Twilio Flex vs Zendesk Sunshine: All-in-One Environment

Omni-channel conversations for better CX 

Twilio Flex vs Zendesk Sunshine
Contact Centre ReviewsTwilioZendeskReviews

Last Edited: November 18, 2021

Rebekah Carter

Supporting customers in today’s world requires more than just an excellent phone system. Companies need to be able to build versatile, dynamic contact centres, compatible with a wide range of platforms and tools. As clients continue to raise their expectations when it comes to customer service, the most adaptable organisations will be the most resilient.  

Fortunately, companies like Twilio and Zendesk offer a more flexible way to serve your customers. Twilio Flex is a world-leading programmable contact centre platform, offering companies an easy way to build a communication strategy suitable for them. Zendesk Sunshine is a powerful platform for flexible customer and employee experiences.  

Let’s take a closer look at what both solutions can do. 

Twilio Flex Features 

Twilio Flex is an adaptable contact centre that transforms to suit you. Currently, Twilio is the second-largest CCaaS company in the world according to contact centre seats, offering one of the most dynamic, bespoke contact centre packages around. Companies can easily access a range of communication channels and manage them from the same platform, with 100% cloud scalability. 

Twilio’s unique approach to contact centre construction with Flex ensures business leaders can evolve their contact centre to suit the changing needs of their audience. The power of programmability means you’re always able to update workflows, adjust routing rules, and discover new integrations. Features of Twilio Flex include: 

  • Omni-channel coverage across voice, video, WhatsApp, SMS and more 
  • Programmable workflows, routing rules, channels, integrations and UI design 
  • Business insights with flexible dashboards and reports 
  • Contact centre management tools  
  • Google contact centre AI for instant recommendations 
  • Embed within your CRM technology 
  • Build and deploy contact centre customisations in minutes 
  • API integrations for access to cross-channel data 
  • Ecosystem partner integrations for workforce management 
  • Drag-and-drop report sharing 
  • Trusted partner deployment services 

Twilio Flex essentially gives companies the freedom to build the exact contact centre they need, without the fluff. You can choose which channels you need to be active on and manage tasks across a host of platforms with a single user interface. There’s access to engagement workflows and intelligent routing to help your business operate more efficiently, and AI for meaningful insights. 

Zendesk Sunshine Features 

Zendesk Sunshine is the platform created by the Zendesk customer service company for flexible employee, application, and customer experience management. The Sunshine landscape allows companies to connect multiple conversational systems to create more natural conversations with customers. You can link everything from WhatsApp to Instagram messaging in the same place and create personalised messaging options with APIs. 

Like Twilio Flex, Zendesk helps to improve employee efficiency by unifying messages across a range of channels, so employees don’t have to jump between apps. You can also extend the functionality of your ecosystem with a host of integrations and APIs. Features of Zendesk Sunshine include: 

  • Integrations for a host of messaging and communication tools 
  • All-in-one environment for managing customer experiences 
  • Unified channel API access 
  • Conversation extensions for interactive experiences 
  • Conversation orchestration tools 
  • Customisations without coding 
  • Native support embedding 
  • Automation and intelligence 
  • Sunshine workflow tools 
  • Create your own bot or use Zendesk answer bot 
  • Pre-built apps and integrations 
  • AWS Events Connector 
  • Unified customer view 
  • Custom reports and data tracking 
  • Complete scalability with enterprise-grade security 

Zendesk Sunshine helps companies to align all of their employees towards a shared goal for an excellent customer experience. The flexible ecosystem can adapt to suit the changing needs of the company. A range of integrations makes it easier to keep everything connected, and you’ll have access to APIs too. There’s also the AWS Events connector to create more complex apps using customer service data and machine learning. 

Twilio Flex vs Zendesk Sunshine: Which is Best 

Both Twilio Flex and Zendesk have a few features in common. The two platforms are flexible environments designed to give you more control over the way you manage customer conversations and interact with clients. However, Twilio and Zendesk take a slightly different approach to empowering modern business.  

With Twilio, you get a highly programmable and scalable contact centre, with support for all the communication channels you might need on one platform. You can manage tasks across multiple channels simultaneously, integrate Google Contact Centre AI to assist service agents and more. There’s also the option to embed your tool directly into your CRM environment.  

Twilio’s focus is on helping companies to learn about their customer and build better, more meaningful experiences. Access to immersive reporting and analytics features just support this goal.  

With Zendesk, you’re also getting a more flexible solution for dealing with customer interactions – but the focus is more on sales than service. The solution makes it easy to unify messages across channels and orchestrate sales from a single thread with bots and third-party software. You can also use things like conversation extensions to create interactive experiences in a chat window, like allowing customers to visit their shopping cart in chat.  

Zendesk and Twilio both shine in their ability to give business leaders access to tools that require minimum coding knowledge. You can customize your solution without having to spend a fortune on developer skills.  

Twilio Flex or Zendesk Sunshine? You Decide 

Though there are some commonalities between Zendesk Sunshine and Twilio Flex, the experience you’ll get overall is quite different. Both tools give you a lot of programmable control over how you interact with your customers. However, Twilio feels more like an omni-channel, flexible contact centre for delivering amazing customer service and support. Zendesk, though it offers support services, seems to focus more on improving sales workflows.  

With either of these tools, business leaders can learn a little more about the customer journey and make sure their employees are equipped to respond to the needs of their target audience. The decision of which product is right for you depends on what you want to accomplish with your programmable ecosystem. Twilio’s connections with the contact centre and CRM landscape make it excellent for the service landscape, while Zendesk can help you to earn more sales and loyal customers. 



APIArtificial IntelligenceBotsCCaaSCRMGoogle Contact Center AIMachine LearningOmni-channel

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