CPaaS vendor Twilio makes notification service more flexible

CPaaS vendor Twilio releases Notify, an add-on feature that allows businesses to customize the way they send notifications to customers.

Twilio Inc. added a feature to its communications platform as a service, or CPaaS, that lets businesses set rules that determine the way customers receive mobile notifications.

Today, CPaaS provider Twilio unveiled the feature, called Notify, at the company's developer conference in San Francisco, where it is based.

As with other CPaaS offerings, Notify lets businesses send text, picture or video notifications to customers through SMS or push notifications, the delivery of information through software from a computer server. Businesses can also send notifications to chat applications, such as Facebook Messenger.

What makes Notify different, however, is it uses an additional API that lets businesses customize and set rules regarding the delivery of the notification. Businesses can specify the customers who receive certain messages and the channels through which they receive them.

With Notify, Twilio has carved out a competitive differentiator, according to Irwin Lazar, an analyst with Nemertes Research, based in Mokena, Ill. The ability to customize notifications within a CPaaS offering is a significant advancement, he said.

"Most of the services out there are fairly simple in what they can deliver," Lazar said. "To write those kinds of customizations would be an awful lot of work for most companies."

Also within Notify, which is an add-on service to Twilio's standard CPaaS offering, businesses get to set rules around the notifications, said Manav Khurana, who does product marketing for Twilio.

For example, a business can set rules to send the notifications to an individual or group based on factors such as office location, business team or device type. Customers can also choose their own preferences. A business can set a rule to override customer preferences, however, in the case of emergencies. So, if the customer set Facebook as his preference, he may instead receive an emergency notification through an SMS text on his mobile phone, if that's a rule the business specified for the service.

CPaaS market growing

The CPaaS space is relatively new, but it is growing fast, with the market expected to increase from $400 million in 2015 to $8.1 billion in 2019, according to Zeus Kerravala, an analyst with ZK Research in Westminster, Mass.

Startups such as Twilio, Plivo and TokBox have seen rapid adoption rates of their CPaaS products. Many traditional UC vendors have taken notice of the trend and scrambled to compete against the startups. Earlier this month, Vonage announced the $230 million acquisition of CPaaS vendor Nexmo, and Cisco bought cloud API developer Tropo a year ago. In March, Avaya launched an online communication platform, called Zang.

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