Twilio introduces new Conversations API across any channel

Twilio is a leading cloud communications platform, and that platform continues to grow with a couple of new product announcements. New APIs will now allow developers to build conversational...

Twilio is a leading cloud communications platform, and that platform continues to grow with a couple of new product announcements. New APIs will now allow developers to build conversational experiences for their customers across any channel.

Consumers now expect to communicate with businesses the same way they do with friends and family, through natural conversations. Historically, delivering this kind of experience has presented a complex development challenge requiring developers to tie together fragmented systems, platforms and channels.

At the company’s annual developer and customer conference, SIGNAL, Twilio introduced two new APIs that abstract away the complexity from this process.

Today, Twilio launched Conversations, a unified API that allows developers to build cross-channel group messaging conversations at scale, and Media Streams, an API that makes it easy for developers to analyze voice calls in real-time and apply intelligence in order to deliver a better customer experience.

“Over the last two decades, we’ve watched businesses evolve their communications with customers from the phone call, to website chat, to native mobile apps.

Leading companies have figured out that the next evolution of great customer experience is through messaging. Twilio Conversations empowers businesses to build personal, long-lived connections with their customers on the channels they prefer.”

Chee Chew, chief product officer at Twilio.

Twilio Conversations

A Twilio study found that 9/10 consumers globally want to message with brands. However, integrating various messaging channels and maintaining the infrastructure to support group messaging and cross-channel conversations presents a complicated technical challenge for businesses. Twilio Conversations allows developers to leverage one unified API to scale group conversations across SMS, MMS, Chat and WhatsApp.

In addition to supporting multiple channels, the API takes care of the cross channel orchestration, group management and archives each conversation for security and compliance.

With Twilio Conversations, developers can build experiences like:

  • Support conversations for field service – Imagine a customer needs to change the address of their takeout delivery order. They respond to an order confirmation text with the correct address. With Twilio Conversations, a customer support agent could receive that text in the contact center, chat with the driver who is on WhatsApp and bridge all three parties into one conversation to coordinate the delivery.
  • Secure, compliant conversations for financial services – Imagine you are texting with your personal wealth advisor about an upcoming financial decision. You want to run the idea by your partner who is traveling internationally and only accessible via WhatsApp. With Twilio Conversations, your banker could use chat to have a secure, compliant conversation with you on text and your partner on WhatsApp.

Twilio Conversations is available in the Twilio Console today in public beta.

Twilio Media Streams

The majority of conversations between businesses and their customers still occurs over voice calls in a contact center. Understanding the quality and effectiveness of these conversations has historically been very difficult with contact center managers having to rely on post-call recordings or manual human intervention, missing the opportunity to improve a customer’s experience in real time.

While advancements in AI and machine learning have made it possible for businesses to finally automate these processes, businesses remain challenged to integrate these technologies into their existing stack successfully.

To solve this problem, Twilio is opening up the Twilio Voice platform with Media Streams, an API that provides developers and partners secure access to the real-time, raw audio stream of every Twilio-powered phone call.

Twilio is partnering with Google Cloud, Amazon and Gridspace to provide access to advanced capabilities and technologies that will allow businesses to build cutting-edge customer engagement experiences. Through these partnerships, businesses can:

  • Determine intent with Amazon Lex: Use Amazon Lex to integrate conversational bots into your voice application.
  • Real-time transcription with Google Cloud: Use Google Cloud Speech-To-Text to transcribe conversations and make suggestions to call center agents based on the content of each conversation.
  • Call center optimization with Gridspace: Using insight from GridSpace’s analytics and automation platform, businesses can adapt conversations to serve the content and tone of the caller.

“Media Streams ensures our customers have great experiences when they call into GLOBO’s telephone interpreting services.”

“With direct access to raw audio data via Media Streams, we can now use sentiment analysis to detect calls that require urgent attention and take action in real-time. This capability has dramatically increased call center productivity across our thousands of agents and interpreters.”

Jonathan De Jong, VP of Engineering at GLOBO.

Media Streams is available in public beta today.

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Creator of techAU, Jason has spent the dozen+ years covering technology in Australia and around the world. Bringing a background in multimedia and passion for technology to the job, Cartwright delivers detailed product reviews, event coverage and industry news on a daily basis.
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