I walked into the office yesterday and saw a note on the front desk that said “For deliveries call…” It seemed like an easy way to get somebody up front to sign for packages, but I thought we can do better. Over the next couple of hours I put together a quick method using Twilio to accept phone calls and SMS messages and notifying a Webex Teams space that has a group of people that are regularly in the office.
When I got the email last year that Tropo was being closed down for public use my heart saddened, but it also provided an opportunity to start playing with Twilio more after their crazy year on the stock market. If you don’t know, Twilio is a cloud based collaboration platform that is hugely API driven. They have tons of products and subproducts that directly competed with Tropo for programable voice features, but have expanded to programmable PSTN access, 4G IoT provisioning and now Twilio Flex which is their cloud omni-channel contact center platform.
Twilio Studio is a GUI driven programing front end so I didn’t have to get too deep in the programing weeds. It’s a drag and drop type interface for building decisions taking various inputs and giving output options. There are some limitations to HTTP request authentication which required me to source a “middle man” for the Webex interactions. I used the trusty MS Flow for the inbound leg since its proven to be pretty reliable for me in other projects and also provides a pretty programing GUI so co-workers can troubleshoot or adjust as needed if nobody else is around.
Here we can create triggers to act on and create the simple flows needed to interact with Webex Teams through the normal Rest API. it event includes options for voice transcriptions and other things.
From the Webex Teams side we take the input from Twilio either DTMF, voice or SMS and relay it to a predefined Webex Teams space. We have triggers setup in Twilio so that when we respond to the bot we can initiate a text message to the last dialed phone number. (You still can’t help it if someone puts in their wrong number when applying to Chick-fil-A)