The single biggest issue with telecommunications has always been how manual the process is. Whether it involves IP infrastructure or older time-division multiplex phone lines provisioning communications services usually involves weeks.
Twilio starting today wants to change that by adding support for elastic Session Initiation Protocol (SIP) trunking to a communication service delivered via the cloud. According to Twilio CEO Jeff Lawson, the elastic SIP trunking services being offered by Twilio can be provisioned in a matter of seconds via an online portal or application programming interface (API) the company exposes.
Lawson contends that trying to deliver modern communications services using telecommunications technologies and process that are 150 years old is absurd. Increasingly, communications services are being embedded inside other applications. Developers are now going to want to wait weeks for a carrier to provision those services. Instead, Lawson said organization of all sizes now need access to communication services on demand.
Twilio provides trunks for inbound numbers from 50 countries and outbound calling to every country in the world using a pay as you go pricing with no capacity limits. The company is also in the early stages of providing E911 emergency telephone services and support for secure connections over MPLS or encrypted TLS/SRTP. Developers can also take advantage of SMS and MMS messaging and one-click call recording with no additional hardware or per-user fees beyond the per-minute charge for cloud storage of the recording.
Finally, Twilo also dynamically routes outbound calls to the best carrier, provides access to TwiML scripting to specify what failover logic should apply to replicate on-premise IP-PBX functions if a local Internet outage occurs, and support for multi-tenanted SIP Trunks with per-tenant billing records and logs all under one master account.
Naturally, carriers have figured out many of the same emerging requirements, which is why so many of them are racing to provide access to their services via portals and API as well. But Lawson said Twilio is designed to not only more easily route traffic across multiple carriers; it takes advantage of commodity cloud services to reduce processing and storage costs.
Obviously, there is not much love lost between telecommunications carriers and the traditional channel. Twilio provides an interesting approach that enables solution providers across the channel to invoke those services without necessarily having to commit to either a specific carrier or, for that matter, even a long-term contract.