AWS turns its contact centre into a service with Amazon Connect

James has more than a decade of experience as a tech journalist, writer and editor, and served as Editor in Chief of TechForge Media between 2017 and 2021. James was named as one of the top 20 UK technology influencers by Tyto, and has also been cited by Onalytica, Feedspot and Zsah as an influential cloud computing writer.

Amazon Web Services (AWS) has announced the launch of Amazon Connect, a self-service cloud-based contact centre service which aims to make customer service easier and cheaper for businesses.

The service is an extension of the cloud infrastructure giant’s own customer contact centre technology – going back 10 years – put together as a service; think of the launch of Lex, the technology that powers Alexa, as a general service for a similar example.

Indeed, Lex is part of the package. Customers can build natural language contact flows and organisations can adapt the customer experience; in other words, callers can simply state their commands instead of having to listen to never-ending lists of menu options.

Crucially, many other players in the contact centre space are on board with AWS, including Freshdesk, Salesforce, and Zendesk. “An Amazon Connect and Zendesk integration provides our many shared customers with a seamless experience,” said Sam Boonin, Zendesk VP product strategy in a statement. “These companies are placing customer relationships at the forefront of their business and, in return, creating loyal customers.”

The press materials give a quick rundown of how Connect works. “With Amazon Connect, customers can set up and configure a ‘virtual contact centre’ in minutes,” AWS notes. “There is no infrastructure to deploy or manage, so customers can scale their Amazon Connect Virtual Contact Centre up or down, onboarding up to tens of thousands of agents in response to business cycles and paying only for the time callers are interacting with Amazon Connect plus any associated telephony charges.

“Amazon Connect’s self-service graphical interface makes it easy for non-technical users to design contact flows, manage agents, and track performance metrics – no specialised skills required.”

Connect integrates with a variety of current AWS tools, including Amazon S3, Redshift, and QuickSight for data visualisation and analytics. “We’re excited to offer this technology to customers as an AWS service – with all of the simplicity, flexibility, reliability, and cost-effectiveness of the cloud,” said Tom Weiland, Amazon vice president of worldwide customer service.

The product is currently available in the US and the majority of Europe, with more countries being rolled out ‘in the coming months’. You can find out more about it here.

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