The following is a guest post by DigitalOcean
At DigitalOcean, we communicate with our customers and staff in numerous ways. One of the most important ways we communicate is via text message. Twilio, our provider of text message services, offers an intutitive API that allowed us to quickly integrate text messaging and then to expand our usage of it throughout our applications.
We first heard of Twilio through a project one of our interviewees built (PS – he got the job!). The engineer prototyped the Twilio SMS powered Two Factor Authentication system that we still use today in our control panel. Since we launched two factor authentication over a year ago, tens of thousands of our customers have enabled TFA to add an additional layer of security during the authentication process. Using Twilio’s developer accounts to test and prototype, we worked out the user flow and quickly shipped an important security feature to doing business online.
Beyond security, SMS plays an important role in internal communication at DigitalOcean. When we have time-sensitive alerts and notifications to send, our employees look to text as a necessary communication channel. By alerting support staff of critical tickets via SMS, we ensure that our customers get the timely response they need – in some cases reducing response times from hours to minutes.
As a Twilio partner, Twilio’s service helped our customer base in several ways. Not only has the platform effortlessly handled our SMS volume doubling over the last year, but delivery speed and geography (location of the recipient) have been minimal problems.
DigitalOcean’s focus on simplifying hosting for developers. The developer’s first experience signing up and running through features is a critical step in our business. Waiting for a text message would be a major user experience let down. Twilio helps us ensure a great first experience with SMS verification.
As a company with customers on every continent but Antarctica, we have to work with partners who can provide the same level of service to customers globally. Since a few issues are inevitable, we’ve built tools on top of Twilio’s API to surface details of deliverability problems for our support team that allows them to work with customers to diagnosis and fix issues.
Looking to the future, SMS will become an increasingly important channel. We’re looking at ways to use SMS in identity verification and to prevent fraudulent credit card usage. With a combination of a readily programmable interface (text) and a relatively hard to get attribute (a phone number), SMS offers another tool to use in combating identity theft and ensuring that our cloud stays a safe place to do business.
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