Sergey Nivens - Fotolia
Twilio has acquired the startup Ytica and plans to embed its workforce optimization and analytics software into Twilio Flex, a cloud contact center platform set to launch later this year. Twilio will also sell Ytica's products to competing contact center software vendors.
Twilio declined to disclose how much it paid for Ytica, but said the deal wouldn't significantly affect its earnings in 2018. Twilio plans to open its 17th branch office in Prague, where Ytica is based.
The acquisition comes as AI analytics has emerged as a differentiator in the expanding cloud contact center market and as Twilio -- a leading provider of cloud-based communications tools for developers -- prepares for the general release of its first prebuilt contact center platform, Twilio Flex.
Founded in 2017, Ytica sells a range of real-time analytics, reporting and performance management tools that contact center vendors can add to their platforms. In addition to Twilio, Ytica has partnerships with Talkdesk and Amazon Connect that are expected to continue.
Twilio is targeting Twilio Flex at large enterprises looking for the flexibility to customize their cloud contact centers. The platform launched in beta in March and is expected to be commercially released later this year.
The vendor's communications platform as a service already supports hundreds of thousands of contact center agents globally. Twilio Flex places those same developer tools into the shell of a contact center dashboard preconfigured to support voice, text, video and social media channels.
The native integration of Ytica's software should boost Twilio Flex's appeal as businesses look for ways to save money and increase sales by automating the monitoring and management of contact center agents.
Ytica's portfolio includes speech analytics, call recording search, and real-time monitoring of calls and agent desktops. Businesses could use the technology to identify customer trends and to give feedback to agents.
Contact center vendors tout analytics in cloud
The marketing departments of leading contact center vendors have placed AI at the center of sales pitches this year, even though analysts say much of the technology is still in the early stages of usefulness.
This summer, Google unveiled an AI platform for building virtual agents and automating contact center analytics. Twilio was one of nearly a dozen vendors to partner with Google at launch, along with Cisco, Genesys, Mitel, Five9, RingCentral, Vonage, Appian and Upwire.
Enterprise technology buyers say analytics will be the most important technology for transforming customer experiences in the coming years, according to a recent survey of 700 IT and business leaders by Nemertes Research Group Inc., based in Mokena, Ill.