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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

Our Take

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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