Why You Need Twilio to Build a High-Power Communication Platform
Effective communication is essential to the success of any business: this is the only way to stay in touch with your customers and keep abreast of how to meet their expectations. And if we're talking about companies interacting with clients through sites and applications, then the smartest thing to do is to resort to CPaaS solutions.
There are a great many of them, of course, but we'd like to especially mention Twilio. It certainly belongs to market leaders, the best communication platforms.
We worked with this service a lot and therefore know its key advantages. And we’re ready to share our experience with you and explain why the idea to use Twilio API is a good one.
We'll answer all burning questions on the topic, such as: what is Twilio used for? What business model does the company rely on? What are the benefits of integrating its communication API? You'll learn answers to these and other questions after reading our article.
Let’s get started!
CPaaS solutions (Communication Platform as a Service)
Creating a communication application used to take a lot of time. CPaaS solutions greatly facilitate the whole process.
CPaaS is a cloud-based technology whose mission is to help organizations add communication features to their apps. Such cloud communication platforms successfully process voice & video calls, text messages, assist in building web and mobile chats and call centers, etc. Thus, they literally virtualize the telecommunication infrastructure and bring it into a digital format.
This is achieved using APIs that simplify and cheapen the development phase. With the API, any business system can be customized individually to suit your needs.
And now let’s answer the question: what can you do with Twilio? And what is it, to begin with?
What is Twilio?
Twilio Inc. is an American company, a well-known leader in the CPaaS industry. Twilio offers clients to focus on their main business goals instead of spending a lot of time on solving problems with communication.
Twilio solutions are easy to integrate into the project using the API; they're aimed at those who need communication platforms for business purposes, such as cheap phone calls, buying numbers for different countries, starting video conferences, and stuff like that. Twilio can work as an office telephone exchange and facilitate the processing of a large number of incoming calls. The main products of the company are programmable voice, programmable messaging, and programmable video.
Later we'll consider Twilio features at length, and for now, we'll just list its main characteristics:
Phone Number API and Queuing API;
Convert speech to text and vice versa;
Recording and saving a phone conversation;
Purchasing temporary numbers using the Twilio account;
Initiation of conferences;
Selecting an incoming number;
The functionality of PBX;
The general incoming phone number;
Ability to create your own scripts;
Integration with contact system;
Complete call log.
Twilio is believed to have made a splash in communications with such technologies as APIs and cloud-based systems. But let's take a look at the history of the company!
Twilio Inc. Headquarters are in San Francisco, California, and its subsidiaries are located in the United States, Germany, United Kingdom, Spain, Ireland, Columbia, Estonia, Hong Kong, Bermuda, Singapore, Sweden, and Australia. The company itself was founded more than 10 years ago, back in 2008. And we must say, it pretty quickly achieved good results and interested users with the proposed solution.
Reasons for Twilio Success
Why is Twilio so successful? Let’s explain by giving an example of the Uber application that uses this platform for communications.
In the fall of 2011, when Uber was just starting to go beyond the San Francisco market, the company faced a significant problem: its SMS provider Air2Web was planning a temporary shutdown of the service. It meant that some Uber features (such as notifications and ride requests) would stop working.
The news became known to Twilio CEO Jeff Lawson. He contacted his friend Rob Hayes (who was a member of the Uber board of directors at that time) and advised him to try using Twilio.
Uber agreed to resort to Twilio API integration and didn't regret such a decision. Today Twilio is processing Uber's messaging, notifications, and voice calls in most parts of the world.
Proof of Twilio's success is its steadily growing revenue. For example, in 2018, the company's annual revenue had grown by 63%.
Twilio continues to evolve and grow. Among other things, a few years ago (in 2015), the company acquired Authy, a leading provider of authentication services. And in early 2019, it became the owner of SendGrid, a top email platform (API).
Today, Twilio features are available in more than 180 countries, and the company supports its activities globally with 27 cloud data centers in nine regions of the world. Furthermore, most cloud infrastructure of Twilio Inc. is being powered by Amazon Web Services.
By the way, you might be interested in finding out what companies use Twilio. The list is rather credible: Uber (which we’ve already mentioned), WhatsApp, Twitch, Facebook, Lyft, Zendesk, Airbnb, and many others. Not bad, right?
How does Twilio work?
To understand the principle of Twilio’s operation, one needs to recall how the telecommunication market is organized.
Let’s take a look!
Within one country, as well as internationally, the consumer has many fixed and wireless operators to interact with in order to set up proper communication. And, of course, he may show a desire to be present in a certain number of countries either.
As you can see, such a telecommunication network is very complex, and the most obvious solution is to take advantage of the Unified Telecom API. Alas, there are 3 problems:
Within his country, the user pays higher tariffs when making phone calls or sending SMS messages to other local operators;
At the international level, tariffs will be even higher;
Correctly setting up the entire communication system could be more difficult than it seems at first glance.
That’s where Twilio integration comes to the rescue.
To be precise, the user gets the opportunity to interact with this high-power communication platform instead of dealing with the telecom operator. Twilio’s virtualized network infrastructure will then connect the client’s calls or SMS to the desired operator at the local level (even if it is about establishing a connection with someone abroad). The result is an optimization of tariff plans and good savings.
So, Twilio is a kind of reseller of phone calls and SMS messages. However, it’s capable of much more (as you’ll understand during reading the article).
The company provides its users with a great chance to test the benefits of Twilio API integration without payment and offers a monthly trial period. A minimal fee will be charged only for additional options, such as programmable voice ($0,0085/minute and $0,013/minute; incoming/outgoing calls), programmable SMS ($0,0075/SMS), programmable chat ($0,0008/SMS or $0,020/user), and other similar features.
After the trial period, the client should choose one of the paid packages (and there are a lot of them offered, so everyone is able to find the proper option).
Benefits of Twilio integration
These benefits are key reasons to use Twilio API:
Pay as You Go. It means the customer doesn’t need to conclude long-term contracts, he may pay only for services in active use. Therefore, Twilio solutions are much more economical than investing in local equipment.
Favorable discounts. These are so-called volume discounts.
Worthy product features:
Reliability and safety of use;
High platform performance.
Easy Twilio integration. The Twilio API supports a variety of programming languages, including Java, Python, PHP, Node, Ruby, and .Net (C #). It vastly simplifies the life of developers who can immediately start coding and work at maximum speed (and with maximum convenience).
High-quality connections. The company uses very reliable software: it is rated at 99.95% according to the SLA (Service Level Agreement). 99.95% is a very high indicator, which proves that callers have all the reasons to be sure that their conversation won't be interrupted on technical grounds.
Regional distribution. Developers are able to easily customize the technology to local needs and ensure the system compatibility when it should work effectively worldwide (say, if a company has several affiliate websites operating in different cities or countries).
The international presence of the company. As we’ve said above, this communication platform serves more than 180 countries.
Twilio Build (an affiliate program). The program provides market support, certification and training programs, and much more.
Strategic technology investments. The purpose of financial investments is to strengthen the Twilio platform, to make it more powerful and reliable. By the way, we mentioned some investments in our story early (it’s about buying Authy and SendGrid).
Helpful Twilio features
Using Twilio would help you perform various communication-related actions: set up automated mailing lists, make voice or video calls, receive verification codes to authorize on different online resources, organize call centers and chatbots, create voice messages in 26 languages, and so on. The possibilities are truly endless! It's time to figure them out properly.
To simplify our analysis and make it clearer, we’ve divided all the Twilio features into several main groups.
First, let's discuss the features the Twilio programmable voice option provides. Here we're talking about the possibility of processing and managing calls at any moment anywhere in the world.
That is, by integrating a robust communication API and gaining access to Twilio programmable voice, you can:
analyze your calls and negotiations with customers (due to high-quality data collection);
route calls and thereby build good customer relationships;
handle calls under any conditions, subject to the availability of the Internet (in the office, at work, on the go...);
record calls (if necessary).
Messaging and chats
Now it’s time to discuss Twilio SMS integration.
The feature is especially relevant since chats of various kinds are very popular right now; after all, many users prefer to resort to messages to communicate with representatives of a particular company.
How does Twilio SMS work in emergency cases?
If the user is going to attend a dangerous event (or planning a midnight walk) and wants to be sure of his safety, he's welcome to resort to the alarm feature. It's quite simple: he has to send a message to a special number (it was from this number that a secret verification code had been received at the registration stage). The goal of the message is to notify when the system should check the user's safety status.
At a given moment, the system sends an SMS, and the user must answer it within a few minutes. If it doesn't happen, all of his emergency contacts would get an alarm message.
Also, you may use the Twilio API to organize video calls. Moreover, it is possible to communicate both individually (a user with a user, so to say), and as a group, (say, during a video conference). And since Twilio’s solutions are easily scalable, the business would have no problems with the company’s growth.
And finally, the most important thing is to ensure the safety of the user. And Twilio pays great attention to the security factor by ensuring two-factor authorization and taking other similar measures.
Now you know what Twilio can do and how to build a strong communication platform with its help. It's time to put knowledge into practice!