Decisions Blog

Telephony in Workflow Automation

The decisions workflow engine can be used to handle the backend of both SMS and IVR (interactive voice response) telephony integration. We do this by integrating with both Twilio and Plivo who provide an API layer for handling the telephony.

To use this feature you need to have access to either a Twilio or Plivo account. Twilio is a SAAS provider and it is really easy to create an account to try this out. Just go to twilio.com and register.

The types of communication that can be handled using this integration includes

  • Sending out text messages
  • Holding a conversation using text (sms) with a user. Ie, asking them to approve something, waiting for a response, etc
  • Making outbound calls
  • Handling inbound calls
  • Recording (and transcribing?) messages
  • Conferencing users together

telephony sidebar-resized-600The workflow engine exposes all of the interactions from the telephony services in a graphical way. Here is a picture of the list of flow steps that are provided for telephony.

Besides the integration to handle all the elements of communication that are exposed by these services, the advantage of using the flow engine to manage the communication is the other parts of building an application are easy to integrate. When I get a text, I want to assign to user to setup – easy, you have the process engine for this. When call comes in, I want to use rule engine to decide who to route it to – not a problem. Want to log the call to a database, database integration is present in the workflow engine. Etc.

The API’s from these services are easy to use on their own, but they do nothing to assist in the automating of the ‘what now’ in a telephony application. Sure, its easy to make a call, but how do I trigger that logic? Where do I store the data? What other processes are impacted?

Try our designers to play with telephony processes by clicking here Telephony-Try It.