Twilio

Phone system

Updated June 6, 2018

4 updates


SCORE BREAKDOWN

User Interface

17/25

Cost

24/25

Differentiation

24/25

Effectiveness

20/25

Pros

  • Pay-as-you-go plans
  • Multiple APIs for communications solution customization
  • Built-in auto-scaling capabilities

Cons

  • Phone-based customer support costs extra
  • Learning curve for beginners
  • User experience varies

Twilio is a dedicated communication service provider specializing in cloud-based solutions for various-sized organizations. By offering several APIs, products, and services, Twilio utilizes web languages to give developers the tools to create fully-customized communication apps and integrations.

It’s all in the APIs and products

Twilio’s products are easy to use for developers and come “right out of the box” upon deployment. The APIs are continuously updated and feature auto-scaling so that your back-end tech supported by Twilio continues to scale with your growing customer, client, or donor base.

Twilio’s newest product, Twilio Flex, is a cloud-based dashboard that integrates social networks, phone communications, SMS exchanges, and chatbots into one dashboard. Other tools that Twilio features include Twilio Studio, a tool to customize the company’s existing API for your needs, and a pipeline of call and text marketing options

Ease of use and UX

Let’s be frank: Twilio was built for developers. Given its broad focus on the APIs and the customization capabilities their clients enjoy, Twilio can be a daunting platform for beginners.

Twilio does have dozens of training videos, tutorials, and FAQs for quick start-up; however, beginners to necessary coding and web languages will have to do some additional learning to get the most out of their experience. That said, the user experience is entirely built around how its developed from APIs and customization of the Twilio platforms.

Paying for customer support

Twilio users can access basic customer support via a web form and email exchanges for free, though turnaround on these requests can take up to 1 to 3 business days. Instead, users are offered support plans that come at an additional cost to their subscription. A Developer support plan is free and provides basic customer support. From there the Production, Business, and Personalized support plans cost 4%, 6%, and 8% of monthly spend respectively. These support plans give users more customer support contact time, 24/7 phone and emergency support, and API status updates.

Twilio’s support costs for their users are uncharacteristic while competitors like Plivo offer full customer support at no additional cost.

Pay-as-you-go Pricing

Twilio’s subscriptions for their various products are primarily pay-as-you-go. Prices are adjusted to volume increase and are discounted on volume size. For example, their Programmable Voice product begins at $0.0085/min to receive and $0.013/min to make a call. Similarly, the Programmable SMS product starts at $0.0075 to send or receive a message. Scaling isn’t an issue either, given that Twilio has auto-scaling features to adjust to growing call volume, use, etc.

Other Twilio products have similar pricing options, including Twilio Studio. Enterprise pricing is available for all Twilio products and features a limited free trial period with full access to API documentation.

Our verdict

Twilio offers solutions built for organizations that have a firm grasp of back-end and full stack development for large projects and could benefit medium to large organizations.

The pay-as-you-go pricing structure can accommodate your organization’s scale and remain relatively cost-effective. However, Twilio products have the potential to become pricey investments if monthly spend gets high enough. Don’t get us wrong, Twilio has a lot to offer in high-end communications solutions. It works and its reliable — make sure the return on investment is there.

If you have any feedback on this review or you would like to suggest an app for us to review, please drop us a note – telegraph@joinlincoln.org.


Screenshots

SCORE BREAKDOWN

User Interface

17/25

Cost

24/25

Differentiation

24/25

Effectiveness

20/25

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