What Else Did Twilio Get in the Sendgrid Acquisition?
In October 2018 Twilio announced the acquisition of Sendgrid. In Feb 2019 the deal closed. Sendgrid adds email as a channel to engage with customers, employees and applications. That's the obvious stuff. What else did they get and how will that play out for us, their customers?
When two large companies merge, they goal is to create something bigger than the sum of the two parts. What else can Twilio do with access to the Sendgrid data, technology and team?
EMail is obvious answer about what Twilio acquired. When it comes to sales and marketing email is still king. Even Jeff Lawson has said it was the "missing channel" in their platform. You can start with a customer in email and transition to more personal, validated, and trusted channels as the conversation deepens.
Data Driven EMail Applications
In the enterprise, email is often the only mechanism for sending alerts, operational data and other performance information. I expect Twilio to support all the data driven interactions you see with SMS and Voice over email. If your widget stamper emails an alert about its oil-level, Twilio will accept, parse and drive actions designed in Twilio Studio.
I expect to see a differentiation between trusted (DMARC, DKIM, PGP) email and less trustworthy content.
For brand new applications, Twilio's lack of a contact database has always been a missing service. I expect Sendgrid's contact database to become a Twilio service. This could be a standalone service, other Twilio data storage options could be made more robust (allowing for larger data sets) or the entire service could be re-implemented as a Twilio Application. Twilio Contacts with extensible schemas, Admin UI, configurable auth features, groups and additional integration services to interop with corporate instances of Microsoft Active Directory. Twilio flex is a good example of that approach. It is a turn-key and customizable contact center solution built on Twilio's back-end.
Templates for More Channels
In Sendgrid you can build beautiful email templates. You can track to whom they are sent, who read them, and who clicked the link, etc.. This is one step away from building beautiful responsive forms and from there, a few more steps to delivering progressive web apps (PWA) over the customers preferred channel. Imagine buying a pizza on Whatsapp, receiving a link to a PWA as a receipt which is interactive, works offline and has upsell options for a 2-liter of Coke and ice cream already in the delivery car.
Connect All the Things
What's the difference between connecting your CRM to your Trello board and connecting your web chat to your contact center? Technically... nothing. I expect Twilio to expand its plugin infrastructure and make it more generic to connect all the things. I expect Twilio to also look more and more like an Integration Platform As A Service (IPaaS) offering over time. They've been the IPASS of of customer interaction and engagement and to keep growing they need to branch out. Connecting services as well as people to companies seems logical.
So Much More than Email
As Twilio consultants, PHIXED is excited about all the new possibilities coming. A broader platform will enable better solutions for customers. Twilio nailed it with this acquisition and I can't wait to see what's next.
If you want to chat about what's next for you, let's get together and discuss how PHIXED can help you. firstname.lastname@example.org