When you hear about Twilio, it’s more likely for you to think about the billion-dollar voice and text messaging platform that powers Uber.
Recently, however, the company is accelerating its move to reinforce its IoT platform, having quietly acquired software company Electric Imp for an undisclosed amount, which is an already well-known internet of things start-up.
Both companies want to create new IoT products and services for transforming and streamlining operations to tap into the potentiality of the IoT platform as a whole. The aim here is to combine Electric Imp’s platform with Twilio’s services and developer base.
Read on as we discuss the backdrops of both the companies and their respective objectives. Additionally, we’ll also try to shed light on how Twilio plans on accelerating its business after the acquisition.
Who is Electric Imp?
Have you ever wanted to connect everything in your home to the internet? Whether it’s introducing smart technology to our home security systems or having appliances start by themselves at the touch of a button, as human beings, we’re always on the lookout for things that can make our lives easier and more convenient.
Electric Imp can make this dream possible. The company had raised around $44 million from firms like Ramparts Capital. This led its 2016 Series C round that saw participation from reputable companies like PTI Ventures, Foxconn, Redpoint, and Lowercase Capital.
The company launched a line of programmable, pluggable network cards that bore a striking resemblance to SD cards, with each containing an embedded processor and Wi-Fi antenna. After installing these cards to your devices (this can be done through circuit boards that are conveniently sold by Electric Imp itself), all your devices will get connected to an ‘Imp Cloud,’ letting you control and program all of the electronics at a single place.
Its vision has several takers too since an increasing number of people are embracing the concept of a smart home, wanting to control functions via a home network, and taking the necessary precautions to amp up the security.
We have to point out that users also have the option of setting up commands for programming the Imp cards thanks to a drag and drop graphical interface available on the company’s web-based software. In addition to this, as the circuit boards are available in various sizes, you have the option to install them in all kinds of gadgets and appliances.
In essence, Electric Imp provides an innovative and powerful IoT connectivity program for simplifying a wide range of greenfield and brownfield applications, along with a home network connection. Thanks to these new features and applications, Electric Imp is now an integral component of many popular home security systems.
More specifically, from a business’s viewpoint, the company allows them to securely connect their IoT devices to where they want, such as third-party services or data centers. Additional critical security measures to take when connecting IoT devices to your home or business networks include sending all IoT traffic through a firewall, encrypting all traffic over your IoT devices in the first place via a virtual private network, and not allowing your IoT devices to initiate network connections.
Twilio and the Internet of Things (IoT): How Can the Company Facilitate IoT?
IoT involves creating a network of physical objects that are embedded with sensors, software, or electronics for data transfer without human intervention.
The concept behind this platform is to go beyond machine-to-machine communication while simultaneously enhancing automation levels, irrespective of the fields. More automation in any given organization is ultimately one of the best things that a company can do to boost revenue, with 63% of business owners arguing that automating more tasks in their businesses increases profitability.
Twilio wants to work in this direction by connecting humans to a machine network as well. Additionally, the fact that around 80% of companies already implement IoT devices into their business highlights how a company with IoT is headed in the right direction.
Here’s how Twilio can simplify IoT for its customers:
Through Application Programming Interface (API)
Twilio has an API that powers a wide range of internet-connected solutions by combining voice, video, SMS, and MMS, along with real-time IP communications – all into a single platform.
This enables you to focus on finding the right solution without having to use separate protocols, equipment, or software.
Through Establishing Safe Communication Systems
Twilio understands that data communication needs to be safe from impending cyber threats to increase its customer base. After all, who would willingly want their confidential data compromised?
In its endeavor, the company regularly scans the system and performs third-party penetration tests to detect as well as mitigate any security vulnerabilities.
Through an Intelligent System
IoT has two prominent concepts: ambient intelligence and autonomous control. Twilio comes with an intelligent routing system that sends messages as notifications. Its TaskRouter API passes any incoming request such as text messages, social media requests, or phone calls to the best agent. Not only does this help to eliminate the need for a decentralized contact center infrastructure, but it also helps to improve customer experience.
Through Cloud Communication
Let’s face it: it’s high time that traditional infrastructure communication should be swapped with cloud communication. The former is just too complicated, and requires capacity planning, telecom hardware integration, and carrier contracts. Cloud communication, on the other hand, has wider capabilities including being more scalable with better response rates to dynamic business conditions.
One of the most common cloud-based novels that is used by businesses is Software-as-a-Service (SaaS), with over 80% of businesses currently reliant on SaaS for most of their cloud-based software needs. Twilio, for instance, utilizes SaaS-based cloud communication for transferring data between devices along with its telephony infrastructure, which is hosted on Amazon Web services.
What Does Twilio Acquiring Electric Imp Hold for the Future?
This partnership between the two companies can bring together two critical aspects of IoT: reliable global connectivity and a mature application program. This will enable customers to build solutions, as well as deploy them globally, in a relatively short period of time.
In addition to Electric Imp, Twilio has made various strategic acquisitions over the course of the last few years to expand the high-priority parts of its portfolio. The company stepped into the IoT business after partnering with T-Mobile in 2016, which considering the latter‘s launch of low-cost IoT access packs for providing IoT solutions, was a smart move.
As of now, Twilio has already incorporated several Electric Imp’s solutions into its business strategies. According to Chetan Choudhary, the Vice Principal of Sales for IoT, this has brought in a higher degree of reliability in a few deals.
This is mainly because of the company’s enhanced ability to overcome unprecedented website attacks from hackers and solve problems revolving around the embedded layout and hardware design.
It’ll be exciting to see where Twilio’s vision will take the IoT platform in the next couple of years, and maybe enhanced safety could reduce the looming occurrences of IoT security threats like leaks, unsecured devices, and hijacking.
To put things into perspective, both companies are releasing their newest product called the impoo6 breakout board for arming IoT goods. This will come pre-installed with Twilio’s Super SIM for worldwide connectivity, especially for IoT developers.
Twilio acquiring Electric Imp isn’t just about the purchase of goods. Rather it’s a proactive decision to bring a lot of expertise in establishing a successful IoT structure.