Top 5 Takeaways from SIGNAL 2016: The Marketplace, The IPO, 1 Million Developers and More!

by Emily Nave

Twilio’s Signal conference (formerly known as TwilioCon) is one of the most highly anticipated weeks of the year for the Unified Communications industry. As an API platform Twilio has been described as a Silicon Valley unicorn due to its disruptive and wide-spread communication technology which powers popular apps such as Uber and WhatsApp.

This year Signal was filled with many exciting announcements from Twilio, like the new Marketplace and reaching 1 million developers. As well as engaging talks from many of Twilio’s partners, like Jay Blazensky who declared in a talk on ‘How to Build Next Generation Speech Analytics Into Any Platform’ that it is now ‘open season’ on call recordings. The combined benefits for developers to come to this conference and have direct access to value adding partners as well as listening to inspiring talks on how to utilize the tools at their fingertips, is unparalleled.

Check out Jeff Lawson’s Day 1 Keynote with extracted keywords, topics, and a searchable machine transcription if you missed it last week!

What we found most exciting…

Many of the announcements at Signal caught our attention but there were 5 big themes we saw throughout the week.

1. One Million Developers

Twilio began Day 1 by celebrating their one million developer milestone – congratulations! This magnitude of a community is a true testament to the power behind an API building blocks solution such as Twilio’s.

In the past, the biggest companies were those closest to the data (e.g. a system of record), able to impose a tax, or lock-in to their platform. In the API economy, the biggest companies may be the ones that aggregate the most data smartly and open it up to others,” describes Matt Murphy & Steve Sloane, TechCrunch, The Rise of APIs. “This enables new types of competitive barriers, as in Twilio’s ability to negotiate volume discounts from carriers that no individual developer could obtain…“

Through the tools Twilio offers, they have empowered the developer community to build extraordinary solutions, and just being on a Pier in San Francisco with a lot of them, it is clear they are thankful for that.

If you’re interested in using the Twilio API in conjunction with the VoiceBase API, check out our Twilio API Integration page for developers.

2. Twilio Marketplace

The unveiling of the new Marketplace is an exciting venture for Twilio as well as their partners, now their far reaching community of developers have access to valuable Add-Ons, which can simply be installed rather than coded and integrated. As Jeff Lawson noted“What we’ve done is to allow developers to do more with less code.”

VoiceBase is excited to be one of the initial Add-Ons to be featured in the Marketplace. Currently we have two Add-Ons available, the first being ‘VoiceBase High Accuracy Transcription’ which delivers a machine transcript with automatically extracted keywords and automatically generated topics to enable easily discoverable and navigated content. The second Add-On, ‘VoiceBase PCI Redaction’ will enable Payment Card Industry (PCI) data redaction as well as the basic features from the first Add-On. For developers targeting ‘voice of the customer’ or ‘sales optimization’ applications, it is essential that their queriable repository of spoken information be free of PCI data.

3. Doers

As I noted before, what makes Twilio special is that they provide developers with the tools to build unique solutions for the problems that mean the most to them. Jeff Lawson clearly loves hearing what his community is up to, and he noted two companies that are building exciting, life changing applications on Twilio’s communication APIs.

The first Doers were from Purple – they built an S.M.S. app designed to inform people of what’s happening in politics in a timely, friendly, conversational way. Jeff described it as “…the perfect blend of code and content.”

The second Doers recognized by the CEO were from Revolar – a discrete wearable device that uses Bluetooth to connect to your phone in the event of emergency. You simply hit the button and a text is sent to your loved ones that lets them know you need help. It then sends them a link that takes you to a web page that shows them where you were in the past and where you’ve been since you pressed the button

The message of doers was clear, the world is evolving, and Twilio powered apps are leading the charge.

4. Dual Channel Recording

The week prior to SIGNAL Twilio announced it’s new Dual Channel Recording feature, and this was important for a few reasons. By recording channels separately, the capabilities of speech analytics and automating business processes based on what was said, are now unlocked.

Imagine detecting the phrase “interested in” in a call center sales call, before when calls were recorded in mono, you couldn’t tell if that was the Agent saying “Are you interested in…” or the Customer saying “I am interested in…” The first, is an Agent selling, while the second is a Hot Lead. Now, that the channels are separated, you can much more accurately detect specific events that occur on your phone lines.

5. Twilio IPO

By the end of the whirlwind week, Twilio had one more announcement for us, their 100 million IPO. (Twilio’s previous funding round in April 2015 valued the company at roughly $1 billion, according to The Wall Street Journal.) This probably wasn’t too much of a surprise to those who have been using Twilio or who were at the conference though. It’s clear the API company has become an industry leading force, and we can’t wait to see what they do next. 

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