AWS launches Amazon Connect, a cloud contact center as a service

Amazon Connect is another example of how AWS is moving up the cloud food chain after gaining a dominant position in infrastructure as a service.

Amazon Web Services said it has launched Amazon Connect, a cloud contact center service. The move gets AWS more into the lucrative customer service market dominated by the likes of Salesforce, SAP and Oracle.

More importantly, Amazon Connect shows how AWS is moving up the cloud food chain from its infrastructure as a service roots. AWS has analytics, productivity tools, databases and other services that serve as upsell opportunities from infrastructure.

Amazon Connect, a call center as a service offering, is based on the contact center technology used by its e-commerce operations. Amazon Connect is launched via the AWS Management Console and agents can take calls in minutes. AWS detailed Connect in a blog and press release.

Salesforce said it will integrate its Service Cloud with Amazon Connect in an expansion of the companies' strategic alliance. What remains to be seen is how Amazon Connect and Salesforce's Service Cloud compete over time. It's possible that the two services ultimately decouple software- and infrastructure-as-a-service as line items in the cloud bill for business technology decision makers.

Also: Oracle CTO Ellison fixated on AWS, infrastructure as a service but why? | How AWS' Chime, cloud business productivity apps play into Microsoft Azure, Google Cloud battle | Stacking up the cloud vendors: AWS vs. Microsoft Azure, IBM, Google, Oracle

Like most AWS services, Connect can be paid for by the sip. AWS will scale the virtual contact center as needed with the ability to support "tens of thousands" of agents. Connect will also feature caller experience design tools, links to other AWS services and databases and connections to third party CRM and analytics tools.

Here's a dashboard view of Connect:

connectdash1.png

Call flows can also be customized.

connectsampleflow2.png

GE Appliances is among the early reference customers for AWS Connect along with Bandwidth, a communications software company.

AWS Connect integrates with AWS tools such as S3 and Redshift, QuickSight and Directory Service for data warehousing, analytics and credentials. As for integration with third parties, AWS Connect integrates with the following: Appian, Calabrio, CRMNEXT, Freshdesk, Paxata, Pentaho, Pindrop, Salesforce, SugarCRM, Tableau, Twilio, VoiceBase, Zendesk, and Zoho.

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