Contact Centers are known as big and complex systems, that take years from Architecture to deployment and only the wealthy can afford market-leading features… Amazon is breaking that trend with Amazon Connect, in fact, you can get a basic Contact Centre working in minutes!
But don’t think this is some kind of second class version… this is the same solution as the Enterprises use!
Here you can see what this looks like from an Architecture point of view… pretty simple right… But don’t think this is some kind of second class version… this is the same solution as the Enterprises use, running on the same highly available AWS Infrastructure, that scales on-demand and you only pay for what you use! You get Telephony (Toll Free and DDIs numbers) along with IVR Menus, Call Queues, Reporting etc… and best of all you can add features to this as you grow.
This is perfect for
- Small production contact centers (IT Helpdesk / HR etc..)
- Organisations that are wanting to test and learn at pace.
Once you grow and learn with the solution you’ll find more use cases for greater features and will start to drive your own backlog of work… you may end up with something like this:
Ok, so we’ve added a few extra components here, but you get some pretty impressive features:
S3: This is used to Store Call Recordings, you have the option to Record Customer/ Agent or both and store these indefinitely. TAudio is recorded in an Open format (WAV) so you can add tools later to analyze the information or just simply listen to them via playback, which is available directly from the Amazon Connect UI.
S3: You also use S3 to save Call Reports, like the call recordings you can save as many reports for as long as you like. And using a AWS service called Athena, you’re able to query these flat files on demand at any time!
Lambda is a special service I highly recommend you learn about. Lambda allows code to be executed on demand, what the code does is up to the developer building it. In this scenario, we can use the data returned from the Lambda to affect the Customer Journey, provide information to the caller or providing the text for the messaging prompts. And it can integrate into other AWS Services, 3rd Party APIs or your own existing services.
DynamoDB: This is a NoSQL database from Amazon. You can store your customer orders in here, store account information, have an administration database to affect special routing etc.. When used in the Architecture above, we are able to use the Callers ANI (Phone Number) which is sent from Connect to Lambda, which looks up in the database the callers order and provides the caller with personalized information! (Self Service) The information is Dynamic and Connect can handle that with its built-in Text to Speech Engine (so no need for complicated IVR messaging). You can also provide the caller options to update the information and Lambda can update that in DynamoDB for you.
More Advanced Architecture
The great thing here is you get to see the value on a rapid development cycle
Ok, by now you can see how you can start small and build on your investment. The great thing here is you get to see the value on a rapid development cycle, and you’ll start to drive your own wish-list as you see more value opportunities. So lets up the ante just a little…
Whilst this looks like a significant advancement, it’s still fairly contained. So let’s build on the previous some more.
S3: This time we add a custom Administration Portal for your ‘Ops Team’ so that they can affect the routing via toggle buttons, they can close routing ad-hoc, play special messages (that they type into the portal) to respond to increasing demands etc..
Lambda: As previous, however, this time we also connect to SNS, Simple Notification Service. This allows us to send Mobile Notification, SMS, E-Mails etc.. this can be DURING or AFTER the contact
LEX: This is the AI engine that drives Alexa. You’re able to provide natural conversational interactions for the whole journey or just parts of the journey… think when your customer connects with you, the first thing they hear/see is:
Welcome back Donna, I see your flight has been cancelled, would you like to reschedule?
Note I say hear/see… this is because LEX is a Voice AND Text Chatbot service, code once and you can reuse that Chatbot within Connect (even export it to Alexa) and integrate it with your website / slack etc…
Kinesis Streams: This provides real-time streaming data from Connect of all the Contact Trace Records (CTRs).. these are the results of the contacts from Connect. The data sits in streams waiting for a consumer, in our case the Lambda to do something with it.
Lambda: As explained above, this provides post-processing of the records and can perform actions, like a post-contact survey maybe, and sends the data onto Firehose
Kinesis Firehose: Firehose is a variant on Streams which is much more for batch type data movement, and is needed to feed Redshift
Redshift: This is Amazon’s Enterprise Data Warehouse solution, you’re able to run queries on massive amounts of data, this is where your data scientists will live.
As you can see,
- You’re able to start small and grow with Amazon Connect
- No two implementations will be the same, there will be a solution for you!
Note: Out of the box Amazon Connect has Service Limits, make sure you're aware, monitor for and increase as required.
For some customers, building and supporting the technology yourself doesn't make sense. This is where VoiceFoundry can help, our Migration and Managed Service Offerings can ensure you take full advantage of the Amazon Connect features & pricing without needing the in-house talent.