Cloud computing is computing based on the internet that, on demand provides data and processing resources which are shared. This model allows users, applications, and so on to use resources from a shared pool of computing resources that are configurable, for example – servers, applications, storage, networks, and services. Cloud computing allows users to process and store data in third party data centers.
The Benefits of Cloud Computing
Cloud computing helps companies avoid infrastructure costs, and allow them to focus on making their businesses unique. It also allows faster installation of applications and lowers their maintenance while improving manageability. Cloud computing does this by breaking the users’ problem into services. This is a concept from Service-oriented Architecture (SOA). Similarly, cloud computing adopts a few concepts from SOA. It provides its resources as a service, and uses standards that are well-established in the SOA domain to allow easy, global access to their services.
While SOA recommends “everything as a service”, cloud computing providers offer these services in compliance to different models. The three models are- IaaS (Infrastructure as a Service), PaaS (Platform as a Service) and SaaS (Software as a Service).
Today, we will be talking about PaaS and its importance to cloud contact centers.
Back in 2012, a study conducted by 451 Research estimated that the cloud computing market will grow from $5.7 billion to $20 billion by 2016, of which PaaS was estimated to grow at a whooping 41%, to eclipse the other two models. This is a big deal compared to a 37% estimated growth for IaaS, and 29% for SaaS in 2016. The study also claims that over 71% of PaaS revenues will be generated by vendors that have over $75M in sales.
How it Works
The PaaS (Platform-as-a-Service) model provides users applications over the internet. Vendors providing PaaS services offer application developers with a developer environment. The provider develops the standards and tool kits for development, payments and distribution channels. The providers provide a platform for computing, which usually includes an operating system, execution environment for programming languages, web servers, and a database.
The IaaS (Infrastructure as a Service) provides users with hardware that is rented and charges them on a per-use basis, whereas in the SaaS (Software as a Service) the provider provides the user with a software which is rented, then deployed and is often managed by the provider.
Opposed to the IaaS and the SaaS, PaaS charges the user, as and when the user uses the services. PaaS is often used to add to and customize the already existing software, often including the company’s already existing SaaS. PaaS typically does not replace the infrastructure in a business. It provides key services like application hosting or Java development.
Here’s a simple scenario. For a business to deploy a tool, it will require their IT team to buy the hardware, install the hardware and the required operating systems, web servers, databases, the main required application, and so on. Thereafter, they will need to set up the security and define user access, following which they will need to add the actual application to the management of existing system or APM (Application Performance Monitoring) tools.
When all of this is completed, the IT teams then must maintain all of the resources. Instead, you could just subscribe to a PaaS provider who will support all underlying software and computing. The only thing the users need to do is log in and use the platform according to their needs, usually using a web browser.
Now that we know a little about PaaS (Platform as a Service), the question that remains to be answered is – what is the importance of PaaS to cloud contact centers?
The answer is simple. PaaS gives cloud contact centers the ability to utilize their own services more efficiently and fully. It allows for a better platform for them to work on than they would have if they had to set it up locally. It provides this at a lower cost than the other option. Contact centers are free to customize their cloud space the way they like and utilize it exactly in the way that is most sought after by decision makers and managers. The client does not have to worry about the maintenance and deployment of the space, only its customization.
The Bottom Line
PaaS provides a lot of flexibility. It allows you to develop the space you own better and use it fully and efficiently. Instead of creating everything from scratch (IaaS) or using a space by predetermined software (SaaS), utilizing PaaS provides an ease of customization and implementation that is unparalleled.