28th July 2023

Twilio Flex UI 2.0 migration guide: Here’s what you need to know

Organisations need to start their migration to Flex UI 2.0 as soon as possible. Twilio has announced end-of-life (EOL) plans for Flex UI 1 at which point critical security features, fixes and new functionality will no longer be available for older versions.

Lots of updates have been made to Twilio’s contact centre platform since launch in 2018, but this is the first major user interface (UI) overhaul. As such, it is more than a simply update and requires thorough consideration and planning.

The good news is Flex UI 2.0 comes with some big upgrades that makes the effort more than worth it.

2 0 1

The key differences between Twilio Flex 1 & 2

With the launch of Twilio Flex UI 2.0 and Twilio Conversations, organisations can now easily add digital channels and enable agents and end-users to have threaded conversations across those channels, with historical context at hand. From a developer perspective, configuring channels is much easier. From an end-user perspective, conversations can continue seamlessly cross-channel (SMS, WhatsApp, WebChat, etc) without the need to re-enter information.

Media messages are also supported across channels, allowing users to add photos, video and other file types to conversations. Achieving this in Flex UI 1 required a workaround whereas it is now made easy.

Flex UI 2.0 introduces Twilio Paste, an innovative design system that enables rapid prototyping and roll-out of customer experiences. Paste helps teams design and build faster (and makes UI upgrades simpler). It also enables efficient reuse of features and designs across products and workflows.

A major addition is ‘accessibility by default,’ meaning Flex UI v2 meets WCAG 2.1 AA requirements as standard. Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) are the international standards for ensuring web content is accessible for those with disabilities. Meeting these requirements is law in some industries, including UK local and central government. This removes the need for deep subject matter expertise when designing and building accessible user experiences.

A smaller, but useful addition is that of configurable timers to automatically transition conversations between active and inactive as well as from inactive to closed states, enabling agents to focus on active (ongoing) conversations.

Component library 2

When do we need to migrate to Flex 2.0?

Twilio has announced that latest version of Twilio Flex UI 1 (1.34) will end-of-life (EOL) on 30th June 2024.

As detailed in Twilio’s end of life policy:

  • Flex UI 1.32 and below will EOL 31st July 2023
  • Flex UI 1.33 will EOL 30th November 2023
  • Flex UI 1.34 will EOL 30th June 2024

Take our complimentary Twilio Flex UI v2.0 Migration Readiness Check to find out:

  • Your migration complexity level (‘Easy’, ‘Medium’ or ‘Complex’)
  • How long your migration is likely to take (based on similar migrations)
  • Immediate benefits of the upgrade to your organization specifically

What happens if we do not migrate to Flex UI 2.0?

Organisations running Flex UI v1 beyond these dates will not be covered by Twilio’s support Service Level Agreements (SLAs), meaning they’ll be on their own when problems arise. Outdated versions will not have any further code changes, including bug fixes or security updates, and may not continue working as intended.

Those left on the old Flex will also miss all the the new functionality, risking remaining stagnant while competitors continue to innovate.

Delay in migration will ultimately become a matter of damage control.

Factors to consider when planning the migration to Flex UI 2.0

There are several key factors when ensuring a successful migration, including:

  • Development (Paste vs Material UI): Organisations must be prepared to transition from Material UI to the Paste UI framework and understand what it means for their existing Flex instance. Flex plugins that require migration may have platform components that are not be immediately available within the Paste UI framework and require additional development effort and expertise to implement. At Zing, we’ve built a Library of commonly used components to help simplify each migration project.
  • Differences: Certain services may operate with specific differences. One example is that, with increased capabilities and ease of new channel onboarding, the Conversation API handles contact history in a different manner to that of the incumbent Chat History. Such nuances are small and easily overcome but must be factored into the scope and timeline of any migration project.
  • Downtime: Given the magnitude of the changes, a full migration to Flex UI 2.0 may sometime require some downtime to complete the transition (in most cases there is no / little downtime). If this is the case, it will need to be factored into migration plans, scheduled as an out-of-hours deployment or, in the case of a 24/7 operation, will need to have suitable failover / continuity plans in place ahead of launch, to ensure no loss of service.

Migration options

1. In-house development

Organisations that have in-house development teams with plenty of availability may wish to tackle migration themselves. Getting started is straight forward and a matter of heading to the ‘Versioning and Updates’ page within the Flex Admin Dashboard and selecting version 2.0.X

Before continuing with a live profile migration, it’s important to run a test migration by taking a copy of the Flex profile onto a staging / QA environment and running through the steps. This helps teams understand the impact of the changes and figure out the work involved in performing the migration.

Profiles should be reviewed following the migration and any plugin UI changes or Conversations amendments should be actioned where applicable. Once happy with the outcome on Staging, these steps can be replicated on the Live profile.

Taking an in-house keeps complete control but can be time-consuming and resource intensive.

2. Use a Twilio partner

Using a trusted Preferred Partner such as Zing removes the risk and helps ensure a smooth, prompt migration. The impact on in-house resource is minimal and organisations are set-up the get the best out of the new Flex UI 2.0 platform. If you're looking for a Twilio partner, it's worth downloading our newest eBook - The complete guide to working with a Twilio partner - to help you with your search.

Are you ready to migrate to Twilio Flex UI 2.0?

We offer a free Flex UI 2.0 Migration Guide and a free Migration Diagnosis, where we evaluate your existing set-up and identify the parts that will be affected by the migration. The process helps organisations understand the scope and potentials challenges of their migration. This is a great starting point regardless of whether you decide to migrate in-house or with the help of a partner.

Reviews can be undertaken in several ways. Organisations can either grant us access to a staging or development account that mirrors production, or they can run us through their platform via a show and tell. The length of time needed depends on the customisation level of the system but is generally achievable within a few hours.

Book your FREE Migration Readiness Review

With big new features and enhancements, this major upgrade promises to deliver improved accessibility and reliability, driving direct results for organisations around the world. With an effective migration, you can maintain a seamless experience for customers while get the most out of Twilio Flex’s biggest ever upgrade.

You may also like...