Initial Observations of Amazon Connect

April 11, 2018

If you don’t know what Amazon Connect is and you’re in the contact center world, you might want to consider a new career path. Amazon Connect is AWS’s answer to the Ciscos, Genesys, Avayas of the world. Not only that, but also a competitor for Twilio, Microsoft, and anyone who carries voice from point A to point B. Needless to say, when the Amazon giant moves everyone pays attention. A lot of these are just a brain dump so pardon the brevity. I’m still trying to dig a bit deeper and come up with specific ideas to blog specially comparing Amazon’s solutions with Cisco’s offering(s).

Things which are awesome:

– Agent logs are in JSON format, holy crap that’s awesome!
– Hours of operations are available out of the box and are granular to the minute. Ability to add exceptions for the same day is a nice touch.
– If you associate an email with your agent your agent can reset their own password.

Things which are strange:

– Can’t change agent state while reserved or talking.
– If you use a desk phone, you can’t reject the call.  
– Changes take about a minute or two to propagate and there’s no notification if your changes are live or not.      
– If you create a new agent and then login as that agent using the same browser as before your admin session will be moved over to the new agent credentials. Painful when trying to test permissions on agents.     
– You can’t re-route a connector by clicking on the start point, you must first delete the existing line and then create your new connector.

Things which absolutely make no sense:

– Every step should have a Lambda invocation option. This would make the scripting a lot cleaner.
– If you reject a call and you’re the only agent you’re automatically set back to ready. Queue must be drained before last agent can change states out of available.
– No default routing? I disabled the only queue and calls just dropped when I tried to route to that queue. You would think that the system would force some sort of default routing option just in case you make a mistake.  
– Contact flow editor, no easy way to get back to all your contact flows.
– Agent auto accept takes about 12 seconds to trigger using softphone, this would impact agent stats and I really don’t see the point of having this feature if it’s going to take this long to connect an agent.
– When you save or publish a contact flow you get the same message "Contact flow saved successfully!" Different message for publish would be nice.
– No easy way to move the whole script. Work area should have infinite scroll to all sides.
– You can’t select multiple nodes and move them, you must move one by one.
– Flows don’t auto save drafts, if for some reason you don’t remember to save you’re SOL.
– How draft flows and published flows are handled is confusing. Not very user friendly.
– Checking contact attributes doesn’t offer a NULL or NOT NULL condition check.
– When a connector goes behind a flow node, you can’t delete the connector.
– No way to duplicate nodes. You must configure a new node from scratch every time.   

~david

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posted in Technology by dmacias

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5 Comments to "Initial Observations of Amazon Connect"

  1. Brian Alvara wrote:

    – If you create a new agent and then login as that agent using the same browser as before your admin session will be moved over to the new agent credentials. Painful when trying to test permissions on agents. (I have multiple browsers installed for this reason. I perform admin tasks in Chrome and agent testing in Fire Fox.

    I noticed you did not touch on Cloud Watch for alarming threshold and alerting. Each alarm and alert have to be configured individually. You cannot group your agents or skills.

    Reporting. Connect does not like the fact that in both Avaya and Cisco you can have reports emailed to your inbox. Amazon expects the reporting team to access the S3 bucket and retrieve the reports as needed. Not very service or customer centric IMO.

  2. dmacias wrote:

    Thank you for your comments Brian. I’ve started using Privacy mode for my agent login to avoid that scenario. Would be nice if there was a native client Amazon provided for the agent side. I spend most of my time in the contact flow and Cloud Watch, but you’re right I should have mentioned that. One positive is having all your logs in “one location” even though you jump from place to place if you have a Lex bot, Lambda function, etc., but it’s better than having to login to multiple devices to track down a call. I’ve not even started looking at reporting. I wanted to get my feet wet with the functions before digging into reports. Thanks again for the comment I enjoy them.

  3. dmacias wrote:

    There is a free teir with like 30 minute available.

  4. James Dolence wrote:

    thanks for the quick download. Heads down too much means I miss stuff like this. Does Amazon have a demo environment?

  5. Amazon Connect Flow Designer Review | dmacias . org wrote:

    […] Now a few items which botter me about contact flow as well as some best practices I’ve found. I touched on a few of these in my earlier post. […]

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