Cloud Communications: The future is conversational everything

Cloud communications services connect people around the world while web collaboration programs let colleagues quickly respond.

Aanchal Ghatak
New Update
Harsha Solanki VP GM – Asia Infobip 2 550x300

The potential of unified communications and the capabilities of cloud communications services are being explored as cloud communications become more widely adopted by small and large businesses worldwide. Cloud communications, while still a relatively new service, offers scalability, dependability, and significant cost savings to the organisations that adopt it; yet, those priceless advantages are now taken for granted in the sector.


Cloud communications is a form of communication that bypasses the traditional PSTN and uses internet connections. Every message you send, every conversation you have, and every video conference you host operate on cloud-hosted technology when you use a cloud communications strategy.

In an interview, Harsha Solanki, VP, GM – Asia, Infobip discusses what does the future hold for cloud communications?

Kindly brief us about Infobip, its specialization, and the services that it offers. 


We are a market-leading full-stack communications platform-as-a-service (CPaaS) company with reach across six continents. As a global cloud communications platform, Infobip was established in 2006 by three co-founders: CEO Silvio Kutić, COO Roberto Kutić and CTO Izabel Jelenić. Since then, the company has grown exponentially in response to demand for its market-leading communications platform around the world (our revenue hits €1.55 bn in 2022). The company now employs more than 3,600 employees across the globe, has expanded to 75 offices, and is globally connected to over 9,700+ connections of which 800+ are direct operator connections. 

Infobip strives to democratize interaction between businesses and consumers through its services, promising seamless connectivity and round-the-clock customer engagement with an omnichannel approach. We deploy both conventional and new-age channels ranging from SMS, MMS and email to WhatsApp, voice, mobile app messaging, RCS, live chat, Facebook Messenger, Instagram, Viber, etc., to offer users a seamless customer experience. Other channels in our portfolio include Google’s Business Messages, Apple Messages for Business, and Web Push.  

We were also one of the earliest CPaaS companies to transition to a co-creation model from the developer-driven approach. Our services were earlier limited to A2P communication. However, we have expanded to the CCaaS model to offer a unified solution — Conversations, which enables P2P communication, improving the customer experience with omnichannel interactions.  


We also offer an omnichannel customer engagement solution for brands – Moments - which allows companies to onboard, engage, and retain customers by providing offers and campaigns. The in-depth customer segmentation allows businesses to send personalized messages, increasing conversion rates.  

Another star product in our portfolio of SaaS is a chatbot-building platform, Answers. The automation-powered tool makes sure that companies are available for their customers 24X7. This virtual assistant helps increase sales with minimal human intervention. 

Lastly, our mobile identity verification solution offers protection by helping customers verify their mobile numbers, ensuring improved customer experience and increased engagement. We also have a customer data platform (CDP) – People CPD – to build profiles of users and offer businesses a 360-degree view of user preferences. 


Infobip’s motto is ‘Worlds Connected’, which we achieve with our solutions and empower our clients to reach the right customers through the right channels. 

What inspired you to start a cloud communications platform? 

Prior to founding Infobip, Silvio Kutić used mobile phones to send and receive information, creating his first project Virtual Community, which enabled group communications over web, email, and SMS. The first collective message was a Christmas text, shared from the local town hall in Vodnjan to its more far-flung diaspora. Having realized that the technology was not scalable, after several iterations and further projects Silvio began building a communications API platform, resulting in the birth of Infobip.  


Infobip’s co-founders bootstrapped the company from zero turnover in 2006 to $1bn in revenue just 14 years later with no external investment. In 2020, Infobip became Croatia’s first unicorn, valued at more than $1bn, when it raised $200m from private equity firm One Equity Partners. This year, Infobip intends to publish a book on how to bootstrap a company from nothing to £1bn, telling the story of how the founders and its people did it.

How are you deploying new-age technologies?

Advanced technologies ranging from Artificial Intelligence and machine learning to blockchain, augmented reality and virtual reality are ruling the world. Deployed in almost every sector and integrated deep into our lives, these technologies are making our lives easier in more ways than we can imagine. The automated replies on chatbots deployed by companies to assist customers are just one example. Another buzzword in the tech sector is generative Artificial Intelligence, where a simple prompt in a chat generates everything from articles, responses, and captions to images and videos. But even with all of these technologies, the concerns around privacy and cybersecurity loom large.    


Leveraging some of the technologies at Infobip, we have assisted several brands like Uber, Unilever, Nissan, Bolt, etc. At Uber, we addressed the safety concerns of its users worldwide. The company had to protect its riders and drivers, so we helped them add features to protect all the stakeholders and promote security. Our number masking feature enabled Uber to anonymize 90% of the users’ calls globally.  

Now if we take Unilever, for instance, we enabled them to connect with consumers through familiar channels, like WhatsApp. They ran a campaign in Sao Pailo with chatbot MadameBot that advised consumers on taking care of clothes and introduced new products using a variety of audio and memes. As a result, they registered 12,000 customer engagements in seven days. The conversational campaign led to 14 times more sales for the brand. 

Conversational AI, among all the other technologies, is advancing quickly, and companies need to keep up with them to stay ahead of the competition. Such technologies enable customers to interact with their favorite brands on the communication channels they use and trust the most, and provide the assistance they need at any time of the day. Similarly, marketers are using this to engage with their customers, right from onboarding to retention. At the customer support level, agents are able to provide help in a more personalized manner because interactions with customers are well-analyzed.


Highlight some initiatives taken up at your company to deliver a superior customer experience.

The B2C experience has changed phenomenally over the years. We have come a long way from one-way communication to personalized one-on-one experiences. As technology advances, so do the customer expectations around their experience with brands. Today, the customer demands quick, personalized, human-like interaction with businesses.

As a CpaaS provider with global expertise and a local presence, we have a unique advantage to gain insights into customer behaviour from each market. This further enables us to identify the most effective use cases for brands across sectors to deliver exceptional customer experiences. 

Our robust platform and cloud infrastructure enables businesses to send large volumes of communications and digital interactions at high speed with low-latency and best-in-class delivery rates. For example, in addition to enhancing security for Uber through number-masking feature, we also enabled their customers in India to order a ride via WhatsApp through a Chatbot that was built on Infobip’s ‘Answers’ platform. 

Another interesting use case I would like to highlight in the automotive manufacturing space is Bajaj Auto. One of world’s largest two-wheeler and three-wheeler manufacturers was seeking out a communication channel that would let them meaningfully engage with customers instead of sending out transactional, one-way communication. Infobip implemented WhatsApp and RCS as the new communication channels for Bajaj Auto to boost engagement levels (133% rise) and helped the brand achieve increased conversions (2x) and Click-through rates (8% surge).

In the financial services industry, Anand Rathi achieved a 40% increase in CTR with WhatsApp Chatbot built by Infobip. Similarly, we built a chatbot for BMC (Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation) on the WhatsApp Business platform. With this chatbot, BMC makes it easier for citizens, tourists, and businesses in Mumbai to reach out to the administration, seek support, and access a wide range of resources.

So, these are some examples that have used our SaaS offerings and CpaaS capabilities to deliver a conversational customer experience. In other words, our services enabled these conglomerates to help its customers with digital adoption by offering support on the platform of their choice. 

What are the trends that will drive customer experience?

In less than a decade, I’ve witnessed the transition from traditional communication channels to contemporary ones in the CPaaS industry. While SMS is still relevant in many ways, channels like WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, etc., have also become primary growth drivers. Our recent research analyzed around 448 billion communication interactions on our platform from 2022 and found that chat apps are the preferred mode of communication. It reported a 70% increase in WhatsApp messages in 2022 compared to 2021. 

Clearly, the future is Conversational Everything. Customers not only expect personalized communication from the brands but also want the possibility of immediate interaction with customer support if needed. Therefore, I definitely expect an increase in two-way conversations as it provides a richer and more proactive experience throughout the customer journey. Aligned with that, we recently launched a new Conversational Everything Blueprint to guide businesses in creating personalized end-to-end customer journeys. It’s an interesting playbook through which the brands can discover how to leverage conversational technologies to drive customer satisfaction and loyalty.

As mentioned earlier, Uber is an excellent example of how our AI-powered chatbot has made it quick and convenient for customers to book rides on WhatsApp. However, they are still directed to a third party to make payments. That brings me to Conversational Commerce (a fundamental of Conversational Experience). It is another trend that can potentially boost sales as there won’t be any involvement of a third-party app, and customers can do everything on the same chat app. This will reduce cart abandonment, reduce customer service costs, and increase the conversion rate. 

Also, I expect to see text chatbots scale further, and companies will also invest in voice and video bots in 2023 and the coming years.  

Additionally, as mentioned earlier, customer data platforms (CDP) will further enable businesses to better understand customers by analyzing the stored data, thereby creating more intuitive and hassle-free experiences. 

How is Infobip using data properly in the age of AI?

Data is the powerful currency brands can get from their customers, besides the actual business, of course. It is a powerful tool to help identify patterns and trends in customer behavior to make informed decisions. At Infobip, we assist businesses in gaining deep insights by collecting and analyzing data from different sources, enabling them to tailor their marketing and communication strategies for maximum customer engagement. For instance, insights on customer acquisition costs can help companies identify the most cost-effective channels and campaigns, allowing them to optimize their marketing budgets. 

Our suite of CPaaS products uses Artificial Intelligence to enable brands to engage with their customers across channels, including SMS, e-mail, voice, Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp, etc. Besides predictive analytics, Infobip allows real-time data processing for businesses to respond to customers immediately, improving the overall experience. All the data needed is stored in our Customer Data Platform (CDP), People CDP, which is much more than just a repository. Businesses leverage the platform to analyze our AI-powered customer profiling in several meaningful ways to enhance their understanding of customer behavior. It provides valuable audience insights to develop predictive models and machine learning algorithms that can automate processes, identify patterns, and make personalized recommendations at each stage of the customer’s journey.

Additionally, with more and more involvement of personal information and the advent of generative AI, the cases of data breaches and fake profiles have also increased significantly. In fact, cybercrimes affect the security of about 80% of businesses worldwide, and that’s a considerable number. Therefore, encrypting data to address such concerns is a must. We at Infobip use machine-learning algorithms to detect and prevent fraud in real-time. We also believe it is crucial to be transparent with our customers and other stakeholders about the data we collect and its usage. Our policies and procedures for data collection, storage and use are pretty straightforward. We ensure that these policies and our AI systems comply with relevant laws and regulations, such as General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA). They include obtaining necessary consent and permissions from individuals, providing them access to their data, and taking appropriate measures to protect data security and privacy.

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