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Briefing: Twilio Flex
On December 1, Twilio – a cloud communications platform – briefed Info-Tech on its contact center as a service (CCaaS) solution, Flex. Flex’s key differentiator is that developers can create, change, or extend any part of its platform. Not only does this enable a customizable contact center, it also offers a range of options for implementation: either Flex can integrate with and augment an existing contact center or it can function as a full CCaaS solution.
Flex is an omnichannel platform, allowing agents to connect with customers with a single user interface through voice, SMS, WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, and WebChat. Indeed, Flex offers best-in-class AI-powered self-service with conversational IVRs and chatbots, partnering with Google Cloud’s AI functionality.
Demand for Flex has surged during the pandemic. This has been driven by organizations’ continued migration to the cloud, digital engagement to promote social distancing, and quickly enabling agents to work remotely. Given Flex’s programmability, it readily integrates with a range of customer relationship management solutions (e.g. Salesforce and Zendesk), workforce engagement management solutions (e.g. Calabrio and Aspect), and customer engagement solutions (e.g. Contactspace and Dynamix).
To implement Flex, an organization can either leverage Twilio’s native network or bring their own carrier. Flex’s workflow builder allows the organization to create customized workflows for voice or digital chatbots, IVRs for all channels, or hosted code or use customer apps. All communication can be intelligently routed through task queues based on agent attributes or skillset. Agents then interact with a single user interface for all channels, with voice calls delivered as WebRTC. At each stage, Flex collects data to present a range of analytics dashboards for supervisors to optimize agent and customer experiences.
Source: SoftwareReviews Twilio Flex Scorecard. Accessed January 5, 2021
Flex is at the forefront of agile, customizable, and programmable contact center delivery. Info-Tech reported on Twilio’s large growth in the last quarter of 2020 and it appears this trend will continue. Plenty of upcoming features for 2021 (currently NDA) showcase Twilio as a proactive and visionary market leader.
Source: SoftwareReviews CCaaS Data Quadrant. Accessed October 2, 2020.
While Flex can be used out-of-the-box, organizations will get the best value from Flex when molding it to their preferences. Moreover, in line with this flexibility, Flex also offers different pricing models. Whereas most CCaaS solutions will offer either pay-per-seat or pay-per-use, Flex offers both. As such, if an organization’s contact center usage gets too high, taking advantage of Flex’s flat rate per seat could lead to large cost savings.
Of course, as with any CCaaS pricing model, an organization must be wary of scaling and descaling agents. Without proper call volume forecasting or a quality statement of work, an organization will always be taking a stab in the dark with pricing plans – with expensive consequences. Info-Tech’s forthcoming “Choose a Right-Sized Contact Center Solution” (early 2021) walks through the process of how to build a quality statement of work to avoid these pitfalls.
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Five9’s CX Summit for 2021 hosted events and interactive sessions that explored best practices for using Five9 as well as an outline of Five9’s roadmap for the coming year. Of special focus was Five9’s projected investments in voice technologies for the contact center.
John Aniano, Senior Vice President of Product in CRM applications at Zendesk, sat down with Info-Tech to discuss the current state of the contact center as a service (CCaaS) market space and Zendesk’s position in that space.
On July 7, 2021, TCN briefed Info-Tech on its continued growth, Experian partnership, and CCaaS platform TCN Operator.
On June 18, 2021, Aspect Software briefed Info-Tech on the rationale behind its merger with Noble Systems to found Alvaria. Aspect and Noble announced the merger on May 10, 2021, positioning Alvaria as a market leader in contact management and workforce engagement management (WEM), with half a billion dollars in combined revenue.
On March 24, 2021, Orange briefed Info-Tech on its UCaaS Business Services solution. Orange has positioned its solution to be flexible and adaptable to a range of client use cases. Not only does Orange’s UCaaS offering center within a broad portfolio of solutions (from omnichannel contact center to CPaaS), Orange also offers multi-deployment options, including on-premises, private, hybrid, and public/multi-cloud.
On December 1, Zendesk – a global customer service software company – briefed Info-Tech on its contact center as a service (CCaaS) solution, Zendesk Talk.
On October 21, 2020, Avaya briefed its OneCloud CCaaS solution. OneCloud CCaaS provides an omnichannel experience with market-leading capabilities. If one’s organization is already embedded in the Avaya ecosystem, then OneCloud CCaaS ought to be leveraged if contact center functionality is sought.
On October 23, 2020, Verizon briefed its Contact Center Hub for SMBs. Launched October 1, Contact Center Hub is a hosted cloud service aimed at providing an easy-to-use multi-channel contact center solution for small- and mid-sized organizations. For SMBs that do not have a large customer base and only require the basics, consider shortlisting Verizon’s Contact Center Hub – especially if Verizon’s solutions are already being used in the organization.
On October 21, 2020, Talkdesk demoed On the Go, the latest addition to its cloud-based contact center solution CX Cloud. On the Go is built for convenience and remote work, using a device’s virtual assistant (such as Siri) for making calls and accessing data. However, this also means that part of On the Go’s success is tied up with how effective virtual assistants are.