Twilio Lets Devs Build Contact Centers in the Cloud

Twilio last week rolled out capabilities that extend its communications API platform into the cloud contact center market.

The new functionality is aimed at companies that want to migrate part or all of their traditional contact center operations to the cloud, or those that want to enhance existing traditional operations with a cloud-based component.

Telecom Meets Mobile App Development

The new functionality is an extension of Twilio’s original goal of bringing telecom into a Web app environment, Lynda Smith, chief marketing officer at Twilio, told CRM Buyer.

That was the premise on which the company was originally founded, she said.

“At the time, a Web developer or mobile app developer found it nearly impossible to bring telecom into a Web app environment,” Smith explained. “We bridged that gap between the older telephony environment and mobile app development by virtualizing everything a developer needs in a cloud environment with our communications API.”

Now the company is doing the same with contact center technology.

3 Use Cases

Twilio has three types of users in mind for its cloud-based call center platform. One is companies that want to build a complete call center in the cloud and are leaving their old call center behind.

Currently, there is a company in the UK using Twilio in that way, noted Smith.

Another type is companies that want to enhance their existing call center operations with Twilio features, such as proactive notifications, delivered from the cloud.

The third user type is a variation on the first, but with a subtle difference: companies that are migrating to the cloud but doing it slowly, leveraging their traditional contact center infrastructure as they make the shift.

What all of these user types have in common is that the current market offerings do not fit their specific needs, Smith said.

“Existing call center solutions are a one-size fits all approach. After that, companies have to invest in a costly set of professional services to tailor the operations,” she noted. “What we are offering is a way to build the call center you want and in relatively easy fashion.”

A Menu of Options

The platform provides a wide variety of functionality, Smith noted. Users can accomplish the following:

  • build an IVR;
  • implement soft phones;
  • develop call recording capabilities;
  • leverage proactive alerts and notifications — either as a complete call center package or to augment existing operations;
  • develop predictive dialing; and
  • enable click to call.

Erika Morphy has been writing about technology, finance and business issues for more than 20 years. She lives in Silver Spring, Md.

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