Twilio's business is getting a huge boost today, as AT&T has just announced it will resell the startup's voice and SMS API and apps as the “AT&T Advanced Communications Suite.” Businesses can buy survey tools, ad-hoc workgroup messaging and calling, appointment reminder services, or build directly on the Twilio API.
The partnership has been a year in the making and will get Twilio in front of a big potential client base of AT&T SMB and enterprise customers. Along with its $34 million in funding, the AT&T deal will continue fueling Twilio as it rockets to the top of the emerging cloud telecom industry.
Previously, businesses that needed to run surveys, set up SMS shortcodes, run teleconferences, or send appointment reminders might have had to build their own technology, or rely on inefficient human call centers. Meanwhile, existing customers might have had to go outside of AT&T if they wanted to license tools for these purposes.
Now AT&T customers can get self-serve access to efficient Twilio-powered tools integrated into their existing telecom service. That'll help it increase loyalty while seeming up-to-date on the latest cloud innovations, when really it's just relying on a savvy startup. Evan Cooke, Twilio's co-founder and CTO, says his company is proud to”Help AT&T bring ideas to market more quickly.”
Next in the pipeline are more ACS apps and improvements, including cross-carrier enablement so apps can run on any network, and video conferencing.
Twilio recently crossed the 100,000 developer mark on its platform and this deal should make scoring those next 100,000 easier. The space is exploding, as businesses ditch old analog technology and call centers for APIs, and AT&T could help Twilio compete with mBlox, an older company in the cloud telecom space.
Now I'm wondering if AT&T might consider acquiring Twilio. I asked Cooke about the potential for a buyout and he didn't deny the possibility. Instead he explained “The first step for us is to start working with them. We have a lot of ideas of where we want the Twilio API to go. We think AT&T is a great example of validation in the market for what we've been able to do over the last four years.”