tools.

Isn’t it time your systems worked together? With iPaaS, they can—so you can make your customers, agents and bottom line a lot happier.

CDC Software connects more than 70 leading contact center systems, with more being added every week. Contact us to learn more.