Twilio has gained prominence as perhaps the quintessential developer tool company. Twilio’s founder and CEO, Jeff Lawson, has long spoken about “enabling the doers,” the video below, over six years old now, shows a Lawson (with considerably more hair and girth than today) opining about what the term means.

Essentially, Twilio allows organizations to focus completely on whatever their particular business is. If you’re a company wanting to build an application, you should;t have to think about spinning up servers, enabling email capability, or integrating communications into your app. Instead third parties should do all this heavy lifting for you. And so Twilio has grown (and enjoyed a successful public listing on the way) by offering developers a communications toolset. SMS, voice, video – all offered simply and easily.

And grow they have, over 1.6 million individual developers have used Twilio in their applications. The company has ridden high on the wave of clichés (or, perhaps, truisms) like “developers are the new kingmakers,” or “software is eating the world.”

But here’s the thing. If Twilio was founded to be all about democratizing communications for all developers, there is perhaps a bigger requirement today, that of democratizing these tools for everyone.

Twilio Studio, allowing everyone to accelerate customer engagement.

Twilio is today launching Studio, a new visual builder that aims to enable cross-functional team made up not only of developers but also of business folk, to build the best customer engagement applications that they can. The idea of Studio is to allow business users the ability to leverage the platform and this historical work of Twilio developers.

Twilio Studio is a new visual interface that users leverage to build tools such as interactive voice response (IVR) systems, conversational messaging bots, or notification workflows. Software developers can build workflows and hand them off to business operators to iterate on. Business users will be able to build many workflows themselves, without needing a developer up front. With Studio, the business gets the best of both worlds: the flexibility that only comes from custom software development, with the speed of a packaged solution.

Says Lawson, reflecting on a future focus for his company:

Prior to Twilio Studio, businesses had to choose between buying pre-packaged products with limited customization or relying on limited development resources to create and maintain more dynamic customer experiences. Studio eliminates that false choice, allowing developers to accelerate their roadmap by putting the power of Twilio into the hands of more builders across every company.

Drag and drop meets widgets

Twilio Studio combines a drag-and-drop visual editor with a library of widgets that handle the underlying communication logic.  This allows teams to customize communications workflows for their applications, all hosted on Twilio’s technology. The bottom line is more speed, more ability to reuse assets, and more people within an organization able to use Twilio.

Ben Kepes

Ben Kepes is a technology evangelist, an investor, a commentator and a business adviser. Ben covers the convergence of technology, mobile, ubiquity and agility, all enabled by the Cloud. His areas of interest extend to enterprise software, software integration, financial/accounting software, platforms and infrastructure as well as articulating technology simply for everyday users.

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