AWS Amazon Connect adds genAI for the contact center

AWS on Tuesday unveiled new generative AI capabilities for Amazon Connect, its public cloud contact center service.

These capabilities include the implementation of Amazon Q, Amazon’s new generative AI assistant, as well as new tools for Contact Lens, Amazon Lex and Amazon Connect Customer Profiles.

Amazon Q on Amazon Connect helps agents by recommending answers to customers’ questions in real time. Contact Lens provides a post-call summary of each customer call. Amazon Lex allows customer service teams to build self-service chatbots and interactive voice response (IVR) systems. And Amazon Connect Customer Profiles enables CX teams to create unified customer profiles to deliver more personalized customer service experiences.

The vendor introduced the new capabilities at the AWS re:Invent 2023 user conference held from Nov. 27 to December 1 in Las Vegas and approx.

Amazon Q on Connect is available as a preview release. Amazon Lex in Connect, and the Amazon Connect Customer Profile are generally available now. Amazon Connect Contact Lens is in preview.

AWS’s history with AI is highlighted

AWS’ new generative AI offerings for Amazon Connect highlight its long history with AI, according to Opus Research analyst Dan Miller.

“Conversational AI has been making inroads into contact centers for a long time and Amazon Connect is no exception,” Miller said.

Conversational AI combines various AI technologies including natural language processing (NLP), natural language understanding and natural language generation to make computers understand human speech.

Advanced algorithms, which make decisions based on large amounts of data, support Contact Lens, Amazon Connect’s set of machine learning speech analytics tools that show customer insights. NLP, which also allows computers to understand natural human language, supports Amazon Lex, which allows users to publish voice or text chatbots to mobile devices, chat services and web apps.

“AWS, because its server farms are home to most of its competitors, wants to let the world know that it has a lot of experience in conversational AI and that it has proven services for contact center customers to implement today with the understanding that there is more to come,” Miller said.

“It is mandatory for serious candidates for market share in the cloud-based contact center world to develop their generative AI offerings,” he added.

AWS CEO Adam Selipsky highlighted Amazon Q’s capabilities for customer service during his keynote.

“This will give contact center agents a lot of help. Agents can chat with Q directly within Amazon Connect to help them quickly answer customer questions,” Selipsky said.

Generative AI populating the contact center

With the addition of these new generative AI capabilities, including Amazon Q, the generative AI assistant, Amazon is answering a call for more AI technology in the contact center, according to Miller.

Such capabilities are already included in platforms from a slew of independent competitors vying for customers in the contact center software market, including NICE, Verint, Five9, Cresta, Uniphore, Zendesk, Talkdesk and others, including Zoom, Miller said.

These include AI-supported generative tools for NICE’s CXone Enlighten AI; Verint’s DaVinci AI for natural language search; and Five9’s Agent Assist 2 from Five9, supported by AI startup OpenAI, a partner of AWS rival Microsoft.

“The addition of Agent Assist and LLM-powered profile creation shows that Amazon Connect customers are demanding these capabilities,” he said.

Amazon Q will be available for purchase in two plan options: Amazon Business for $20 per month per user, and Amazon Builder for $25 per month per user. Amazon Q is currently in preview. During the preview period, Amazon Q capabilities are available within AWS services at no charge.

Mary Reines is a news writer covering customer experience and integrated communications for TechTarget Editorial. Prior to TechTarget, Reines was the arts editor at Marblehead Reporter.

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