Amazon Connect: What’s DIY and What’s Not

It’s no wonder that “self-service” is one of the first adjectives Amazon uses to describe Amazon Connect. Self-service is quite possibly the most notable difference between the cloud-based contact center service and traditional contact center technology.  But self-service doesn’t necessarily mean you should do it all yourself. Let’s look at areas where it behooves you to call in the experts versus areas that can be DIY.

Implementation

Implementing Amazon Connect is nothing like implementing traditional contact center technology. Anyone with an Amazon Web Services (AWS) account can set up an Amazon Connect Instance by simply logging into the AWS Console. You don’t have to issue an RFP, talk to sales folks, or request network services. You can get up and running yourself in a matter of minutes.

However, if you want to get the most out of your proof of concept and really run the service through its paces, then we advise taking a different approach. A jumpstart program like the one USAN offers removes internal friction and resource constraints so that you can get your POC up and running quickly. You can then focus on fine-tuning your applications and truly becoming self-sufficient.

Administration

The traditional ACD is something of a Frankenstein. It’s grown up to be a complex amalgamation of systems, each with its own interface and environment—and its own specialist. As a result, the traditional ACD is only self-service if you have the appropriate skill set.

Amazon Connect features a consistent look and feel throughout the service. Every screen uses the same kind of language and interface. If you can drag-and-drop, then you can design contact flows, manage agents, and track performance metrics in the Amazon Connect dashboard. In fact, you can leverage all the ACD functionality Amazon Connect offers, such as:

  • Skills-based routing
  • Dynamic and personal contact flows
  • Outbound calling
  • Integrated call recording
  • Real-time and historic metrics
  • Pre-built integrations with CRM systems

Features and Functionality

It’s tough to do a feature-by-feature comparison between traditional contact center technology and Amazon Connect because as I stated in my previous blog, Amazon Connect is fundamentally a different way of approaching contact center solutions.

If you want to leverage integration capabilities or advanced features, you’ll need help from a developer who is proficient in developing for AWS. Fortunately, finding that help shouldn’t be difficult since Amazon Connect is an open platform. Once you do, you can build out features that are more robust and customized for your business needs. A developer versed in Amazon Web Services can help you leverage AWS Kinesis to analyze streaming data, for example, and Amazon Lex to build chatbots. These technologies have been built out and tested across several industries and use cases, making them powerful components in a contact center technology stack.

Getting started

So, where does that leave you? We suggest you give Amazon Connect a trial run. Give yourself the best chance at a successful POC with a professional implementation. Then start with some basic use cases. Once you realize the value at the entry level, then you can determine whether it’s worth investing in more advanced functionality.