There is a gold rush of sorts in customer engagement and one company, Twilio ((TWLO) -Get Report), is building the best storefront for the tools application developers need.
On Monday, Twilio execs announced a $3.2 billion merger with Segment, a key competitor in the application programming interface marketplace. The all stock deal will create an API juggernaut.
In this case, bigger is way better — and Twilio is a buy.
At its heart, the San Francisco, Calif.-based company is a cloud communications platform. Its software engineers have developed APIs, modular sets of code, that developers can easily plug into their online applications to make and receive telephone calls, text messages, video and chat.
If you have ever requested an Uber ((UBER) -Get Report) car or sent a Facebook ((FB) -Get Report) message to a friend on their birthday you’re probably engaged a Twilio API.
The beauty of the business model is that Twilio gets paid a small fee every time one of its APIs is employed. Keep in mind, the Twilio API platform was used 1 trillion times during 2019, and growth is only getting started. My own newsletter business uses Twilio gateways several times a day to send notices of new reports to customers by text message.
Adding Segment is a master stroke. Since 2010, Twilio’s cross town rival has been helping companies collect and manage their internal customer data using APIs.
Segment APIs work by allowing developers to pull customer data from one application as a building block, then seamlessly fit that information in another. Most companies use these APIs to integrate their customer service, marketing and analytics software.
The deal follows the 2019 purchase of Sendgrid, a large email API developer. Although email marketing may seem dated in the era
Salesforce is launching four industry clouds for communications, media, utilities and public sector courtesy of its Vlocity acquisition.
The industry clouds from Salesforce build on previous efforts in verticals such as financial services and healthcare. Software-as-a-service providers have been targeting verticals. For instance, ServiceNow has stepped up industry specific services for telecommunication providers and financial services.
Salesforce combined Vlocity’s technology with its Salesforce Customer 360 platform. The new clouds will have purpose-built apps as well as industry-specific data models.
Here’s the breakdown:
- Communications Cloud includes pre-built industry processes and product models for service providers. The Communications Cloud is also designed to offer insights on offers, promotions and service delivery.
- Media Cloud offers process guides and media-specific data models as well as tools to launch subscription bundles as well as personalized experiences and monetization tools.
- Utilities Cloud aims to bridge customer information from legacy billing systems with sales and service operations to offer one view of the customer. There are also mobile and self-service tools as well as personalized services.
- Public Sector Solutions is designed for government and agency offices with tools to issue permits faster in a remote work environment. Inspection permits and licensing tracking tools are also included.
on Tuesday announced that it’s working to improve the safety of road workers in construction zones. The German luxury automaker’s next-generation “C-V2X,” or cellular vehicle-to-everything communications technology, could significantly reduce crashes and fatalities.
This new system will work in conjunction with existingand features that Audi already offers. TLI currently works at around 15,000 intersections in about 35 cities in the US, advising drivers of how long a signal will remain red before changing. GLOSA can advise motorists to travel at a certain speed to avoid hitting red lights, saving frustration and fuel.
Many vehicles on the road today are already equipped with modems that enable them to connect to cellular networks, but what Audi’s been developing here does not use this communications technology. Instead, it’s working on a system that lets cars connect directly with other vehicles, infrastructure or even people (in the designated 5.9GHz spectrum), rather than sending data to the cloud and back. This change should result in faster, more accurate communications and it avoids clogging up limited cellular bandwidth. Beyond that, by directly connecting all these things, this sort of communication can work in areas with limited or even no cellular service.
But how can Audi’ssave lives? If road workers wear special vests that can communicate with vehicles, they can be warned of oncoming traffic and avoid getting hit. This is a simple but potentially highly impactful development. On average in Virginia, for instance, there are more than seven crashes every day in work