Mar
12
2018
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Twilio launches Flex, a fully programmable contact center

 Earlier this year we reported that Twilio was going to launch a full contact center solution called Flex on March 12 — lo and behold, today is March 12 and Twilio today announced the launch of Flex at the Enterprise Connect conference in Orlando. Flex brings together virtually every part of the existing Twilio infrastructure and platform for developers that already power nearly 40… Read More

Mar
12
2018
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Twilio launches Flex, a fully programmable contact center

Earlier this year we reported that Twilio was going to launch a full contact center solution called Flex on March 12 — lo and behold, today is March 12 and Twilio today announced the launch of Flex at the Enterprise Connect conference in Orlando. Flex brings together virtually every part of the existing Twilio infrastructure and platform for developers that already power nearly 40 billion interactions a year and bundles it with a rather slick user interface for companies that want to set up an out-of-the-box contact center or update their existing deployments.

Twilio’s expertise has long been in providing backend communications services and its design expertise is mostly in building APIs, not user interfaces. With this move, though, the company is giving enterprises (and this product is meant for the kind of companies that have hundreds or thousands of people in a contact center) a full stack contact center with a full graphical user interface.

As the company’s head of its contact center business Al Cook told me, though, the main design philosophy behind Flex is to give users maximum flexibility. He argues that business today have to choose between going with products that they can’t customize themselves, so that they have to rely on expensive outside vendors that will do the customization for them (which also tends to take a lot of time), or a SaaS contact center that can be quickly deployed but is hard to scale and lacks customization options. “Think of Flex as an application platform,” Cook told me. It takes its cues from Twilio’s experience in working with developers and gives enterprises an easy API interface for customizing the service to their liking, but also provides all of the necessary tools out of the box.

“The reason why APIs were very transformative to the industry is because you are unconstrained in what you can do,” Cook explained. “Once you put a user interface on that, you constrain users.” So for Flex, the team had to ask itself some new questions. “How do you build user interfaces in a fundamentally different way that gives people the best features they want without constraining them?”

Out of the box, Flex supports all of the standard messaging channels that contact centers are now expected to support. These include Voice, video, text, picture messaging, Facebook Messenger, Twitter, LINE and WeChat. The service also supports screen sharing and co-browsing. Twilio is also integrating its own intelligent TaskRouter service into Flex to automatically route questions to the right agent. A single Flex deployment can support up to 50,000 agents.

Cook argues that getting started with Flex is a one-click affair, though once it’s up and running, most users will surely need to customize the service a bit for their own needs and embed chat widgets and other functions on their websites and into their apps (think click-to-call, for example). Some of the more in-depth customization can be done in Twilio Studio, the company’s drag and drop application builder, too.

Most large enterprises already have contact centers, though, so it’s maybe no surprise that some of the thinking behind making Flex as… well… flexible as possible is about giving those users the ability to mix and match features from Flex with their existing tools to allow for a slow and steady migration.

As we reported last month, Flex will also integrate with all the standard CRM tools like Salesforce and Zendesk, as well as workforce management and optimization tools that are currently in use in most contact centers.

Before launching the product today, Twilio already worked with ING, Zillow, National Debt Relief and RealPage to test Flex. In addition, it lined up a number of tech and consulting partners to support new users.

May
02
2017
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Twilio stock plummets as major client Uber distances itself

 A good report on revenue wasn’t enough to keep Twilio stock from taking a dive in after-hours trading. What at first glance appeared to be a positive story very quickly divulged into a financial nightmare. Shares in the cloud communications company have fallen 27 percent in after-hours trading. Read More

Aug
08
2016
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Twilio beats expectations with revenue of $64.5M in solid Q2 earnings

Twilio logo Twilio, exceeded revenue expectations in Q2 earnings released today after the bell. Immediately share prices increased in after-hours trading before falling back to the market closing price. The cloud-communications company reported revenue of $64.5 million and a loss per share of $0.08. Twilio beat revenue by over 10 percent. Analysts had expected a loss of $0.14 per share on revenue… Read More

Jun
22
2016
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Twilio prices its IPO at $15 per share, above its previous target

LONDON, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 08:  Co-Founder & CEO at Twilio Inc. Jeff Lawson during TechCrunch Disrupt London 2015 - Day 2 at Copper Box Arena on December 8, 2015 in London, England.  (Photo by John Phillips/Getty Images for TechCrunch) *** Local Caption *** Jeff Lawson Twilio today said it would price its initial public offering at $15 per share, which would value the company at around $1.23 billion. That would value Twilio above its previous $1 billion valuation from its last financing round. With the pricing, the company expects to raise around $150 million, with an option for another 1.5 million shares to be purchased. It’s also a higher price than… Read More

May
10
2016
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Customer support via SMS is about to get a lot easier, courtesy of Zendesk

cycling-and-texting Customer support powerhouse Zendesk is broadening its ever-expanding number of support channels today, as the company announced a brand new native channel for customer service over the text messages. SMS may be 20-year-old technology, but there’s a lot to be said for short bursts of asynchronous exchange of information. Read More

Mar
14
2016
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The suddenly exciting future of enterprise communications

cansstring Enterprise communications is not a sector that typically generates palpable excitement. In the enterprise, the plumbing is never as exciting as the fixtures, and people spend more time noticing what communications enables than how it’s delivered. It doesn’t help that enterprise communications is often dismissed as slow to innovate, given its high capital costs to deploy new… Read More

Jan
29
2016
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Our 2016 Predictions For The IPO Market

New York Stock Exchange 2015 was not a good year for IPOs — it was actually the worst year for tech IPOs since the financial crisis in 2009. More and more startups are opting to remain private for longer periods of time. And while we still haven’t seen any IPOs in 2016, the slowest start since 2009, eventually venture-backed companies need to go public — if only to raise additional financing to… Read More

Jul
14
2015
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Twilio Offers Early Shareholders Liquidity In Repurchase Offer

twilio-mms Twilio, the startup that lets developers integrate voice, text and other communications services into mobile and web apps by way of a set of APIs, has stayed mum in answer to questions of when it might finally make the leap to go public.
But today it took a step that some believe could help position it for just that: the company has sent out a letter offering to repurchase Series A… Read More

Sep
18
2014
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Twilio Adds Low-Cost, Two-Way MMS Picture Messaging To Its API Cloud

twilio-mms Twilio, the San Francisco-based company that currently works with around half a million developers to integrate text messaging, voice and VoIP services into their apps by way of a set of simple APIs, is today adding a new feature into its artillery that taps into some of the most popular uses for smartphones today. It is launching MMS picture messaging. Twilio MMS will work on all standard… Read More

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