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How do Twilio Flex API-based services affect contact center software?

Twilio Flex, a programmable contact center platform, reflects an emerging trend toward software products built on APIs, according to API expert Tsahi Levent-Levi.

For the past several years, APIs have been a growing trend. As a result, API-based services and software have emerged. These services are driven by the idea that once you create a product, you need to enable connections and integrations through APIs.  

Enterprise software is migrating to the cloud as software-as-a-service offerings. This migration faces two challenges: Namely, enterprise software needs to integrate with other software, and enterprises want customization and flexibility. APIs provide the integration and flexibility that enterprises require.

While Twilio is not the first provider to add APIs to an enterprise software product, it's likely the first provider to do the opposite and build an enterprise software product on top of APIs with Twilio Flex. The Twilio Flex API-based service is marketed as a programmable contact center that will be available by the end of the year. Currently, Flex offers four layers of customization and integration:

  • Twilio's traditional low-level APIs;
  • TaskRouter for call- and task-queuing management;
  • a drag-and-drop integrated development environment for business processes definitions; and
  • Flex UI for user experience and user interface customization and integration.

Twilio has created a powerful and generic programming engine for the contact center by offering these layers of customization at different layers of the app.

While many vendors have tinkered with API-based services in the past, it seems Twilio has done it better than most. It will take a year or two to know if the Twilio Flex API-based contact center is a success, but it's safe to say API-based services will become an industry trend. Expect vendors to focus on creating enterprise programmable software.

Do you have a question for Tsahi Levent-Levi or any other experts? Ask your enterprise-specific questions today! (All questions are treated anonymously.)

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