Twilio Courts IT Pros With Management Tools

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By introducing enterprise management tools, Twilio aims to make it easier for large organizations to deploy cloud-based communication software.

IT organizations tempted by the prospect of deploying cloud communications apps among employees can now do so with greater control.

On Thursday, Twilio plans to introduce the Twilio Enterprise Plan, which provides tools for security, access management, and administration that address the needs of enterprises implementing cloud communication software.

Twilio provides APIs that allow organizations to add communication services like voice calling, text messaging, video, and authentication to applications and to customize those services programmatically.

Courtney Munroe, GVP of worldwide telecommunications for IDC, said in a phone interview that what's new here is the way Twilio has packaged its tools for enterprises. "They've simplified a very complex process," he said. "This is a way to centralize [communications services] and allow the enterprise to manage it."

Patrick Malatack, VP of product management, said in a phone interview that Twilio has had enterprise customers such as Home Depot, ING, Nike, and Nordstrom building services on its platform for several years.

Nike, said Malatack, is using Twilio to send consumers SMS notifications when it releases new shoes, while ING has used Twilio to reimagine its call center experience.

A common request from these customers is one for more granular control over their Twilio accounts, said Malatack.

To address that demand, Twilio is introducing SAML-based SSO, which will allow IT organizations to grant and revoke credentials through their existing identity infrastructure.

It's also rolling out role-based access control (RBAC), to grant access permission in accordance with employee roles. Twilio's RBAC implementation supports Directory Service integration for the synchronization of users and privileges.

"If someone's a developer, they probably need access to the developer tools Twilio offers," said Malatack. "But if someone is just doing customer support, they need a different set of tools."

There's auditing support too in the form of a fully managed changelog and a SIEM-capable API, so credential changes can be seen by compliance personnel. For many companies, compliance requirements mean tracking security-related actions like password changes.

Twilio Enterprise customers will also be able to take advantage of Public Key Client Validation, which allows companies to validate that API requests are coming from approved applications.

Finally, the Enterprise Plan adds the ability to segment usage and billing data, which enables finance personnel to attribute expenses to the relevant business unit.

Enterprise customers, said Malatack, are eager to embrace the sort of innovation seen among startups while still meeting the standard requirements of traditional IT organizations.

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