Building an AWS Call Center is the definition of a “Disruptive” technology”!

AWS Connect – A Game Changer!

It has been almost a year since we first took a look at the AWS Connect Call Center service and what a year it has been.   Since it’s pubic release, AWS is most likely the fastest growing Call Center solution in the global market.   The reasons for this are clear and unmistakeable.   We think AWS Connect is a game changer!   Our first experience with AWS Connect was the result of a contract to move a ShoreTel ECC to AWS.    ShoreTel had basically abandoned the ECC product with no new feature develops in several years and the product was stuck at Version 9.  Given the great unknown regarding the future of ShoreTel CPE solutions, this client made the decision to move to the cloud and we were choosen to make that move painless.

Why Move to AWS Connect?

AWS Connect is a cloud based solution that follows the AWS mantra of elastic, scalable, reliable and highly available!  There is nothing to install and nothing to license!  You pay only for ‘usage’ at a couple of pennies per minute!   One client was paying some $250K a year in cloud call center licenses before they even processed their first phone call!  On AWS Connect this same spend would yield over 900,000 7 minute phone calls!  Take that to your CFO and note the reaction!  At the AWS reInvent 2017 conference, Capital One the tenth largest American Bank announced that it had moved to AWS Connect and the list of companies grows by the hour!

The DrVoIP Challenge

AWS makes it easy to spin up a call center! In less than one hour, you can have a fully functional call center handling inbound phone calls to an agent population that can be geographically distributed anywhere on the planet that supports a quality internet connection.   More than likely, it will take you more time to upload or enter the names of your agents into the Connect dashboard then it will take to create the Connect instance and obtain a telephone number! In fact DrVoIP will build out a ten agent 3 queue inbound call center for you company to pilot in under one hour!   Just give us a shout and try us!

Customization and Functionality is limited only by imagination!

One of the challenges that the current crop of cloud based call center providers face is the need. to standardize their service offering.   If you are anyone on the Gartner Magic Quadrant, you are serving thousands of users.   You can NOT make a change to the platform as it impact every customer in that providers installed base!   If you want to add a new feature, you will have to follow that vendors “product road map”.

AWS Connect has full access to the complete range of AWS Services including Lambda functions, Speech Recognition, Text to Speech, Kinesis, Mobility,  Cloudwatch, DynamoDB and the full range of AWS Storage solutions including S3 and Glacia. (recording storage and historical reports)!   Though the base instance is easy to configure and comes fully functional with a “default” call flow, the range of potential application solutions is limited only by the talent of your implementation team and your companies vision of the perfect “customer experience”.

Artificial Intelligence?

Most of the population now carries around a personal communicator that has Siri or Alex or Google and folks have not only grown accustomed to these features, they now expect them!   Do you really expect to front end your call flow with a “touch tone” based “call tree” or IVR that expects them Press 1 for English?  Come on people!   It is the 21st century!   AWS makes Alexa like features available through a natural language chat bot named LEX.   Is it not about time your call center had a natural language interface to your customer service group?    Try asking your current provider to add that functionality and when you look at the licensing fee, if the feature is available at all, pick yourself off the floor and give us a call!

Text to Speech?

Historically, as call center scripting professionals,  we resist starting a project until all of the prompts required in the call flow have been scripted, recorded, converted to the proper wav format and made available to the implementation team.   We can’t tell you how many project hours have been burned because clients did not think out the IVR messages or record the automated attendant announcements!   AWS has a wonderful feature named Polly that can enable us to script, fill the prompts with “text” and not only have our choice of voice artist and accent, but our choice of spoken language immediately available.   We can prototype call flow announcements and make changes  on the fly without waiting for a recording to be scheduled!

Data Dips with Lambda and DynamoDB

We first got involved with AWS because as consultants, we get paid on project completion.   If we have a call flow that requires a database dip to pull back  a”custom answer prompt” and were told that we had to wait for IT to spin up a Windows Server, blah, blah, blah….we would just log into AWS and spin out our favorite LAMP server and finish the project while IT was still filling out purchase requisitions!   Now we don’t even spin up a sever!  AWS is at the forefront of “server less” technology and Lambda and DynamoDB make it possible for us to write the database functions and completely ignore what the server technology is, let alone what OS it is running on!  AWS even bundles about 1 million Lambda function calls as part of its free tier.

Limitations, ah “No”!

Every system has constraints.   We have only one constraint that we have found to date on AWS but it is the same Constraint we find in Cloud solutions like Five9 and even cloud solution provider Twilio.   We can not access the telephony side of the platform to manipulate SIP message headers of other Call Control signals.  Currently this is hidden from the AWS Connect instance.  We have however, never had this be a show stopper and have always found a way to implement a work around.    At the rate AWS cranks out new feature and services however, we fully expect to see a SIP interface that we as developers can access on the shortest product road map implementation schedule in the global market place!

We Build AWS Connect Call Centers!

DrVoIP can design, deploy, maintain and manage your call center at a cost that is arguably redefines “total cost of ownership.”   Give us a call or let us know what you are thinking and you will find us to be the most experienced group of “full stack” developers available to those seeking an AWS Connect deployment!








 Browser Based Call Center featuring Video Chat & Screen Share!

Do you Text or Call?

Most call centers have learned that folks are not sitting at home on a wired land line phones calling for tech support,  or to make an appointment or to check on the status of an outstanding order!   These folks are rushing between jobs, kids and other responsibilities and nobody has a land line let alone time to sit at the kitchen table and with for the “next available agent”.    Everyone seems to have a portable, hand held computer doubling as a SmartPhone and as a result more folks are texting then making phone calls.

Can clients text your call center?

Over the last couple of years of working with ShoreTel and CISCO Call Center solutions, we have been repeatedly asked to enable text solutions.   We had been doing this as “one off” scripts for whatever vendor solution we were working with but we soon determined to apply the DRY (don’t repeat yourself) principle and began to productize the solution.  Initially we were focused almost entirely on text applications.   Then  a client who manufactured medical devices asked, can folks send us a picture?    So we enabled clients to text a picture to the technical support team at this company.  Apparently, attaching a photo to an email was to hard but texting a picture was a no brainer!

We then added SMS2List functionality to enable companies to create an “opt in” bulk text notification solution.    Creating a text  based list of customers that you can send a “special sale coupon” to or alert a “first responder” list of employees about an impending service outage or other emergency rapidly became typical use cases.     Additionally, a single incoming text number could support multiple applications as we enabled “keyword” message routing.    Preface your text message with a “keyword” and you could route it to a completely different group within your company.  Our “SMS2Email” quickly enabled text applications for call centers that already supported “email to the next available agent”.

Click to Call Back?

Adding a “click to call” link to a company website was next on the feature development list.    The application now supports the ability to generate a link or embed  code in your website or email signature that, when clicked on, prompts for a return number, calls your call center and when an agent gets online, completes a call to the person who clicked the link!   We even offer the option of recording the call.

Click to Video Chat?

Today, we have introduced “video chat” functionality to our quiver of customer service solutions.   You can now create a link or embed code in your company website that enables you to setup a real time voice or video chat with the next available agent!  Agents require nothing more than a Chrome or Firefox browser and a computer with microphone and camera.  In fact no formal call center is required at all.  This functionality can be established for any work group, anywhere on the globe that supports a quality internet connection.  Just log in and go!

AWS Cloud Infrastructure and subscription based!

The entire solution is built out using Twilio and AWS.   There is nothing to download or install.   The administrator or “campaign manager” creates a new campaign which generates the web hook and link or code to embed in your website and then defines the agents.   Agents log in using Chrome or Firefox (both browsers support WebRTC while Apple Safari and Microsoft IE figure out their own protocol route) on a computer that supports a camera and USB headset.   All interactions are logged with a unique ticket number that is archived and searchable by the campaign owner.

Presentation and Demo

Product development is a process not an event and this is where we are in the process. This is an exciting solution and we will continue to make it available as we enhance functionality and explore new use cases.   If you want to “give it a go” let us know by texting the work “DEMO” to 424-348-4000 and we will get you setup with a trial account.   We are always open to new use cases and application ideas so let us know what you are thinking.