Enabling Twilio for SaaS platform

For company which having SaaS based product, There is always the question of what goes into 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 tenant and usage of project 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 subaccount?

Subaccounts are like placeholders that separate resources that belong to a Parent Twilio project. We developed SaaS based pharmacy CRM for one of our clients where it allows their tenants (customers) to make calls, receiving incoming calls, send BOT calls and sending text message. Pharmacy CRM has more than 10 tenants.

Pharmacy CRM has two options when creating their Twilio account structure:

Option 1: Use only 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 subaccounts
Segment the billing process

If Phamracy CRM chose only parent aacount, 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 SaaS company and wants create or manage sub accounts dynamically, managing resources for specific sub account, track usage of specific sub account, everything is accessible through Twilio API.

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