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Thrio: Third Time, Third Charm

With Enterprise Connect 2019 kicking off next Monday, this week is sure to be filled with product announcements and other news related to enterprise communications and collaboration. And with the growing appeal of the Contact Center & Customer Experience track at the event, it’s no surprise that Enterprise Connect has become THE show to use as a launching pad for new contact center-as-a-service (CCaaS) solutions.


As No Jitter readers are likely to recall, Amazon Web Services announced Connect at the show in 2017, and Twilio debuted Flex in 2018 -- and both solutions have gone on to change how we think about the CCaaS market. Thrio, a CCaaS provider announced today, is hoping the same Enterprise Connect pixie dust will launch its platform as successfully into the market.


Thrio founders, including CEO Edwin Margulies, have worked in the cloud contact center market for over two decades and know more than a thing or two about creating an attention-getting solution. Their efforts started in 1997, with the founding of Telephony at Work and its CallCenterAnywhere solution. Telephony at Work was an early entrant in what has become known as the CCaaS market, and its multichannel web agent interface and multitenant administration were differentiators that resonated with large enterprises, including ABN AMRO, and several carriers, including MCI, Telus, and BT. In 2006, Oracle acquired Telephony at Work. 


After several years at Oracle and other ventures, some members of the Telephony at Work team moved on to create another trend-setting start-up, SoCoCare. As I wrote in a March 2013 No Jitter post, SoCoCare launched that year and very soon after gained visibility through a partnership with inContact. The inContact partnership brought the technology into both Siemens and Verizon -- key inContact resellers both then and today. A mere six months after SoCoCare launched, Five9 acquired the company. That ended SoCoCare’s relationship with inContact, but launched Five9 beyond voice into the world of digital media interactions.


The team is now back together with a new venture, Thrio, with plans to set a new bar for an artificial intelligence (AI)-powered CCaaS platform. Thrio launches with AI tools already built, a complete suite of digital channels (email, chat, SMS, and social), as well as inbound and outbound voice engines.
Startup logos


Like other recently built CCaaS solutions (e.g., Talkdesk and Zailab), the Thrio CCaaS platform uses microservices from the outset. “The key thing about the architecture is that we can automatically monitor, load, and spin up resources on the fly and push updates to individual microservices without interrupting the system at large. And the best part about that is that a lot of that load balancing happens without human intervention,” explained Namir Yedid, Thrio’s vice president of product strategy, in a telephone interview.


As seen in the graphic below, while initially launching in AWS, Thrio will be public cloud-independent.
Thrio architecture


In 2019, attention has turned to AI in a big way. I asked the Thrio team what the AI layer is all about. “The heart of our platform is a network of seamless, practical AI engines to do three key things: decisioning, routing, and insights,” Yedid said. “And the systems work together in a range of combinations.”


For example, the AI engines make a complex workflow simple to change on the fly and straightforward to optimize, he added. Thrio also can offer real-time insights and feedback through those AI engines.


With only 15% to 20% of the 15 million or so global contact center seats currently deployed in the cloud -- and still fewer in a multitenant cloud -- it’s not surprising that we continue to see new entrants into the CCaaS space. Given Thrio’s lineage, it will be interesting to see how long it remains independent -- before being snatched up by a provider not as far along in the CCaaS product development or AI journey.


Learn more about Thrio on the Expo floor, at booth 1543. And if you haven’t registered for Enterprise Connect, sign up using the code NJPOSTs to save $200 when you do.