I spoke with Pasquale DeMaio, Head of Amazon Connect, back in August 2021. During that interview, he shared with me Amazon's vision to democratize the contact center. Today at Enterprise Connect 2021, it seems the company is one step closer to realizing that notion.

AWS dabbles in a lot; among its many ventures is Amazon Connect, a full-fledged contact offering that today has tens of thousands of AWS customers who leverage Amazon Connect to support more than 10 million contact center interactions every day.

It recently added a comprehensive list of fresh-faced customers, including; Priceline, the government of Washington, D.C., Labcorp, Brunello Cucinelli, SIXT, University of Texas, Morrisons, Vodafone NZ, University of Auckland, CI Financial, IMB Bank, Traeger Grills, Relatient, and Ring.

The company even made several updates to its contact center portfolio, too which delivers real-time caller authentication using machine learning-powered voice analysis. And new automated outbound communications for calls, texts, and emails help contact center agents scale to reach millions of customers daily, are also fresh to the contact center platform.

With lots of momentum from new business, the three new Amazon Connect updates could potentially change how contact center agents view productivity and enhance customer experience (CX). All this - on the first day of Enterprise Connect 2021.


Real-Time Agent Assistance, Generally Available 

Amazon Connect Wisdom is a feature that lends agents access to a wide range of product and service information they need to solve customer issues as they speak with customers.

This attempts to solve the real-world problem of toggling back and forth between silos of data to get the (right) customer information causing agents to spend time searching, and therefore, being unproductive. Meanwhile, contact center queues remain high. 

"Amazon Connect Wisdom ingests and organizes content that agents need (i.e., FAQs, help articles, service briefs, etc.) from homegrown databases and a company’s third-party knowledge repositories, with pre-built connectors to Salesforce and ServiceNow," Amazon said in a statement. 

When used in conjunction with Contact Lens for Amazon Connect, Amazon Connect Wisdom leverages machine learning-powered speech analytics to (automatically) detect customer issues during calls. It then recommends content in real-time to help resolve issues - so agents do not have to perform manual searches and contact centers can manage first call resolution times and average handle times

Amazon Connect Wisdom launch screenshot

Pair this with AWS Contact Lens for Amazon Connect - and agents can detect when a customer says arrived broken” to an agent. It then automatically displays instructions in the Amazon Connect agent application to help the agent best resolve any issues. 

Agents can type in a question or phrase, and Amazon Connect Wisdom will present the most relevant information and best answer to resolve customer queries. 


Caller Authentication, Now Generally Available 

Amazon Connect Voice ID is another AWS contact center offering that provides real-time caller authentication leveraging machine learning-powered voice analysis. Tapping ML to analyze the caller’s speech attributes (i.e., rhythm, pitch, and tone) during the first few seconds of a call - ACVID then creates a secure digital voiceprint for callers. 

Amazon Connect Voice ID agent desktop view

"Contact centers previously used authentication processes that relied on personal information. Callers had to answer numerous questions based on details like; social security numbers, date of birth, etc., a time-consuming process that can get exploited for fraud purposes," AWS wrote in a statement. 

Amazon Connect Voice ID can pull this off - real-time caller authentication without disrupting the natural conversation, using the human voice to verify end-user identities. When a customer calls back, Amazon Connect Voice ID compares the caller’s voiceprint. It then compares it against the claimed identity and assigns it a confidence score. 

"If the caller does not meet the threshold set by the organization, agents can verify their identity through additional screening (i.e. knowledge-based authentication)."

Amazon Connect Voice ID even lets companies create a custom watchlist with audio recordings of those known for fraud. It automatically flags this kind of suspicious behavior, significantly lowering the risk of unwanted attacks. 


High-Volume Outbound Comms, in Preview

Many businesses today remain constrained by legacy contact center technologies. These on-premises technologies merely allow inbound communications and rely on separate applications and tools to reach customers with outbound communications. 

"New capabilities in Amazon Connect give contact centers intelligent and embedded high-volume outbound communications across multiple channels (calls, texts, and emails)."

The company noted that integrating tools for outbound communications into contact centers is time-consuming, expensive, and difficult to manage. Each outbound communication channel (calls, texts, or emails) requires using separate applications which can lead to solutions that:

 "Lack flexibility and is difficult to scale to high volumes." 

Amazon Connect’s high-volume outbound unified communication solution for calls, texts, and emails circumvents this complexity - lending organizations a simple, embedded, cost-effective way to contact millions of customers daily for enterprise communications without integrating third-party tools. 

Amazon Connect Contact Center Intellegence GetVoIP News

"The new communication capabilities include a predictive dialer that automatically calls customers in a list but throttles outreach based on agent availability."

Amazon Connect's dialer (available in preview) also harnesses the might of machine learning to do something superbly intelligent - it can distinguish between:

  • Busy signals 
  • Live customers
  • Voicemail greetings

In practical terms, this might imply that an organization like a hospital or healthcare network can send texts and emails to ask patients to confirm upcoming appointments. They could also automatically call all patients who do not respond. 


More Expected Innovationveness from EC 2021

We can expect a ton more announcements from industry-heavy-hitters, as Enterprise typically yields more innovation than nearly any other conference. It is where most in the industry go so they can showcase their latest innovations. Those who make noise at the event tend to push the envelope of what is possible with UCC tech. 

So stay tuned for continued EC 2021 coverage as we chronicle the UCC space and its latest bleeding as well as cutting-edge innovations.