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$8 billion Twilio acquired a Prague-based software startup that alerts call-center employees when a customer is mad

$8 billion Twilio acquired a Prague-based software startup that alerts call-center employees when a customer is mad

$8 billion Twilio acquired a Prague-based software startup that alerts call-center employees when a customer is mad Becky Peterson Sep. 11, 2018, 2:00 PM 0 facebook linkedin twitter email print Jeff Lawson, CEO of Twilio, which just acquired a small Czech software company.John Phillips/Getty Images Twilio announced Tuesday it’s acquired Ytica, a small Czech software…


$8 billion Twilio acquired a Prague-based software startup that alerts call-center employees when a customer is mad

Jeff Lawson TwilioJeff Lawson, CEO of Twilio, which just acquired a small Czech software company.John Phillips/Getty Images

  • Twilio announced Tuesday it’s acquired Ytica, a small Czech software firm that sells tools for call centers.
  • Twilio plans to combine Ytica’s tools will its Flex product, which is coming out in October and is designed to be used by call-center operations with up to 50,000 customer-service agents. 
  • Flex is what Twilio calls an “application platform;” customers can use it right away like most software, but they can also edit the code to customize it for their own needs. 

Twilio will soon be able to alert its clients when a customer is upset — and help them better respond to the situation.

The $8 billion cloud-communication company has acquired Ytica, a tiny European startup whose software can detect when customers who have called into a customer-service center are getting frustrated or angry. Ytica’s speech analysis tools can tell if customers sound like they want to upgrade their service or are getting upset and provide customer-service agents with scripts they can follow in response.

Twilio plans to integrate Ytica’s software into its Flex call-center product.

“It might be a phrase that indicates that a customer is getting angry,” said Al Cook, head of Twilio Flex. “They can allow Flex users to programmatically define what those phrases are that they care about, and then the speech analysis, automatically on the fly, just starts searching for those phonetic tones that indicate that those words have been said.”

Announced in March and scheduled to roll out fully to customers next month, Twilio Flex is a cloud-based call-center product designed to be used by up to 50,000 customer-service agents simultaneously. It’s what’s known as an “application platform,” which differs from a normal software product because customers can change and replace its underlying code to customize it for their needs. Being editable allows customers to more easily to add things to it like machine learning, and to integrate the platform with their other internal applications, Twilio said.

In addition to speech analysis, Ytica offers tools such as call recording and playback and performance management, which can track interactions between agents and customers. Cook said he expects the Ytica tools to be fully integrated into Flex soon after Flex launches. 

“From a product and technology perspective, we’ve been partnered with Ytica for a very long time, so we’ve been aligning our roadmaps and doing integration work and creating as smooth an experience as we can for a long time,” Cook said. 

Ytica is based in Prague, which will be Twilio’s seventeenth location around the world. 

The companies did not disclose the terms of the deal.

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