Twilio Announces the General Availability of Flex, Fueling the Next Generation of the Contact Centre

Twilio, the leading cloud communications platform announced that Twilio Flex, the first fully programmable cloud contact centre platform, is now generally available. Since its announcement in March, Flex has rolled out to thousands of contact center agents including support and sales teams at Lyft, Scorpion, Shopify and U-Haul.

Contact Centre CLUB

In addition, as Twilio continues to expand the Flex ecosystem, more than 145 consulting and technology partners – including Cognizant and Perficient – are supporting Flex via the Twilio Build program. With today’s announcement, Twilio also revealed industry-first pricing options, allowing customers to choose between traditional per agent monthly pricing or a flexible per agent hour model. To learn more and sign up for Twilio Flex, please visit www.twilio.com/flex or the Twilio console.

“It’s been amazing to see the excitement Flex has created in the contact centre market since our announcement in March,” said Al Cook, general manager of Twilio Flex. “Enterprises no longer have to make the choice of whether to build or buy because Flex deploys like a SaaS application, integrates like a premise-based solution and iterates at the pace of a web platform. As of today, we will be rolling out Twilio Flex to the thousands of companies who signed up during beta. We can’t wait to see what they create.”

Introducing an entirely new approach to the industry, Twilio Flex delivers the first instantly deployable cloud-based platform that allows businesses to programmatically customize every element of their contact centre experience — from the core infrastructure to the user interface. Enterprises rely on Twilio Flex for essential features like adding new channels or managing tasks, and can instead focus their development resources on offering unique experiences for their customers and improving productivity for their agents.

Twilio recently introduced new capabilities for monitoring, reporting, and speech analytics based on its acquisition of Ytica, a long-time workforce optimization provider.

With Twilio Flex, enterprises can:

  • Deploy instantly and integrate quickly: A simple onboarding experience allows businesses to get up and running within a few minutes. To customize, businesses can easily integrate Flex into Salesforce using pre-built connectors or add additional capabilities such as phrase detection, call scoring and intelligent redaction of recordings using pre-integrated partner technologies in the Twilio Marketplace.
  • Deliver a true omnichannel experience: Siloed systems for customer communications creates a bad experience, complicates operations and increases support costs. With Twilio Flex, enterprises can deliver a true omnichannel experience with access to more than a dozen channels out of the box, including Voice, SMS, Video and WhatsApp. Developers can also integrate data from custom channels and CRM systems to add context to conversations — all in a single customizable interface.
  • Have complete visibility and control over interaction data: Flex gives supervisors and administrators the analytics and insights they need to manage performance, quality and customer experience. Flex comes with real-time event stream, supervisor desktop, and admin desktop plus native workforce optimization.
  • Automate the known and escalate the unknown: Using Autopilot, Twilio’s conversational AI platform, businesses can rely on machine learning-powered bots that automate information gathering and respond to frequently asked questions and then transition the conversation to a human agent using Flex for more complex queries.
  • Enable agents to securely process payments: Powered by Twilio , Twilio’s new API for building payment experiences, contact center agents can now securely accept credit card payments from customers over the phone.
  • Run their entire contact centre on Twilio’s cloud infrastructure: Unlike traditional cloud deployments, Twilio Flex’s new plugin framework allows developers to make changes and retain control of their contact centre application, while still benefiting from continuous improvements made to the rest of the application by Twilio.
  • Since Twilio launched Flex to an oversubscribed preview program in March, thousands of businesses have requested access to Twilio Flex, across industries including financial services, retail, healthcare, travel, media and technology.

“The exciting thing about Flex is it allows us to build customer experiences the way we want, without having to change our business,” said Chris Wilson, director of support operations at Shopify. “So we can wrap Flex around our business instead of having to wrap the business around Flex.”

“When Twilio announced Flex in March 2018, it took the contact center market by storm,” said Sheila McGee-Smith, president & principal analyst of McGee-Smith Analytics. “Why? Because over the past ten years, Twilio has built a community of 2 million+ happy developers and 50,000+ active customer accounts – ready to explore Twilio Flex as they search for the perfect cloud contact center solution to replace aging, inflexible premises-based systems.”

TWILIO FLEX PARTNERS

Twilio Flex provides a robust opportunity for an entire ecosystem of partners — from consulting to technology. Consulting partners including Cognizant, Perficient, Presidio and Avtex are building practices for Twilio Flex.

“Twilio Flex is an entirely new approach to contact centres, providing today’s organizations with a cloud platform they can use to drive innovation in customer service,” said Matt McGillen, vice president at Perficient. “With Twilio Flex, we have the best of both worlds: it’s reliable and scalable, while also providing customization and the ability to integrate with CRM systems and line-of-business applications. Companies can now focus on developing the right customer care strategies, making human connections with customers while providing a foundation for future growth.”

Technology partners including Google Cloud, IBM Watson and Voicebase are providing customers with one-click integrations for capabilities such as sentiment analysis, workforce optimization, workforce management, analytics, reporting, and storage.

PRICING

Twilio always strives to reduce friction in the buying process, and Flex’s pricing model is yet another innovation in the contact centre industry. Developers can get started for free with 5,000 active user hours, enabling them to get started easily, building out integrations and testing Flex’s capabilities before having to commit. Customers can then scale flexibly with two pricing options: $1 per active agent hour or $150 per user per month.

Price includes use of the features within Flex such as instant omnichannel capabilities, a customizable user interface, WFO, and real-time reporting. Advanced speech analytics is an additional $0.25/active user hour, or $40 per user per month. Carrier connectivity, phone numbers, PSTN connections, and SMS are charged at Twilio’s usage-based prices.

Quotes

“At Lyft we aim to improve people’s lives through providing the world’s best transportation and world-class customer experience is foundational. We were looking for a partner with the right software who believes what we believe about customer experience,” said Jaime Gilliam-Swartz, vice president of customer experience operations at Lyft. “With Twilio and Flex, we have that partner and that software. There is nothing like Flex on the market—we have complete control over every decision when building and can truly own our customer experience.”

“We’re excited about the flexibility Twilio Flex will give us to create and quickly implement new support experiences that can address the wide-ranging needs of our customers across different channels.” – Artie Tonan, director at U-Haul

“The Twilio Flex platform simplifies all the basic task handling, giving us the freedom to focus on the creative use of contact centre technology in our business. We can iterate more quickly, and we don’t lose any control over the things we care about owning. Other solutions are too rigid or disconnected from our systems to allow us to innovate the way we want to innovate, but Flex gives me confidence that we will continue to push the boundaries of what’s possible in the rapidly changing digital world.” – Grace Miller, VP product at Scorpion

“Twilio Flex allows us to quickly deploy contact centres and extend components into different areas of the business. Before we had to cobble together different cloud software, but now we can go to a single platform to build applications with impressive capabilities very quickly.” -Jai Misra, software developer, Cloverhound

“ETAN has a strong tradition of innovation, and Twilio Flex offers us unprecedented customization and scale for our contact centre operations. We’re able to provide our clients a conversational, truly differentiated communications experience with this technology.” – Mike Drummond, VP, systems engineering at ETAN