Amazon Connect delivers contact center technology that powers customer service in a cloud service



Amazon Web Services (AWS), an Amazon.com company announced Tuesday Amazon Connect, a self-service, cloud-based contact center service that makes it easy for any business to deliver better customer service at lower cost.

Amazon Connect is based on the same contact center technology used by Amazon customer service associates around the world to power millions of customer conversations. Setting up a cloud-based contact center with Amazon Connect is as easy as a few clicks in the AWS Management Console, and agents can begin taking calls within minutes.

There are no up-front payments or long-term commitments and no infrastructure to manage with Amazon Connect; customers pay by the minute for Amazon Connect usage plus any associated telephony services.

Amazon Connect integrates with a broad set of AWS tools and infrastructure so customers can record calls in Amazon Simple Storage Service (Amazon S3), use Amazon Kinesis to stream contact center metrics data to Amazon S3, Amazon Redshift, or an external data warehouse solution, use Amazon QuickSight for data visualization and analytics, and use AWS Directory Service to allow agents to log into Amazon Connect with their corporate credentials.

Amazon Connect also integrates with CRM, Workforce Management (WFM), Analytics, and Helpdesk offerings from Appian, Calabrio, CRMNEXT, Freshdesk, Paxata, Pentaho, Pindrop, Salesforce, SugarCRM, Tableau, Twilio, VoiceBase, Zendesk, and Zoho. This means customers can embed the Amazon Connect agent experience into the applications their agents already use.

If customers require additional support for custom integrations, they can work with AWS Partner Network Consulting Partners 1Strategy, Accenture, Aria Solutions, Persistent Systems, Slalom, Solstice IT, VoiceFoundry, and Wipro. Amazon Connect is currently available in the United States and 18 countries throughout Europe and will expand to more countries in the coming months.

Amazon Connect also makes it possible to design contact flows that adapt the caller experience. Contact flows can change based on information retrieved by Amazon Connect from AWS services (e.g. Amazon DynamoDB, Amazon Redshift, or Amazon Aurora) or third-party systems (e.g. CRM or analytics solutions).

For example, an airline could design an Amazon Connect contact flow to recognize a caller’s phone number, look up their travel schedule in a booking database, and present options like “rebook,” or “cancel” if the caller just missed a flight.

Customers can build natural language contact flows using Amazon Lex, an AI service that has the same automatic speech recognition (ASR) technology and natural language understanding (NLU) that powers Amazon Alexa, so callers can simply say what they want instead of having to listen to long lists of menu options and guess which one is most closely related to what they want to do.

The contact center is the front-line for a company’s customer relationships. But, traditional contact center solutions are complicated and expensive. Companies often have to invest in complex, proprietary hardware and software systems that can take months or even years to deploy, require specialized skills to configure and consultants to implement, and come with inflexible licensing that makes it difficult to scale as contact volumes fluctuate.

With Amazon Connect, customers can set up and configure a “Virtual Contact Center” in minutes. There is no infrastructure to deploy or manage, so customers can scale their Amazon Connect Virtual Contact Center 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 specialized skills required.

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