Twilio Flex: Updates from SIGNAL 2021

November 03, 2021
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Twilio Flex Updates from Signal 2021

SIGNAL is Twilio’s annual customer and developer conference bringing together thousands of people with a common goal: to learn what’s new from Twilio and how to use it!

This year was no different – other than it being almost entirely virtual. The exception was a few customers who participated in Day 0’s Creators Summit and a few who were lucky enough to watch the opening keynote live. 

I wanted to share some of the Flex updates we announced or talked about during the show. In this post, I’ll share:

  • An introduction to Flex One
  • More Flex product announcements
  • Flex customers that shared their stories
  • How the Flex platform supported SIGNAL attendees

So What’s Flex One?

Our mission is to be the world’s first digital contact center. Let’s face it, adding more than just voice in the contact center has traditionally been difficult to do. Legacy contact centers weren’t set up to support customers on the digital channels that we all use and love in our daily lives. So Twilio has removed the complexity of adding digital channels with Flex One!

What’s Flex One? Simply put, it is one single API to enable any digital channel, including SMS, MMS, webchat, WhatsApp, and now native email, for our customers to engage with their customers in ONE placeOne view of the customer, and all of this in one place that’s completely customizable for any team – sales, service, marketing – to engage with customers one-to-one.

Here is the entire Day 1 Opening Keynote (fast forward 50 minutes in to get right into the Flex announcements).

In 2022, we’ll introduce persistent threads: providing one persistent threaded conversation across these digital channels!

Flex One helps customers do more with less and helps support customers no matter what channel they come in on. Click here for more information on Twilio Flex.

During a Flex Product Announcements session, Lyft showed how they are using native email as another Twilio digital channel to delight its customers all from within the Flex UI.

Andrew Reback, Director of Global Safety and Support Technology at Lyft, stated, “We now have chat, voice, and email all within Flex so agents don’t have to open other applications to reply to customers that prefer to use email to communicate with us.”

Other Flex Product Announcements 

We are also releasing Flex UI 2.0, which is now more accessible to a wider range of people with disabilities (among others, low vision and blindness, deafness and hearing loss, photosensitivity, and cognitive limitations). Flex UI 2.0 is built on top of PASTE, Twilio’s design system, allowing customers to prototype and ship inclusive customer experiences rapidly.

And if Flex One and the new Flex UI 2.0 weren’t enough, we also announced something we like to call Flextensions

(Yeah, I know: We took two words – Flex and extensions – and mashed them together. But you’ll enjoy these.)

Flextensions are pre-built partner plugins for faster Flex deployments. This new category of plugins are made by our consulting partners. Flextensions provide a path for organizations that are not ready to build on their own, but need a ready-to-use solution. And to make these even better, Flextensions offer out-of-the-box functionality while allowing for customization, which is what truly sets Flex apart from the rest.

One example is from Deloitte Digital, where they created templated solutions for insurance and banking organizations. Another example is from Waterfield Technologies, who had a SIGNAL session covering their new solution, Xcelerate, a pre-built Flex solution to get customers up to speed quickly without the need of their own developers. 

There are already many Flextensions available in our Partner Showcase, and the list will continue to grow into 2022. 

Not to be outdone by the Flextensions announcement, we also highlighted our expanding partner ecosystem with brand new integrations from our technology partners that extend the functionality of Flex. 

Calabrio had a session covering their WFM solution. And we’ve added another great Workforce Management (WFM) solution from Verint. And to help contact centers support multiple languages, we’ve added Lionbridge for translations. We now have over 20 validated ecosystem partners, and this list will continue to grow well beyond 2022.

Flex customers share their stories

Hearing news and updates from a vendor is one thing, but it’s an entirely different thing hearing it from existing customers. We agree – that’s why every year at SIGNAL, we showcase so many incredible Twilio customers.

Besides the opening keynote, there were Flex sessions ranging from quick 15 minute updates to an hour-long supersession, along with many incredible Flex customer sessions. There was more than enough to dig deep into Flex and see how others are using it to their advantage.

And a few of the customers had one of our partners assist them with implementation.

We heard first hand from the following customers on how they use Flex and how it supports their unique business needs:

Laura Malinksky, Global Head of Operations at Allianz Direct, stated, “Our agents used to log in to 22 screens and now they only need to log into Flex for the entire customer conversation. And with Flex, we can customize the customer experience, across every step of the customer journey, ensuring we’re building the most memorable experiences, and deeper connection with our customers along the way.”

For those who attended SIGNAL or maybe want to review some of the Flex sessions, click here and click the See More Button next to the - Missed a session? Watch sessions on demand. From there, simply filter on Product Category (left-hand navigation menu) to Flex and voilà.

Flex platform used to support attendees

This was my first SIGNAL as a Twilio employee, but I have attended the conference in the past. I always wondered how Twilio could pull off such a big conference – and if they used their own products behind the scenes.

I was pleasantly surprised to find out there were many Twilio products utilized during SIGNAL this year! For me, as a Product Marketing Manager supporting Flex, it was exciting to see Flex power the attendee support platform. And even better, it was created just for SIGNAL by one of our consulting partners, Perficient!

Not only did I get to create Flex content for SIGNAL, but I also got to volunteer and support attendees. And that meant I got to log in, just like a contact center agent, and use Flex to help support attendees. What an awesome task!

We had over 500 Twilions supporting attendees, all logging into Flex to cover shifts over the two days. I handled questions ranging from “How do I add a session to my agenda?” all the way to “How do I participate in the Twilio Shoes program?”.

But the thing I enjoyed the most was moderating chat rooms as a Flex Product Expert. It was so cool to see Flex questions come into the UI and support attendees all from a single screen! 

Perficient created some great Flex features, including a participant lookup tool, chat rooms, and an attendee information panel (with all the important details such as Swag Tracking). And of course, this wouldn’t be a truly customized Flex instance without it being completely SIGNAL Themed, including the color scheme.

Simply amazing work by Perficient – it really portrayed the Twilio Magic value of Draw the Owl.

Final thoughts

Well, SIGNAL 2021 is in the books, and I can honestly say it was amazing to be a part of it – this time as a Twilio employee. I can’t wait to see what SIGNAL 2022 brings - and hopefully, we will all be there in person!

I can't wait to see you at SIGNAL 2022 – but until then, check out everything you can do with Flex.

David Worley is a Principal Product Marketing Manager at Twilio supporting Flex – the world’s first digital contact center platform. He has vast experience in the high-tech space, from sales to operations to product marketing. David’s passion is helping customers create unique experiences to support the total customer journey. He can be reached at dworley [at]