Twilio is one of the leading Communications Platforms as a Service (CPaaS) out there. It features a suite of web service APIs and is trusted by companies, such as Airbnb and Netflix. Users cite the ease with which they can keep in touch with their clients using Twilio’s all-in-one solution. However, trending in user feedback are the learning curve, the not-so-intuitive UX, and its insufficient customer support. If you’re exploring alternatives to Twilio, we’ve got you covered.
Bandwidth, formerly known as Voxbone, is a CPaaS that is built on top of its own carrier network. It offers a full suite of solutions for voice calling, messaging, and more recently, video calls, that easily integrate into your company’s apps and software. Messaging rates are $.005 per outbound message, and inbound messages are free. Trending in user reviews is the user-friendliness of Bandwidth’s APIs.
Two standout features in Bandwidth are its Emergency Calling and Web Real-Time Communication (RTC) Calling APIs. Bandwidth offers an Emergency Calling API which is useful for companies that need easy access to 911 with accurate geolocation capability, for instance, nursing home facilities. The WebRTC Calling API facilitates voice calling through a variety of web browsers without the need for telecommunications infrastructure.
Also read: Bluejeans vs. Zoom for Video Conferencing
Keep customers and employees happy with Infobip
Infobip is a communications platform provider that aids brands in creating and maintaining customer relationships at scale. Infobip supports 12 languages, so it’s a great fit for a company that conducts business in multiple countries. Infobip is a go-to solution for SMS capability and boasts a somewhat higher than average call speed, according to users’ feature reviews.
Infobip offers much more than just messaging and voice modalities. It supports a variety of social integrations, such as WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, Instagram, and Viber. Additionally, what makes Infobip stand out from the rest is its email product that enables you to deliver targeted emails to customers via Infobip’s API or web interface and then track your email campaign’s performance.
Infobip provides dashboard analytics to deliver key insights on metrics related to call quality, for example, and makes customer service representatives’ jobs easier by automating tasks, setting up workflows, and providing key customer profile information. Infobip might just be the solution that keeps both your customers and your employees happy.
Get actionable insights with Plivo
Plivo is a scalable solution that provides connection to over 1,600 Tier 1 telecommunications networks around the world and boasts connectivity in 195 countries. With Plivo’s documentation, software development kits (SDKs) for both mobile and browser apps, and reusable templates you can program and deploy your own voice and SMS integrations. In addition, its Call Insights tool enables monitoring, identification, and troubleshooting of call quality issues.
Though Plivo does not offer video conferencing capabilities, it allows pay-as-you-go pricing, so you avoid billing hassles. In fact, its SMS and voice rates in the US are as low as $.0050 and $.012 per minute, respectively.
Tap into fax and social with Telnyx
Telnyx offers its communication services of voice, messaging, video, and fax on a private global IP network. Customers love the range of communication modalities that Telnyx offers as well as its documentation. Given its fax capability, it might be a good solution for companies in the healthcare industry where records are often transmitted via fax. Moreover, Telnyx recently launched a WhatsApp Business API to connect with WhatsApp’s more than 2 billion users around the world.
Telnyx’s services include configuration management and security features, such as fraud detection. However, with Telnyx, you might experience less-than-optimal call speed, and it might not be as easy to integrate with your apps and software as some of the other alternatives. On the upside, after integration, users cite its easy UX.
Go global and get social with Vonage Communications APIs
Popular among growing SMBs looking for a scalable solution, Vonage Communications APIs connect you not only to Vonage’s extensive Tier 1 network but, like Plivo, more than 1,600 telecommunications networks worldwide as well. It offers programmable voice, video, messaging, and social APIs to stay connected with your customers.
Vonage APIs are available in 34 languages which is extremely useful for larger, multinational companies with customers around the globe. Vonage APIs feature ample documentation to build your own app to suit your needs as well as a dashboard to easily manage your account directly through an API. Users like this solution for its ease of use, API call quality, documentation, and variety of communication modalities.
Important features of cloud communications platforms
Consider which type(s) of communication modality your company needs in order to get in touch with customers. Voice and messaging are standard in this market, but if you need email, then check out Infobip, or if you need fax, look into Telnyx.
Many of the vendors above offer various pricing tiers to meet your company’s needs. Also consider your business size. SMBs won’t get the efficiency of scale out of the more expensive providers like enterprises will.
The CPaaS should be flexible enough where it allows you to build and integrate, according to your business needs. Look into the documentation and software development kits (SDKs) available from the vendor to make sure they’re up-to-date and easy to understand. Also check whether configuration is something you’d have to do on your own (and if so, is it easy to do?) or if it’s something the vendor handles for you.
If problems with integration or documentation arise, make sure that the vendor has round-the-clock support. Sometimes vendors offer various levels of customer support, depending on which pricing tier you opt into. It would also be useful to ask the vendor about their protocols for communicating and supporting upcoming software changes/updates to their platforms, as some users have cited sudden outages or unexpected updates that disrupt their own business.
Think about the geographical range in which you’re keeping in touch with customers and how built out you need the network to be. The vendor’s infrastructure needs to be able to support customer contact in all locations, so Plivo or Vonage would be great solutions in this regard.
If you’re operating in markets around the globe, consider potential language barriers. Your customers will likely appreciate a communications portal, such as Infobip or Vonage, that literally speaks their language.
Depending on your industry and whether you’re B2C vs. B2B, the ability to plug into social media may be a deciding factor. To tap into social media’s opportunities for customer relationship management, focus on vendors, such as Infobip, Telnyx, and Vonage, that offer a social media API to make your company even more accessible to customers on their terms.
Choosing the Right Twilio Alternative
Depending on your company size, industry, budget, and selling environment, the best cloud communications platform solution will look different for each business. Twilio is a leader in this market, but there are plenty of competitors that are on par. To look into these and other options, take a look at our Voice of Internet Protocol (VoIP) Software Selection Tool, or reach out to one of our unbiased technology advisors at TechnologyAdvice for free consultation based on your needs.