AWS Connect — the future of call centers?
AWS Connect (https://aws.amazon.com/ru/connect/ ) is a new cloud-based call center solution, which has arisen high interest in the call center community. Someone looks at it as if it’s ready to displace the existing widely used systems. Is it really so? We have started testing it today, and below are the first impressions.
From the functional standpoint it looks not like a ready to use solution, but more like a kernel for a call center solution. It is a PBX with call center features, including queues and developed APIs, ACD, graphical interface for call processing logics, call recording, built-in Amazon Polly “text to speech” (formerly known as Ivona, probably the best solution for such functions), voice recognition, analytics facilities…. High Availability is also an inherent feature.
(At the moment this service is only available in US, and proposes only American phone numbers).
Yes, this is a serious claim. But is it already a player at the enterprise level?
First of all, corporate class systems should have a very rich set of functions. NodaCC provides an example: http://nodacontact.com/ . And this description is only the tip of the iceberg.
Definitely, any necessary functions can be developed separately and integrated via API (e.g. advanced features of ACD, and even scripting). But someone has yet to develop all this vast amount of applications. And only when all these applications are in place, and integrated into a single system, it may become a competitive solution for enterprise-level call center.
So now this is like Asterisk in the cloud (yes, with some attractive call center features). A lot could be built around it (we know as much from our Asterisk experience), but such development, integration and subsequent management and administration are a huge amount of work, as anybody familiar with such tasks would confirm. And it may happen that some important functions will not be possible to implement at all, due to the rigid structure of the kernel.
Industrial solutions need to meet a large set of requirements, and such parameters need yet to be studied and measured for ASW. E.g., PDD / Post Dialing Delay for any cloud solutions is a problem, etc.
The inherent question is cloud. It’s convenient, but for a professional call center it creates a number of concerns. The sound quality in cloud PBXs sometimes is not really perfect. Maybe AWS Connect has solved this problem, but this should be thoroughly tested. And then, connection to a datacenter with stable bandwidth and quality is costly and complicated (dedicated lines, MPLS…).
So far as we understand, AWS Connect is not a “killer” for serious call center solutions. Additionally to the above said it doesn’t have:
- any mention of multi channel /omni functionality,
- outbound campaigns implementation,
- quality assurance, and many other functions.
Probably AWS Connect will in due time bite off some market share of call center solutions, staring with Asterisk-based or similar systems, attracting customers which can get by with reduced functionality.
And in any case AWS is a serious player, and we need to monitor this solution and see what happens with it within a couple of years.
Authors: Vladimir K. Dudchenko, Dmitry Komov, SoftBCom www.softbcom.com