Twilio Flex: Ovum’s Report on the Customer Engagement Marketplace

Ovum believes the introduction of Twilio Flex will initiate a competitive disruption in the contact center marketplace in the months and years ahead.

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Twilio Flex: Ovum’s Report on the Customer Engagement Marketplace

Earlier this year, Twilio unveiled its new contact center application platform, Flex (generally available by the end of 2018). Ovum, a market-leading research and consulting analyst firm, has been watching the cloud contact center space closely for several years. This report reflects Ovum’s analysis and predictions of Flex’s impact on the customer engagement marketplace.

How Flex is Different

Twilio’s current contact center offering is a collection of APIs that customers can augment, fully replace, or use to provide the connectivity of their contact centers. These APIs do not have a built in user interface (UI); customers need to provide their own UI and design the interfaces for agents, supervisors, and customers. Additionally, Twilio customers still have to build all of the orchestration around common contact center tasks.

Flex is different from Twilio’s current contact center offerings because it’s not a collection of APIs or a SaaS product—it’s an application platform. Flex has an agent and supervisor UI that customers can use and deploy right out of the box. This means Flex will massively reduce the time it takes to build a contact center on Twilio. Ultimately, Flex will have the ease of deployment and management of a SaaS solution with the complete customizability and integrability of an on-premise solution.

The Impact of Flex

The Flex platform can support businesses with thousands of agents; this offers a viable and attractive option for large enterprises looking to replace aging legacy systems. Flex also allows companies to reach customers in more than 100 countries, based on the Twilio Super Network, without having to manage their own infrastructure or telecom carrier relationships.

Flex comes with a suite of features that are likely to be very attractive to businesses. Companies can quickly and easily customize every part of their contact center with Flex. They can instantly add new channels like voice, chat, and social messagers like WhatsApp or Facebook Messenger. They can also quickly build integrations with custom channels like email, video, home assistants, third-party chat APIs and more. Additionally, Twilio Flex integrates with any CRM, workforce management, reporting system, or even with existing call center infrastructure. Flex also enables businesses to add artificial intelligence to their workflows by either using Twilio’s natural language understanding API, Understand, or by bringing their own existing machine learning models to the platform.

As innovative as these features are, Ovum points out in their report that the impact of Flex’s introduction into the customer engagement marketplace will reach far beyond product implications. The report also looks at Flex’s disruptive impact on the companies and channels currently involved in the sales and distribution of contact center solutions, equipment, and applications.

Key questions answered in this report include:

  • How will customers react to the do-it-yourself customization nature of Flex?
  • Will the do-it-yourself, building block approach to contact center building be attractive to a sizable portion of the market?
  • How will Flex affect the traditional channels currently being utilized to sell, enhance, and implement contact centers in terms of revenues and required personnel changes?
  • What pricing model will Twilio Flex offer and how will this be bundled with telecommunications carrier costs?
  • Will "coopetition" between global platform providers like Twilio and Amazon and the cloud contact center providers continue?

Download the report here.