Twilio, the leading cloud communications platform, this week announced Twilio Flex, the first contact centre platform that gives businesses complete control of their contact centre experience. With Twilio Flex, companies can instantly deploy an omnichannel contact centre platform and also programmatically customise every element of the experience including the interface, communication channels, agent routing, and reporting to meet the unique needs of the business. With the launch of Flex, Twilio introduces a new type of platform for applications which has the potential to disrupt traditional monolithic application vendors in the same way API platforms disrupted traditional infrastructure services for communications, compute and payments. Flex is built on the same elastic Twilio infrastructure that supports hundreds of thousands of contact centre agents and handles nearly 40 billion interactions* a year.
A company’s contact centre is critical to building and maintaining relationships with customers. However, as customer expectations shift with the availability of new communication channels, companies struggle to keep pace because of the difficulties and cost of upgrading the on-premises, hardware-based solutions that have dominated the contact centre market for decades. Many companies have outgrown the one-size-fits-all applications and are demanding the ability to create an experience for their customers and agents customised to their unique needs.
“Hundreds of companies including ING Bank, Zillow, Simply Business and National Debt Relief have built customised contact centre solutions using Twilio’s communication APIs,” said Al Cook, head of the contact centre business at Twilio.
“With Flex, we are providing a contact centre platform that has a point-of-view based on the best practices we’ve learned, offers options for those who want to get up and running quickly, and gives businesses unlimited flexibility as they design their customer experiences.”
Customisable from Infrastructure to Interface
Introducing an entirely new approach to the industry, Twilio Flex delivers the first instantly deployable, cloud-based platform that allows businesses to programmatically customise every element of their contact centre experience – from the core infrastructure to the user interface. Flex allows businesses to:
- Instantly support an omnichannel experience: Flex allows businesses to instantly deploy agent, administration and supervisor desktops and begin engaging with customers via channels including voice, SMS, email, chat, video, Facebook Messenger and any other channel immediately, either natively or through an integration
- Programmatically customise any user interface: While Flex user interfaces work out of the box, they are designed to be customised at every point of the contact centre journey. Businesses can customise customer-facing components like click-to-call or click-to-chat, add entirely new channels or integrate reporting dashboards to display agent performance or customer satisfaction
- Bring contextual intelligence to every interaction: Flex empowers developers with machine learning to improve agent, supervisor and operator productivity and uses Twilio’s powerful TaskRouter to apply attribute-based routing logic across all communication channels
- Build applications with drag-and-drop ease: Twilio Studio, a visual application builder, makes it easy to customise everything from IVRs and chatbots to SMS-based appointment reminders or surveys — quickly and easily without writing code
- Integrate any application: Flex can integrate with any third-party applications that are critical to the business including customer relationship management (CRM) from Salesforce or Zendesk, workforce management (WFM), workforce optimisation (WFO), reporting, analytics and data store
“Twilio has been working with the in-house developers of businesses large and small for many years, helping them create customised customer and agent experiences,” said Sheila McGee-Smith, president & principal analyst of McGee-Smith Analytics.
“The best practices gleaned from those engagements have been incorporated into a service that works out of the box and also allows for robust customisation.”
An Enterprise Platform Built for Scale
Twilio Flex is designed for businesses and ISVs with large scale contact centre deployments that require an additional layer of customisation in order to best serve their customers. Underpinning the Twilio Flex contact centre platform is Twilio’s Super Network, an elastic infrastructure that catalogues, orchestrates and delivers global connectivity to Twilio’s customer base. Twilio powers nearly 40 billion interactions* a year while maintaining a 99.95% service level agreement. Built on Twilio’s Super Network, Flex enables businesses to support up to 50,000 agents and reach customers in more than 100 countries without having to manage infrastructure or carrier relationships.
An Ecosystem to Extend Customer Success
Twilio Flex provides a robust opportunity for the entire ecosystem of partners – from ISVs to technology partners to systems integrators.
“When it comes to delivering the best customer experiences there’s no one size fits all,” said Ryan Nichols, general manager of Zendesk Talk. “The partnership between Twilio and Zendesk is powerful because together we provide businesses a choice in how to build an integrated omnichannel experience. We look forward to continuing this partnership with Twilio in the future.”
For companies looking for a pre-built contact centre solution, Twilio will continue to refer them to one of its many contact centre partners like Zendesk or Serenova. Twilio Flex provides ISVs new sophisticated components to build into SaaS contact centre solutions that ultimately allows the entire ecosystem to more effectively address the full spectrum of customer requirements.
Twilio is actively working with tier one systems integrators to help customers who want to build a highly customised solution, but may not have development resources in-house.
Twilio Marketplace partners including IBM Watson, Ytica, and Verint will provide customers with one-click integrations for capabilities like sentiment analysis, workforce optimisation, workforce management, analytics, reporting, and storage.
Pricing and Availability
Twilio Flex is currently in preview and will be generally available by the end of 2018 with flexible pricing options including per seat per month.
More than 2 million developers around the world have used Twilio to unlock the magic of communications to improve any human experience. Twilio has democratised communications channels like voice, text, chat and video by virtualising the world’s telecommunications infrastructure through APIs that are simple enough for any developer to use, yet robust enough to power the world’s most demanding applications. By making communications a part of every software developer’s toolkit, Twilio is enabling innovators, across every industry – from emerging leaders to the world’s largest organisations – to reinvent how companies engage with their customers.
*40 billion interactions is an annualised number