Amazon Web Services (AWS) recently introduced a new cloud-based service for contact centers that some say could disrupt the operations of established providers in industries including financial services.
Called Amazon Connect, the solution is integrated into the core AWS system, requires “no specialized skills” to set up, and leverages the company’s “tens of thousands” of agents” around the globe to give organizations an alternative to the current call center options in the market.
According to Jeff Barr of AWS, the goal is to offer an easy-to-use,plug-and-play service suited for organizations that, for example, have call volume levels that are hard to forecast.
“There’s no hardware to deploy and no per-agent licenses,” wrote Barr when introducing the new offering. “Instead, you pay based on the number of customer-minutes and the amount of phone time that you consume. This scalable, pay-as-you-go model means that you can use Amazon Connect in situations where your call volume is unpredictable, spiky, or both.”
The company boasts that Amazon Connect can integrate with other AWS tools and infrastructure, including the ability record calls in Amazon S3, use Amazon Kinesis to stream contact center metrics to Amazon Redshift, or power data visualization through Amazon QuickSight. It says that Connect also meshes well with other CRM and workforce management systems in addition to other analytics and help-desk solutions.
“Amazon is taking technology they used in-house successfully and is now commercializing it for customers,” Cindy Zhou, a principal analyst at Constellation Research, told CRM Buyer.
She also said that she believes companies relying on legacy communications and desk phones should be the ones most bracing for disruption. “The trend is moving to all mobile device integration with no desk phones,” said Zhou.
Barr says that the company’s move into the call center world is rooted in simplicity and targeted towards any executive that knows their organization needs customer service solutions but isn’t prepared to devote major resources towards setting up a system of their own.
“In order to provide voice-based customer service at scale, many organizations operate call centers,” wrote Barr. He added that, “instead of requiring help from IT teams and specialized consultants, Amazon Connect is simple enough to be configured and run directly by business decision makers.”