SHARE



ABOUT THE AUTHOR


Dave Michels
Dave Michels is a Principal Analyst at TalkingPointz. His unique perspective on unified communications comes from a career involving telecommunications...
Read Full Bio >>
SHARE



Dave Michels | October 19, 2012 |

 
   

Twilio Expands Features and Global Reach

Twilio Expands Features and Global Reach At TwilioCon, the company provided some stats that confirm its model of cloud-based communication APIs resonates with developers.

At TwilioCon, the company provided some stats that confirm its model of cloud-based communication APIs resonates with developers.

Twilio is growing. The company provided some stats that confirm its model of cloud-based communication APIs resonates with developers. The forum was TwilioCon in San Francisco, which is the company's event for developer interaction and inspiration.

In his keynote, CEO Jeff Lawson said Twilio's community of active developers now numbers 150,000, and the last 50,000 came in just four months. He added that Twilio applications have interacted with 150 million phone numbers, recorded over 100 million minutes of audio, and in 2012 averaged 1.5 million calls per day.

Jeff's keynote had two major themes: software is the key to solving problems, and customer communications are increasingly international. Through the course of his presentation, he dropped seven major announcements.

Jeff greeted the room full of developers with the statement: "We are software people," and referred to Marc Andreessen's quote that software is eating the world. Jeff said, "Every day more and more problems are in the domain of software, allowing us to solve problems." For example, Uber, a Twilio customer, is using software to disrupt transportation-for-hire.

Jeff referred to premises-based solutions as "monolithic packages that do what they do," which is rarely what software people need. He compared using the blunt APIs of premises equipment to painting the Mona Lisa with a roller brush. The role of software people has never been more important, according to Jeff, because they "create experiences, and experiences are all that matter."

Within his presentation, Jeff took a moment to highlight what his firm calls "Doers." Throughout the hall were large banners celebrating the "Doers" that Twilio recently recognized for innovative approaches to old problems.

Tiago Paiva, a developer, was recognized for creating Talkdesk, a browser-based call center solution that integrates with Salesforce, Highrise, ZenDesk, and Desk.com. Talkdesk is in use at MinuteLabs, VIP Realtors, and Chevrolet.

Another Doer was Kunal Batra, whose company, General Machines, is disrupting the TTY device space with a new service called Deaftel. The service converts speech to text, and is now available as an iPhone app. A related success story is RedBeacon, which uses Twilio's SMS to match hardware consumers to contractors (that is, hardware for home improvement, not computer hardware). The company was recently acquired by Home Depot.

There are plenty of consumer oriented examples, but Twilio is also penetrating corporate applications as well, though often as part of a third-party solution. Sam Boonin, VP of customer engagement at Zendesk, explained that using Twilio to create Zendesk Voice was well received by its customers. He said, "If you put it out there and make it simple, people will adopt it."

Zendesk provides customer support software as a service, and expanded into voice services by enabling its customers to provision new support telephone numbers "in three clicks." Soon after launch, the company had sign-ups in 65 countries, 1,700 accounts, and processed over 20,000 hours of live calls.

Twilio continues to expand its channels to reach more developers. At the event, the company announced a new partner program aimed at ISVs and system integrators, effectively a new app exchange environment to connect market demand with Twilio partners. Twilio promises sales, marketing, and technical support through the program.

Last May Twilio announced a partnership with Microsoft Azure. At Twiliocon, Scott Guthrie, a Corporate VP at Microsoft, demonstrated how Azure developers could access Twilio through Azure's developer portal, which includes sample scripts and SDKs. Scott and Jeff demonstrated how an application similar to Evernote that was created and stored in the Azure cloud could utilize the Twilio and iOS SDK to enable collaboration. Both clients (web and iPhone) could modify the list using web or SMS for updates and to mark tasks as completed.

For the enterprise, Twilio is now supporting inbound SIP. Not a lot of information can be passed with traditional 10-digit PSTN dialing, but Twilio's new SIP implementation supports metadata for deep integration of applications. Also, presence was announced last year at the TwilioCon event; this week, Lawson announced 100 million hours of presence detection in its first year.

Regarding its SMS service, the company is expanding support to an additional 40 countries, and the firm now operates six global points of presence to reduce latency for local calls in some foreign locations. Lawson stressed the difficulty in making SMS and other features work across 1,300 carriers in 180 countries. He claims the solution can seamlessly support text messages in native Chinese, Arabic and even Emoji.

Twilio has made a lot of progress over the past year. More importantly, its approach of combining APIs and carrier services within a single cloud offering appears to make sense. The carrier elements offer unique benefits of premises based solutions (such as SMS), and the APIs offer unique benefits over carrier solutions, as they can drive transactions and deep integration with other applications.

Announcement Summary:

* New Partner Program: Aimed at System Integrators and ISVs. Is not a reseller arrangement, but more of an exchange community to help match market needs with potential suppliers.

* Twilio now supports WebRTC: Currently in beta form, it auto detects and selects the best stack in browser.

* SIP Support: Twilio now supports inbound SIP calls including the ability to pass headers (context) to SIP endpoints for deeper integration.

* International expansion of Twilio API in 20 new countries and SMS in 40 new countries. Also now operating six global points of presence on six continents to better accommodate local traffic in distant locations.

* Expanded support offerings: Includes telephone, 7x24, and SLA-backed premium support options.

* New Test Credentials to simplify and improve application testing.

* Improvements to API regarding cost management: The API now offers real time usage counters and improved threshold management.

Dave Michels is a contributing editor and independent analyst at TalkingPointz.com





COMMENTS



July 12, 2017

Enterprises have been migrating Unified Communications & Collaboration applications to datacenters - private clouds - for the past few years. With this move comes the opportunity to leverage da

May 31, 2017

In the days of old, people in suits used to meet at a boardroom table to update each other on their work. Including a remote colleague meant setting a conference phone on the table for in-person pa

April 19, 2017

Now more than ever, enterprise contact centers have a unique opportunity to lead the way towards complete, digital transformation. Moving your contact center to the cloud is a starting point, quick

July 14, 2017
Lantre Barr, founder and CEO of Blacc Spot Media, urges any enterprise that's been on the fence about integrating real-time communications into business workflows to jump off and get started. Tune and....
June 28, 2017
Communications expert Tsahi Levent-Levi, author of the popular BlogGeek.me blog, keeps a running tally and comprehensive overview of communications platform-as-a-service offerings in his "Choosing a W....
June 9, 2017
If you think telecom expense management applies to nothing more than business phone lines, think again. Hyoun Park, founder and principal investigator with technology advisory Amalgam Insights, tells ....
June 2, 2017
Enterprises strategizing on mobility today, including for internal collaboration, don't have the luxury of learning as they go. Tony Rizzo, enterprise mobility specialist with Blue Hill Research, expl....
May 24, 2017
Mark Winther, head of IDC's global telecom consulting practice, gives us his take on how CPaaS providers evolve beyond the basic building blocks and address maturing enterprise needs.
May 18, 2017
Diane Myers, senior research director at IHS Markit, walks us through her 2017 UC-as-a-service report... and shares what might be to come in 2018.
April 28, 2017
Change isn't easy, but it is necessary. Tune in for advice and perspective from Zeus Kerravala, co-author of a "Digital Transformation for Dummies" special edition.
April 20, 2017
Robin Gareiss, president of Nemertes Research, shares insight gleaned from the firm's 12th annual UCC Total Cost of Operations study.
March 23, 2017
Tim Banting, of Current Analysis, gives us a peek into what the next three years will bring in advance of his Enterprise Connect session exploring the question: Will there be a new model for enterpris....
March 15, 2017
Andrew Prokop, communications evangelist with Arrow Systems Integration, discusses the evolving role of the all-important session border controller.
March 9, 2017
Organizer Alan Quayle gives us the lowdown on programmable communications and all you need to know about participating in this pre-Enterprise Connect hackathon.
March 3, 2017
From protecting against new vulnerabilities to keeping security assessments up to date, security consultant Mark Collier shares tips on how best to protect your UC systems.
February 24, 2017
UC analyst Blair Pleasant sorts through the myriad cloud architectural models underlying UCaaS and CCaaS offerings, and explains why knowing the differences matter.
February 17, 2017
From the most basics of basics to the hidden gotchas, UC consultant Melissa Swartz helps demystify the complex world of SIP trunking.
February 7, 2017
UC&C consultant Kevin Kieller, a partner at enableUC, shares pointers for making the right architectural choices for your Skype for Business deployment.
February 1, 2017
Elka Popova, a Frost & Sullivan program director, shares a status report on the UCaaS market today and offers her perspective on what large enterprises need before committing to UC in the cloud.
January 26, 2017
Andrew Davis, co-founder of Wainhouse Research and chair of the Video track at Enterprise Connect 2017, sorts through the myriad cloud video service options and shares how to tell if your choice is en....
January 23, 2017
Sheila McGee-Smith, Contact Center/Customer Experience track chair for Enterprise Connect 2017, tells us what we need to know about the role cloud software is playing in contact centers today.