At Twilio, we believe that the effort to bring cloud communications to global companies and brands is best done with friends, so today, we are proud to announce our partnership with Fruition Partners.
Founded in 2003, Fruition Partners is a Cloud IT consultancy that specializes in large-scale systems implementations for the Fortune 500. The company is the world’s leading ServiceNow partner, with over 200 successful deployments for customers like Coca-Cola, Viacom, American Express and Yale University under its belt.
Chris Dauw, Fruition’s Director of Product Management, says that when he started tinkering with Twilio’s APIs, he immediately understood the magnitude of their potential.
“We instantly realized that Twilio was going to revolutionize business telecom,” Dauw says. “Since then, we’ve been using the API to do some fantastic things.”
These fantastic things have included eliminating a $25,000/month answering service for a global brand, creating a real-time support ticketing system for a supercollider and launching FruFone, a Twilio Client-powered softphone that works in the browser and integrates seamlessly with ServiceNow.
In which a global retailer saves $25,000 per month
A little over a year ago, a global retail brand realized it had problems with the $25,000/month third-party answering service it relied on to handle after-hours calls. The high monthly cost was only the beginning: The retailer and the answering service tracked customer interactions with incompatible software, so getting data out of one system and into the other was an entirely manual task: Every day, someone in the retailer’s office had to take the previous night’s notes from the answering service and type them into the retailer’s own system.
Along with this laborious and potentially error-prone process, the retailer faced the risk that the answering service would have an outage or experience an unexpectedly high volume of calls, potentially causing critical messages to get lost and leaving customers needs unattended.
When Dauw heard about the retailer’s situation, he knew that there was a better way. Dauw figured that, in the age of cloud communications, dedicating $25,000 per month and hundreds of hours per year of data entry to answering late night phone calls no longer made any sense. Dauw and the team at Fruition Partners pitched the retailer on a new approach.
They proposed a solution built on ServiceNow – cloud-based IT service management platform – and Twilio’s cloud communications API. This solution, Dauw knew, could deliver a far superior experience to customers, eliminate the manual data entry process and save boatloads of cash.
A few months later, the retailer had completely ditched the old-school answering service in favor of an entirely automated system powered by Twilio and ServiceNow.
The new answering system never misses a beat. It uses interactive voice response (IVR) to automatically capture after-hours customer interactions, turn them into service tickets, sync them with the proper customer records and forward critical issues to the person on call. Everything is logged 100% of the time, and since the the whole system is automated and lives in the cloud, the retailer never has to worry that a spike in call volume or a human error will cause a customer to slip through the cracks. Best of all, the recurring $25,000/month fee is gone, replaced with an on-demand, pay-as-you-go pricing model.
Now, the retailer only pays for the after-hours calls that it receives – when it receives them – and nothing else. And unlike the old answering service, the new system is profitable: it delivers more revenue than it costs the retailer to use.
A particle physics lab gets the support system it needs
After getting fantastic results with the automated answering service, Fruition went on to build a “proactive” monitoring and escalation system for a national particle physics lab. The lab has literally tons of mission-critical super-computing equipment in use at every hour of every day. When a piece of this equipment encounters problems, the impact to essential scientific analysis is severe and costly.
Before Fruition Partners integrated Twilio and ServiceNow, the lab relied on highly expensive and outdated infrastructure, and the process was generally “reactive”: it required significant manual intervention to capture issues, turn them into support tickets and move them up the chain.
The new system, built on ServiceNow and Twilio, is “proactive”: it automatically calls available members of the support team the moment a piece of lab equipment goes down. On-call support technicians are informed of the impacted service or equipment, and can simply press “1” to accept the ticket. If the technician is not available they can press “2” to escalate the issue to the next agent in line or to management. Outdated pagers have been replaced with smart phones, providing immediate access to the ticket through the ServiceNow mobile interface. This workflow has enabled the national lab technicians to respond to equipment problems far more quickly.
But these implementations were just the beginning
FruFone: VoIP comes to the browser
Built with the Twilio Client VoIP SDK, Fruition’s FruFone is a browser-based softphone that integrates native VoIP telephony into the ServiceNow platform. The product takes a full suite of telecom capabilities – inbound and outbound dialing, click-to-call, voice conferencing, call recording, call metrics, visual voicemail and more – puts them in the browser and makes them accessible right inside ServiceNow.
Because FruFone works in the browser, it requires no hardware and eliminates the need for the dedicated desk phone and complex computer-telephony-integration (CTI) traditionally required to connect software applications to a phone line. In essence, FruFone enables SerivceNow customers to go beyond the limitations of on-premises telecom with something much simpler, faster and more flexible: a Twilio-powered, ServiceNow-integrated software phone that is hosted entirely in the cloud.
As Chris Dauw says, “All of the hardware based telecom solutions are cookie-cutter, the main differentiator has been price. But when the cloud disrupts telecom, everything is going to be about innovation: what features and functionality can you provide that the others can’t?”
This blog post was authored by Twilio’s Product Marketing Manager, Dan Kaplan and is based on a series of conversations we had at the Enterprise Connect conference last month in Orlando. Fruition Partners and Twilio will be presenting together at the ServiceNow conference Knowledge12, May 13-17th in New Orleans. The original post can be found here.