W-Systems joins SugarCRM! Read Blog

Twilio Client Powers W-Systems’ CRM Products

by Eric Wikman on July 26, 2011

4 minute read

A snowstorm totaling 1.25 inches in Austin, Texas this past winter yielded the development of several Twilio-based products including a Universal Click-to-Call plugin for SugarCRM. W-Systems responded quickly and developed an emergency SMS system to warn all employees of the unsafe driving conditions. The message was sent out of our SugarCRM system as text messages to each employee’s cell phone. At W-Systems, we do a lot of integrations with SugarCRM and other back-end systems. One of the more common integrations we do is telephony related and we now use Twilio for those integrations.

Getting Started with Twilio

W-Systems started using Twilio on an internal project to be able to send staff members SMS text messages to their mobile device from within SugarCRM. Later on, we used Twilio to build a conference bridge system so that our sales reps could invite clients to a conference call using the CRM system. If the CRM system recognizes the client’s phone number it announces them into the conference, and if it doesn’t it requires them to put in a password. After testing the waters with those first two projects, W-Systems saw even greater opportunity using Twilio. We found that a click-to-call application using Twilio would be a good solution for a lot of our clients that had an old phone system that was proprietary and difficult to integrate with any CRM system. With Twilio, we could build one universal click-to-call system that would work with any phone system. Our internal project evolved into W-Systems’ Universal Click-to-Call Plugin for SugarCRM and is the most recent product that we’ve launched publicly.

How We Built Click-to-Call

SugarCRM is written in PHP so we’re primarily using the PHP helper library that Twilio provides. We are coding it directly into Sugar using PHP. Click-to-call was completely written in an upgrade safe design and is module-loadable. Whether a client is using Windows, Linux, or any other environment, W-Systems’s Click-to-Call plugin is compatible with all of the different SugarCRM platform options.

Our Experience Working with the Twilio API

Developing Click-to-Call and other products using Twilio has been pretty easy. It’s a very user-friendly API, it’s well documented, and it comes with a helper library for several languages, which makes the development go quicker. The Twilio API is also very robust and scalable. If a customer is using Click-to-Call or another product powered by Twilio we don’t have to worry about the system keeping up if the business doubles or triples the number of agents. It’s nice to not have to worry about those architecture issues for scaling the product. Overall, it’s just been a very user-friendly API for a developer to work with.

W-Systems’ Future Plans for Click-to-Call Using the Twilio Client

A few months ago we went out to Twilio’s headquarters for a V.I.P. weekend where they demonstrated some of the new things that are up and coming, including the Twilio Client. We started working on the new version of Click-to-Call at the event so that we could demonstrate how we could use the product without a traditional landline or legacy phone system. The next release of the Click-to-Call product will be based on the Twilio Client and will be less expensive for our customers to use because it is browser-based. For more information about the Click-to-Call plugin for SugarCRM or other W-Systems products powered by Twilio contact us today.