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Twilio Studio brings low-code development to DevOps

Twilio has introduced Twilio Studio, a new, low-code visual development environment that enables developers and business users to collaborate using DevOps practices to build apps.

With its new Twilio Studio offering, cloud communications platform provider Twilio Inc. is bringing DevOps to low-code development for building customer engagement apps.

Twilio Studio, the latest addition to the company's Engagement Cloud, is a visual development platform that enables cross-functional teams -- developers and nondevelopers -- to collaborate on building customer engagement apps, such as interactive voice response systems, conversational messaging bots, notification workflows and more, in rapid fashion.

The low-code tooling enables business users to join forces with the more than 1.6 million Twilio developers worldwide, the company said.

"Twilio Studio is all about helping developers and nondevelopers collaborate to build a variety of customer engagement solutions," Pat Malatack, general manager of messaging and vice president of product at San Francisco-based Twilio, told TechTarget. "Developers can build workflows and hand them off to business operators to iterate on later. Studio makes Twilio accessible to every department, including product, marketing, support and engineering. Adding a new channel or changing the customer experience can happen quickly without having to write new code."

Twilio Studio redefines CPaaS

Tsahi Levent-Levi, an independent analyst and consultant for WebRTC, said Twilio Studio is redefining what a communications platform as a service offering is because of the many benefits it brings to the CPaaS space, including:

  • It makes it easy to navigate and understand the various products of Twilio by packing them all nicely into a visual tool.
  • It gets builders developing faster by eliminating all the mucking around with the APIs and handling the interface points.
  • If planned and designed properly, it can be a tool for templating parts of the behavior and enabling nondevelopers to figure out on their own how to tweak the experience.

"The DevOps element means that whatever you do on Twilio Studio -- and Twilio Functions -- gets handled on the ops side by Twilio," Levent-Levi said. "You don't need to take care of the machines, their downtime, their scaling, their security, etc. -- all this is taken care of by Twilio. This reduces a lot of hassles. But, more importantly, it means that your service will be more reliable for your customers, as it is being maintained and managed at Twilio's scale."

The DevOps element means that whatever you do on Twilio Studio -- and Twilio Functions -- gets handled on the ops side by Twilio.
Tsahi Levent-Leviindependent analyst and consultant for WebRTC

Workflows built with Twilio Studio are hosted and run on Twilio Runtime, the same elastic cloud that runs Twilio's entire infrastructure.

Moreover, Malatack said Twilio Studio taps the popular Twilio APIs that help developers build communications workflow into business engagement apps and delivers that capability to a wider variety of builders inside the company to build, scale and iterate on workflows. In short, Twilio officials said Twilio Studio offers the flexibility of custom software development, with the speed of a packaged, commercial service.

Putting development in more hands

"Prior to Twilio Studio, businesses had to choose between buying prepackaged products with limited customization or relying on limited development resources to create and maintain more dynamic customer experiences," said Jeff Lawson, Twilio's CEO and co-founder, in a statement. "Studio eliminates that false choice, allowing developers to accelerate their roadmap by putting the power of Twilio into the hands of more builders across every company."

As part of Twilio Engagement Cloud, the low-code development offering is a member of a suite of services for enterprises to build multichannel customer engagement applications.

"I think there will be many more benefits as this new product grows and evolves -- things that can bring it to additional markets and offer huge benefits to nondevelopers," Levent-Levi said. "If I were a company offering contact-center-related products, I'd be worried."

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