SHARE



ABOUT THE AUTHOR


Sheila McGee-Smith
Sheila McGee-Smith, who founded McGee-Smith Analytics in 2001, is a leading communications industry analyst and strategic consultant focused on the...
Read Full Bio >>
SHARE



Sheila McGee-Smith | September 11, 2018 |

 
   

Twilio Acquires WFO & Analytics Startup Ytica

Twilio Acquires WFO & Analytics Startup Ytica Ytica has been elevated from partner status to an integral part of Twilio and Flex.

Ytica has been elevated from partner status to an integral part of Twilio and Flex.

It's a widely held opinion that serial entrepreneurs are born, not made. Jeff Lawson, co-founder and CEO of Twilio, certainly fits the definition, as a quick perusal of his Linkedin profile attests. In the last 20 years, he has been founding CEO and/or CTO of four companies, among them StubHub.

It's no surprise then that for Twilio's latest acquisition, Lawson has chosen a firm led by an entrepreneur that has himself founded two firms. Twilio announced today that it has acquired Ytica, a key partner of Twilio's contact center solution Flex, that offers a suite of contact center reporting, speech analytics, and quality management applications.

Šimon Vostrý, founder and CEO of Ytica, was also the founder and CEO of another workforce optimization (WFO) firm, Zoom International. In 1999, at the age of 18, Vostrý started Zoom in his hometown of Prague, Czech Republic. Over the next eighteen years, Vostrý created a company with implementations in 90 countries that today provides omnichannel call recording, screen capture, quality management, and speech analytics solutions for its clients.

I caught up with Al Cook, head of Twilio Flex, and Vostrý at the end of August for a telephone interview at the beginning of their multi-city "Flexpo" tour. Starting in Dublin, moving to New York City and finally to San Francisco, Flexpo was a day-long immersion in all things Flex to energize the sales people, engineers and support people who are tasked with taking the Flex story to the world.

During our conversation, I had an opportunity to delve into why Ytica has been elevated from partner status to an integral part of Twilio and Flex. In addition, Cook provided some general updates on Flex as it heads toward general availability–expected to be announced at Twilio's Signal event, scheduled for mid- October.

portable
With Zoom International growing and successful, in 2017 Vostrý faced a very personal innovator's dilemma. There were things he wanted to do, technology directions he wanted to explore, but found, "It's very difficult to disrupt your own company." He decided to form a new team and put his brightest people on it. He gave himself a budget but not a lot of other constraints.

Starting totally from scratch, Vostrý had a vision to build a next-generation WFO solution, one that was cloud-first and built on microservices. With a team of 15 people, Ytica put all its efforts into building an AWS-deployed, highly customizable portfolio of omnichannel reporting, speech and desktop analytics, and quality management solutions that can address the needs of customers with up to tens of thousands of agents.

It's that portfolio of solutions, and those people, that now become an integral part of the Twilio Flex team. As Cook pointed out, this is not a technology tuck-in, but a technology and talent acquisition. Cook added that Twilio has been partnered with Ytica for well over a year. From the demo shown at Enterprise Connect 2018, where Flex was launched to deployments with early customers, Ytica has been an integral part of Flex from the outset.

Cook went on to say that Twilio will continue actively working with other WFO partners. This will be especially true for workforce management (WFM) as Ytica's portfolio does not include a WFM solution.

In terms of overall Flex updates, some of what I was told remains under wraps until the company's Signal event. But Cook did share these comments on the record, and I've also gleaned other public insights from Twilio's recent second quarter earnings call for financial analysts:

  • Most of the early Flex pipeline customers are companies that were hand-selected, presumably from Twilio's significant list of customers. Cook said that many of the customers expressing an interest in Flex have over 3,000 agents.
  • The first Flex customer in production has completed its entire migration of thousands of agents. Twilio Flex customers discussed publicly include Shopify and Liberty Mutual. It's worth noting that Shopify has been on Talkdesk's customer list for over a year.
  • Lawson commented on a recent earnings call: "We're not disclosing the number of participants in the [Flex] beta program, but we certainly are oversubscribed. ... We have recently opened up the program to take in more people because we've seen such demand."

Al Cook has been in a hiring frenzy, so expect to see disclosure of the size of the Flex team and a list of some notable hires at the upcoming Signal event. What becomes clear when speaking to him, or listening to Lawson, is that Flex is about more than bringing a single contact center solution to market. From human resources to marketing, from the sales people to the CEO, Flex is a company-wide effort.

Follow Sheila McGee-Smith on Twitter and Google+!
@McGeeSmith

Related content:





COMMENTS




September 26, 2018

Join Kevin Kieller, Microsoft UC&C expert, along with Ribbon Communications and Polycom, for an update on Microsoft Ignite, and a focus on critical things you need to know about your voice depl

August 29, 2018

Moving your voice services to the cloud introduces new challenges for 9-1-1 services. These include the need to serve multiple locations, and the increased mobility that comes with having a phone t

August 8, 2018

Artificial intelligence (AI) is becoming a reality for your contact center. But to turn the promise of AI into practical reality, there are a couple of prerequisites: Moving to the cloud and integr

March 12, 2018
An effective E-911 implementation doesn't just happen; it takes a solid strategy. Tune in for tips from IT expert Irwin Lazar, of Nemertes Research.
March 9, 2018
IT consultant Steve Leaden lays out the whys and how-tos of getting the green light for your convergence strategy.
March 7, 2018
In advance of his speech tech tutorial at EC18, communications analyst Jon Arnold explores what voice means in a post-PBX world.
February 28, 2018
Voice engagement isn't about a simple phone call any longer, but rather a conversational experience that crosses from one channel to the next, as Daniel Hong, a VP and research director with Forrester....
February 16, 2018
What trends and technologies should you be up on for your contact center? Sheila McGee-Smith, Contact Center & Customer Experience track chair for Enterprise Connect 2018, gives us the lowdown.
February 9, 2018
Melanie Turek, VP of connected work research at Frost & Sullivan, walks us through key components -- and sticking points -- of customer-oriented digital transformation projects.
February 2, 2018
UC consultant Marty Parker has crunched lots of numbers evaluating UC options; tune in for what he's learned and tips for your own analysis.
January 26, 2018
Don't miss out on the fun! Organizer Alan Quayle shares details of his pre-Enterprise Connect hackathon, TADHack-mini '18, showcasing programmable communications.
December 20, 2017
Kevin Kieller, partner with enableUC, provides advice on how to move forward with your Skype for Business and Teams deployments.
December 20, 2017
Zeus Kerravala, principal analyst with ZK Research, shares his perspective on artificial intelligence and the future of team collaboration.
December 20, 2017
Delanda Coleman, Microsoft senior marketing manager, explains the Teams vision and shares use case examples.
November 30, 2017
With a ruling on the FCC's proposed order to dismantle the Open Internet Order expected this month, communications technology attorney Martha Buyer walks us through what's at stake.
October 23, 2017
Wondering which Office 365 collaboration tool to use when? Get quick pointers from CBT Nuggets instructor Simona Millham.
September 22, 2017
In this podcast, we explore the future of work with Robert Brown, AVP of the Cognizant Center for the Future of Work, who helps us answer the question, "What do we do when machines do everything?"
September 8, 2017
Greg Collins, a technology analyst and strategist with Exact Ventures, delivers a status report on 5G implementation plans and tells enterprises why they shouldn't wait to move ahead on potential use ....
August 25, 2017
Find out what business considerations are driving the SIP trunking market today, and learn a bit about how satisfied enterprises are with their providers. We talk with John Malone, president of The Ea....
August 16, 2017
World Vision U.S. is finding lots of goodness in RingCentral's cloud communications service, but as Randy Boyd, infrastructure architect at the global humanitarian nonprofit, tells us, he and his team....
August 11, 2017
Alicia Gee, director of unified communications at Sutter Physician Services, oversees the technical team supporting a 1,000-agent contact center running on Genesys PureConnect. She catches us up on th....
August 4, 2017
Andrew Prokop, communications evangelist with Arrow Systems Integration, has lately been working on integrating enterprise communications into Internet of Things ecosystems. He shares examples and off....
July 27, 2017
Industry watcher Elka Popova, a Frost & Sullivan program director, shares her perspective on this acquisition, discussing Mitel's market positioning, why the move makes sense, and more.
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.