Announcing General Availability of Voice Insights: Call quality and performance data at your fingertips

Understanding the quality and the performance of your voice calls is critical to ensuring great customer experiences. Bad call experiences lead to frustrated customers, lost relationships, and have a real financial impact on businesses. However, call quality issues have traditionally been hard to troubleshoot because of the opaqueness that comes standard in the telephony industry, often referred to as the “black box of telephony.”

Voice Insights is a big data analytics platform that captures data from every single call that takes place on the Twilio platform, giving unparalleled visibility into call quality and call performance. We feel empowering customers with this level of visibility should be the standard, not the exception. That’s why we are now including Voice Insights with every Twilio voice minute, at no extra cost.

With Voice Insights we set out to demystify the traditional black box and provide total visibility into every call that takes place across the Twilio platform. Voice Insights captures and makes up to 500 unique data points available for every call providing businesses with the necessary information to quickly identify, troubleshoot, and resolve call quality issues. Rather than being solely reliant on filing a support ticket and waiting for a response, businesses are now able to take voice quality and performance into their own hands.

Why Voice Insights?

While voice-over-IP has revolutionized voice communications in terms of scale and cost, it is not a fool-proof method of delivering voice traffic. For example, not all IP-based networks are optimized for real-time communications traffic; things like misconfigured firewalls, misapplied or absent quality of service (QoS), and bandwidth misallocations can result in noticeable quality degradation of media streams. Packets arriving out of order, a.k.a. jitter, can result in a call sounding tinny, or robotic. Missing packets, commonly referred to as packet loss, can cause choppiness, drop outs in the conversation, or in extreme cases, one-way audio. 

Voice Insights helps businesses to both understand when these types of issues are occurring as well as where or why they are occurring. By quickly being able to identify and pinpoint the cause of voice quality issues, businesses can limit the potential customer facing impact and ensure their voice communications with customers always sound great.

Voice Insights, an origin story

When we first started building Voice Insights, it was designed to be an internal tool to help our support organization more easily troubleshoot call quality issues for our customers. The reaction from our support team was so positive we decided that we needed to get this product in the hands of our customers and released the product in beta in 2016. After three years of listening to customer feedback, refining the product, and increasing the surface area of coverage, Voice Insights is now a mission critical tool for many internal Twilio teams and thousands of customers.

Voice Insights performs billions of metric and session aggregations, analyzes tens-of-billions of call events, and hundreds-of-billions of minutes for call behavior variance each day to help improve the quality of calls on the Twilio platform. Twilio Super Network consumes Voice Insights data to proactively make routing changes and help prevent customer facing incidents. This is a big part of the reason why we are able to identify 98% of incidents before our customers are impacted.

The tools in your Voice Insights toolbox

Every single account now has access to the Voice Insights Dashboard, a powerful aggregation and analysis tool with 30 days of call data. Every single call now has a Voice Insights call summary, with metadata about the cal,l and metrics describing the quality experience on the call.

Voice Insights Dashboard

This dashboard enables you to slice and dice your call data to parse out call trends. You can:

  • Segment your call data on multiple dimensions including call state, country, and time frame.
  • View call volume and average length of call trends.
  • Investigate changes in call behavior by digging deeper in the key performance indicator subgraphs for connection rate, post-dial delay, and calls that may have been impacted by local network conditions.

View of the Voice Insights Dashboard

Call Summary

Call Summary lets you look at your calls in more depth. You can:

  • See detailed information about the calling and called parties including source and destination carriers.
  • View call properties to determine who hung up, what the last SIP response was, and how long the media stream spent traversing Twilio's infrastructure.
  • Quickly determine whether common quality problems like packet loss or silence were detected on the call.

View of a Call Summary

Voice Insights Advanced Features

For customers who require greater specificity about call behavior or have advanced analytics applications, Voice Insights is offering a set of advanced features tuned to operating highly sensitive and complex call quality environments.

Metrics

In some cases, knowing there was quality degradation on a call isn't enough. If you need to know precisely when during the call the variance occurred, and for how long, you need a time series view of that data. With Metrics, you can examine transport data over time for specific calls, including:

  • Time-series view of jitter, packet loss, and packet rate for inbound and outbound streams.
  • Jitter, received packet loss, mean opinion score, and round trip time for carrier and trunking calls.
  • Audio input/output levels for voice SDK calls.

View of the Metrics dashboard

Events 

Twilio's SDKs provide a rich source of call data in the form of debug, error, info, and warning events. These events are available to your application via the SDK, but enriching the Twilio call record with the event stream provides additional context for understanding call behavior. Having visibility into call progress events like the transition from ringing to answered provides an extra layer of visibility. The Events stream will show:

View of an Event list

API

If your use case requires programmatic access to Voice Insights data there is a converged API endpoint available to retrieve post-call summaries for your calls. You can pull the data about your calls into your own applications and decorate your internal call records with the details provided by Voice Insights.

Learn more about the Summary API here.  

Voice Insights Advanced Feature pricing

Voice Insights Advanced Features can be enabled in Console and is set at the Account level. Once Voice Insights Advanced Features are enabled, you will be charged an additional $0.0025 / minute that takes place in that account.

One more SUPER advanced feature…

Operating a complex post-call process at scale by having to request details from multiple endpoint-using HTTP REST APIs may not be the right solution for everyone. We’ve been exploring a lot of different ways to get this data into your data infrastructure. Streaming delivery methods like writing directly to AWS Kinesis streams or Kafka topics might be a more elegant way to integrate with your applications. We're calling the project Data Taps for Voice Insights and we're looking for partners to help us prove out the idea. If that sounds like an adventure you'd like to join us on, let us know by signing up here.

Getting started with Voice Insights

The Voice Insights Dashboard and call summaries are included with every voice minute on the Twilio platform, and are available for all accounts starting today. Here are the docs to help guide you on your journey.

If you have any questions about the dashboards, summaries, or anything else related to Voice Insights please feel free to submit a ticket to Twilio’s support team.

Voice Insights kicks open the telecom black box. Take your understanding of call behavior to the next level by checking out the Voice Insights Dashboard and call summaries, and start monitoring your voice infrastructure and performance today.

Onward!

Source: Twilio

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