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Enabling an SMS chatbot conversation in an application

BMC Helix Innovation Suite provides an Short Message Service (SMS) conversation capability for chatbot applications so that the application users can interact with a chatbot through text messages by using their mobile devices. To utilize this capability, you must use the Programmable SMS Open link service provided by Twilio.

The configuration for BMC Helix Virtual Agent to work with Twilio is a tenant-level configuration.


  • If you use Twilio to configure BMC Helix Virtual Agent with WhatsApp, you require two different services of Twilio. You cannot use a single Twilio service for SMS and WhatsApp configuration.
  • End users can use the same mobile number for WhatsApp and SMS conversations.

The process of enabling an SMS chatbot conversation in an application comprises the following tasks:

Before you begin

To use the SMS conversation capability, the users must be registered as users in the CTM:People form in BMC Helix ITSM and must have their mobile number in the following format:

+ <country code> <mobile number> such as +14098765432

For information about creating users, see  Adding contact information, work information, and attributes to a People record Open link .

To create a Twilio account

Sign up for Twilio Programmable SMS Open link .

After you sign up for Twilio, you receive an email that contains your Twilio account credentials, Account SID and Auth Token.

To create a messaging service

You must create a separate messaging service for each chatbot application.

  1. Log in to Twilio Open link .
  2. Create a new project that includes the Programmable SMS feature.
  3. In your project, navigate to Programmable SMS > SMS, and click Create new Messaging Service.
  4. Enter the Messaging Service name, select the USE CASE value as Chat Bot/Interactive 2-Way, and click Create.

    The following image is an example of creating a new messaging service:
  5. In the Configure pane, enter the properties, and click Save.

  6. In the Inbound Settings section, select the PROCESS INBOUND MESSAGES option.

  7. In REQUEST URL, enter the Webhook URL that you get when you configure a chatbot application to work with Twilio.

    The following image is an example of the Inbound settings section:

To associate phone numbers

You must associate phone numbers with each messaging service for an application so that your application users can send messages to these phone numbers.

  1. Log in to Twilio Open link .
  2. Navigate to your project for which you want to configure phone numbers for a messaging service.
  3. In your project, navigate to Programmable SMS Message Service > Numbers, and add phone numbers for the messaging service.

For more information about the Programmable SMS, see Programmable Messaging Open link in Twilio documentation.

To set call forwarding

You can also set up call forwarding for your Twilio phone number, so that a call coming to your Twilio phone number can be forwarded to any other number.

  1. Log in to Twilio Open link .
  2. Navigate to your project for which you want to set call forwarding for a phone number.
  3. Search for TwiML Bins, in the RUNTIME section, select TwiML Bins.
  4. In TwiML Bin, click Create new TwiML Bin.

  5. Enter the values for the following fields, click Create, and save the changes.

    FRIENDLY NAMEEnter a name that describes to whom you are forwarding a call such as Forward messages to Jayant.

    Enter the following code by replacing +1xxxxxxxxxx  with phone number to which you want to forward calls:

    <?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?>

    You must provide your company support contact number or your company phone number.

  6. Navigate to Console Dashboard, in Phone numbers section, click Manage Numbers.
  7. Select the phone number which is associated with your application and in the Voice & Fax section, update the fields A CALL COMES IN and PRIMARY HANDLER FAILS.

For more information about call forwarding, see Setting up call forwarding Open link in Twilio documentation.

To configure a chatbot application

To configure your BMC Helix Innovation Suite chatbot application, you must configure the IBM Watson Assistant service credentials and configure your chatbot application to work with Twilio by using BMC Helix Innovation Suite.

To configure the IBM Watson Assistant service credentials

To connect to your IBM Watson Assistant service instance, you must configure the IAM API key in BMC Helix Innovation Suite. For more information, see  Configuring cognitive service for custom applications by using your own IBM Watson services Open link .

 To configure a chatbot to work with Twilio for SMS conversation

  1. Log in to BMC Helix Innovation Studio. 
  2. On the Workspace tab, click the application in which you want to configure a chatbot to work with Twilio. 
  3. Click the Chatbots tab and click the chatbot that you want to configure to work with Twilio. 


    If your application contains the The page innovationsuite:_inclusionsLibrary was not found  -- Please check/update the page name used in the MultiExcerpt-Include macro Skill and you have configured theIBM Watson Assistant service credentials, the Workspace ID field value is populated automatically. Else, you must add the Skill ID manually.

  4. Click the Channels tab and select New Twilio.
  5. In the Chatbot Service, from the Add Chatbot Provider Settings list, select SMS (Twilio).
  6. In the (SMS) Twilio Settings section, enter values for the following fields, and click Save.

    DescriptionEnter the description that provides details about the setting.
    Twilio Message Service ID

    Enter the Service SID of the messaging service created in Twilio.
    You can get the Service SID from Twilio configuration screen as shown in the following image:

    Twilio Account IDEnter the Twilio Account SID that you receive when you create a Twilio account.
    Twilio Authentication TokenEnter the Twilio Auth Token that you receive when you create a Twilio account.

    Webhook URL

    (Information only) This field is populated automatically and contains the Webhook URL in the following format: https://hostname:portnumber/api/rx/application/chat/event/channel/tenantid/ChatbotID
    Webhook URL is the REQUEST URL that you provide when you configure a messaging service in Twilio.

    The following image is an example of the Twilio configuration: 

The process for enabling SMS conversation for your application is now complete.

Related topics

Configuring a chatbot to work with a communication channel

Formatting chatbot responses to be displayed in communication channels

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