Enabling Twilio for SaaS platform
For a company that has a SaaS-based product, There is always the question of what goes into the Cost of Goods Sold vs Cost of Revenue to calculate gross margin, Customer Lifetime Value (LTV), Customer Acquisition Cost (CAC) Payback Time, and to understand company’s unit economics in general.
Twilio Subaccounts are a great way to distinguish different tenants and usage of projects for each tenant. Each sub-account (or tenant) has its own numbers and usage reporting, as well as unique Account SID and Auth Token credentials, but is billed to the parent Twilio project balance.
Why should you use a subaccount?
Subaccounts are like placeholders that separate resources that belong to a Parent Twilio project. We developed a SaaS-based pharmacy CRM for one of our clients which allows their tenants (customers) to make calls, receive incoming calls, send BOT calls, and send text messages. Pharmacy CRM has more than 10 tenants.
Pharmacy CRM has two options when creating their Twilio account structure:
Option 1: Use only the parent account — Create a Twilio Account. Whenever Pharmacy CRM makes an API request they will use the Account SID for that account in their API request. For the sake of example, let’s say their Account SID is A001.
Option 2: Subaccount for each customer — Create a Twilio Account (Account SID = A001, the parent account) the same way suggested in option one, and then create a subaccount for each of their 10 customers (10 subaccounts). Each of the 10 subaccounts will get its own unique Account SID. So, when Pharmacy CRM makes an API request for a customer they will use the appropriate subaccount Account SID instead of the parent account’s Account SID.
Key benefits of subaccountsSegment the billing process
If Pharmacy CRM chose only the parent accounts, they would need to keep track of all the usage for each customer on their end, which is additional work and difficult to manage price per usage. Because subaccounts act as placeholders, you can utilize the Twilio Usage API to get specific billing data for a subaccount, thus reducing the business logic needed to implement individual customer tracking.
Allows for resource provisioning
Subaccounts allow for resources (such as phone numbers) to be added to the specific subaccount. One consideration is that most resources can belong to only one subaccount at a time.
API for everything
If you are a SaaS company and want to create or manage sub-accounts dynamically, manage resources for specific sub-account, or track usage of a specific sub-account, everything is accessible through Twilio API.
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