Recent announcement of Oracle looking to buy Accenture is a sign that things have started to move from fast to superfast in the cloud computing wars. Amazon Connect is Amazon’s way to show how it intends to take a much bigger pie of the services market as it starts to move from 10Bn to 20Bn run-rate.
Many researchers and pundits believe that Amazon will reach 20Bn revenues by 2020! While many analysts may scorn at Oracle’s intentions, they should know that the traditional services and hardware & software industry is undergoing a major correction.
There are enough examples to look at, for instance Dell eating up EMC for nearly $70 Billion but still being hit hard by the cloud reality and posting a $1.7Bn Q4 loss in 2016, or how Cisco and HP and many others have given up the cloud computing race!
New-age enterprises such as Snap Inc. are already banking their whole operations activity in the cloud (Snap will spend $2Bn with Google and $1Bn with Amazon AWS in the next 5 years) and rising new clients
won’t don’t think twice moving stuff to cloud from day 1.
Well, why would clients care any less if they can setup their service in less than 5 minutes on the internet? Like I did!
What is Amazon Connect?
Amazon Web Services (AWS) recently introduced Amazon Connect, a self-service, cloud-based contact centre service that makes it easy for any business to deliver better customer service at lower cost.
The service is based on the same contact centre technology used by Amazon customer service associates around the world to power customer conversations.
The coolest thing is that with almost zero knowledge of call center / contact center work, you can get this thing fired up in no time.
The service also makes it possible to design contact flows that adapt the caller experience, this is where the learning aspect comes in as well.
Contact flows or IVRs can change based on information retrieved by Amazon Connect from AWS services (e.g. Amazon DynamoDB, Amazon Redshift, or Amazon Aurora) or any third-party systems (e.g. CRM or data analytics solutions).
For instance, if you were an airline and wanted to design design contact flow to recognise 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, you could do it super intuitively in your contact flows.
And, not to forget that these very contact flows use Amazon Connect’s machine learning/ artificial intelligence NLP driven contact flows that use 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.
My experience in setting it up
If you’re new to Amazon, you’ll have to get past the basic steps of registration and you get to play for 12 months on AWS!
This took me less than 5 minutes to set stuff up from scratch!
Step 1: Setup Identity Management
Step 2: Setup Telephony Options
Step 3: Setup Data Storage
Step 4: Review and Create your Contact Center!
Note: It took about 30 seconds before my instance was created. so, not bad at all given that it currently is only run from U.S Zone.
Now, lets look how our AmazonConnect Contact Center this looks like
Dashboard is simple and intuitive
I had already gone ahead and claimed a toll-free number, that’s why you see a green tick there.
Hours of operations
I chose for basic – meaning open 24/7
Setting up Queues
Creating / Managing Voice Prompt
Creating / Contact flows
This is the most crucial part to manage customer experience (CX) and as you can see you have some pre-built contact flows/ IVR.You can further integrate them with your CRM, DWH and other data streams.
What is pretty cool is that this also has integration possibility into Amazon’s own Artificial Intelligence Amazon Lex (which also powers Alexa). I’ve applied for a pre-order program already!
Routing Profiles and Adding Users
Cloud Computing has come a long way and in such a short span of time! Just three years ago I had written how Google’s entry into the cloud computing will accelerate the pace of the hypercloud wars.
It seems that Amazon’s AWS just showed with Amazon Connect who is in charge!