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  • By Al Cook
    A New Era of Contact Center Software is Here: Twilio Flex Now Generally Available 🎉 XdPVq9CoY-X4wf60UeR0pdGGtVRu1PgNJ0lwcs3z9-kARMFSUyw1SyPfSNKHFMfG_v53MbbBl8wXngX4_GLuoNi0VHKxx6r4xwSU4bRy46IJKQYErOD8Zx7-sMzEZH7ylvcfPpXn
    • Twilio Flex: The fully programmable contact center platform is now generally available.
    • What’s New: Easy onboarding, Salesforce and Zendesk connectors, a plugin framework, and more.
    • Pricing: We’re introducing flexible pricing options to fit your needs, starting at just $1 per active user hour.
    • Get started with Twilio Flex for free!

    Since we announced Twilio Flex in March, thousands of you have requested access to the Flex preview program, across industries including financial services, retail, healthcare, travel, media, and technology. We’ve onboarded hundreds of companies into the program and thanks to the close collaboration with, and feedback from, these early users, Flex has evolved into a tried and tested platform that we’re excited to open up to you now.

    Today, I couldn’t be more thrilled to announce that Twilio Flex, the first fully programmable contact center platform, is now generally available.

    In the past few months, Flex has rolled …

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  • By Al Cook
    Welcome Aboard: Ytica Joins Team Twilio Flex WFO

    At Twilio, we believe that organizations should have full control of the software and systems that help them run. That’s why we’ve built Flex to be the first cloud contact center application platform that is programmable at every layer of the stack.

    And today, this is why we’re so incredibly excited to welcome Ytica, a long-time partner of ours, to the Twilio team. Founders Simon Vostry and Kveta Vostra built Ytica, an analytics-driven workforce optimization (WFO) software company, because they believe contact centers should have complete control of their data and full visibility into their operations. The team at its core is made up of developers, combining their decades of contact center experience with a software mindset.  

    Ytica has been at the forefront of workforce optimization for the contact center, helping to solve the problems that contact centers face daily—unactionable data, siloed systems, high agent attrition, and increasing customer …

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  • By Al Cook
    Introducing Twilio Flex: A Fully Programmable Contact Center Platform Twilio Flex

    At Twilio we often say, “We can’t wait to see what you build.” That’s because the communications building blocks we provide are only as powerful and innovative as the applications that developers create with them. It’s these builders who have shown us just how far our APIs can be taken, from 3D mapping with AR and IoT potty training, to a life-saving text line and data-driven debt relief.

    But there are still some areas that remain a challenge for developers to build better communications experiences using software. Chief among them: the contact center.

    That’s why we’re so excited today to introduce Twilio Flex, the first cloud contact center application platform that’s programmable at every layer of the stack.

    We’re excited because…well, when’s the last time you called in to a customer support line, dialed dozens of digits, got routed through an infinite loop of automated messages, and thought …

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  • By Al Cook
    TaskRouter: New Add-ons for Analytics and Workforce Management taskrouter_addons_header
    • New Add-ons for out-of-the-box analytics and workforce management.
    • Partners include Keen IO, Ytica, Verint, Teleopti, and more.
    • Available in developer preview.

    Last year when we announced Add-on support for TaskRouter, we set out on a mission to extend TaskRouter’s capabilities. Our goal was to help contact centers make routing decisions using as much data from the customer’s phone number as possible, such as location and demographic information. Now with 11 Add-ons and counting available for TaskRouter, we’re super excited to launch two entirely new categories of Add-ons—analytics and workforce management (WFM)—with some brand new partners. Some are available in developer preview today …

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  • By Al Cook
    Building an IVR with no code by using TaskRouter as a state machine TaskRouter

    The other day, a customer showed me their Twilio-powered IVR. Specifically, they showed the code that tracks a caller’s progress through the IVR. They built an IVR state machine that solved some of the common challenges many run into when building a complex, multi-stage IVR:

    • They wanted a generic, re-usable solution to keep track of where each caller is within the overall IVR experience each time you get a webhook, rather than hard-coding the state tracking to the current configuration of the IVR
    • They wanted for people to be able to change the configuration of the IVR  without making code changes.
    • They wanted a JSON based syntax for defining an IVR workflow so that they could tie it to a visual IVR flow builder which automatically creates the right JSON.

    Their demo sparked this thought – at its heart, TaskRouter is a state machine.

    I built an IVR abstraction …

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  • By Al Cook
    Introducing Marketplace Add-on support for TaskRouter TaskRouter

    Today we’re excited to announce Twilio Marketplace Add-on support for TaskRouter. TaskRouter is Twilio’s skills-based routing engine designed for sending things like customer support interactions or sales leads to the best matched agents.

    Now with Marketplace support, it’s super easy to make routing decisions based on third party data from the customer’s phone number like location information, demographic information and more.

    Twilio Marketplace Add-ons can give you information on a caller based on their number by requesting information from a variety of Add-ons.

    For example, you can use Whitepages Pro Reputation or Marchex to get a likely spam score on a number. Using Nextcaller or White …

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  • By Al Cook
    Introducing Last In, First Out (LIFO) Support for TaskRouter TaskRouter

    Today we’re excited to announce that TaskRouter now supports Last In, First Out (LIFO) for routing tasks. Before we get into LIFO, a quick refresher: TaskRouter is a skill-based routing engine, designed for routing work such as customer support interactions or sales leads to the best matched agent. The addition of LIFO means that you can now choose between the default behavior where the longest waiting task gets delivered to the next available worker, or a new option where the task that has been waiting the least amount of time will be routed to the next available worker.

    So why LIFO? Certainly for a lot of call center use cases, the default (FIFO) behavior is what’s called for. However, we’ve seen a lot of folks use TaskRouter for all sorts of use cases beyond the typical inbound support contact center. One of those where LIFO is really important is in …

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  • By Al Cook
    Introducing Multitasking for Taskrouter TaskRouter

    Today we’re excited to introduce a new feature for TaskRouter – multitasking. Before we get into multitasking, a quick refresher: TaskRouter is a skill-based routing engine, designed for routing work such as customer support interactions to the best matched agent. Multitasking extends what you can build with TaskRouter by allowing workers to handle multiple tasks concurrently.

    TaskRouter can be used for many different solutions, but the most common use case is as the beating heart of a contact center – pumping the right task to the right place with the right priority. When those tasks are voice calls, you typically only want one agent to work on one task at a time. But we increasingly see TaskRouter powering multi-channel contact centers. For example, the global bank ING use TaskRouter to power their contact center for customer service in 17 different countries. TaskRouter routes not just voice calls, but messaging …

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  • By Al Cook
    Using Bots To Route Customer Requests Based On Sentiment and Emotion Twilio Bug Logo

    2016: the year where no strategy or vision pitch was complete without mentioning bots. 

    You can’t watch a tech keynote, scroll through your newsfeed, or be anywhere online without reading how bots are replacing apps, or replacing humans.  

    Assuming though for just a moment that we don’t turn our every human interaction, from wedding vows to childcare, into an AI driven chat based interaction… we have a question to answer: what is a realistic view of how companies could be using bots today? I’m particularly interested in the possibilities for using bots within a call center (But not as a replacement for humans – despite the hype we’re not a fully virtual society quite yet).

    Sentiment driven routing

    To explore these ideas, I built a call center prototype to look at ways to merge human and bot interaction together. I’ve been chewing on a few questions: Could you …

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  • By Al Cook
    Twilio Video at SIGNAL: Pricing to Support Video in Every Application blogvideo

    Today at SIGNAL, we made the beta of Twilio Programmable Video available to all attendees, and announced a fundamentally different pricing model for Video. It is designed to put video in every single app. On top of that, Twilio Programmable Video costs significantly less than pricing models prevalent in the industry.

    Since we announced Video a few weeks ago, we’ve had over a thousand developers request early access to the beta. We’ve seen all sorts of use cases, from healthcare to education to real estate to finance and more. The breadth of use cases has been really interesting, and is exactly what we expected – the demand for embedding video into applications is massive. It’s not limited to particular niches or verticals – everyone and their dog wants Video.

    That’s what we had in mind when we set about pricing Video. We built the infrastructure to be massively scalable, and …

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