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AWS Contact Center Days 2022: Enterprises Share Migration Stories


A cloud graphic
Image: Aleksia - Alamy Stock Vector
In early October, AWS held its second Contact Center Days virtual event. In addition to participating in a panel discussion with Omdia contact center analyst David Myron, I joined many of the live sessions and caught up with the rest on-demand. Earlier this year, AWS held a similar event for its United Kingdom and EMEA customers, Contact Center Innovation Day.
Always of interest — to me and No Jitter readers — are deployment stories told by customers. As AWS continues to grow its global customer, I thought it would be interesting to highlight a North America-based and a customer from the UK/EMEA region about their reasons for choosing Amazon Connect.
Manulife Canada
Manulife is an international financial services group that operates primarily as John Hancock in the United States and Manulife elsewhere. Two years ago, I participated in a webinar with a business unit of John Hancock that was one of the first deployments of AWS Amazon Connect at the company. This year’s AWS Contact Center Days session delivered by Jason Colwell, value stream owner for contact center transformation, and Bruce Mitchell, technical product owner of Canada technology functions, both for Manulife Canada, was an opportunity to understand how Amazon Connect has continued to thrive and expand across the corporation.
Colwell started by saying that Manulife Canada is on a journey to modernize its contact center, and leveraging Amazon Connect is a particularly important enabler of that. He explained that Manulife Canada has several contact centers across Canada. Colwell and Mitchell primarily discussed the group disability case management and group benefits contact center, which receives 3.9 million calls annually, with a staff of about 2,200 agents, case managers, support teams, and other leaders. The centers serve customers in both English and French.
Colwell shared that Manulife Canada saw these benefits:
  • Since Amazon Connect is a cloud-based platform, Manulife Canada will no longer need to manage an on-prem infrastructure.
  • Amazon Connect could scale to meet the company’s needs and has all the capabilities that Manulife needed to support what they do.
  • AWS has a broader portfolio. Amazon Connect is just one of many services that the AWS cloud provides. Customers can easily integrate the contact center with other AWS services that they may already be using or find valuable, e.g., a database or an analytics solution. Manulife uses a suite of services from AWS; using a single vendor to provide key capabilities eliminates a lot of complexities.
Mitchell mentioned that Manulife Canada felt “very lucky” that colleagues at John Hancock in the United States had started their journey to Amazon Connect a couple of years before them. Manulife Canada was able to meet with John Hancock colleagues and have in-depth discussions about what they had implemented.
Manulife Canada has been pleased with the results of its Amazon Connect minimally viable product (MVP) deployment. Colwell reported it took just 12 weeks for each of the deployments, from the time the team started building to launching the solution. One of the many benefits highlighted by Manulife during the Contact Center Days session was the ability to support multiple languages in the same call flow – which has cut the number of flows that they have to build in half.
The graphic below shows the benefits Manulife has seen in its first four weeks in production with Amazon Connect. Colwell specifically called out reducing the transferred call rate by ten percent – which impacts both caller and agent effort. At the end of the session, Colwell said that future plans with Amazon Connect include deploying to additional lines of business and deployment of self-service.
Learn more details on the Manulife Canada deployment by listening to the full on-demand recording.
Manulife Canada and AWS graph
Vodafone Business Services
As part of the Contact Center Innovation Day event for AWS’s United Kingdom and EMEA clients, Amazon Connect customer Vodafone was interviewed by Keith Wilkinson, EMEA go-to-market leader for AWS. In addition to watching the on-demand video, I had the opportunity to speak to Lawrence Ampofo, product manager of Vodafone.
Vodafone has many businesses and contact centers around the globe. Ampofo explained that his experience with Amazon Connect began with a request for proposal in January 2021 for the Vodafone Business Services contact center, supporting customer care for business clients with approximately 400 agents.
Vodafone Business Services was using what might be best described as a first-generation CCaaS solution. Ampofo described the legacy solution as “telephony,” essentially a voice-only call center application being delivered from private data centers, not a public cloud. The goal of the migration was to enhance the agent experience, to enhance the customer experience, and better align with the long-term technology strategy of the firm.
As is often true in modern cloud migrations, Ampofo described a demo of Amazon Connect as being crucial to getting the authorization to proceed with the migration. He explained that Vodafone selected ServiceNow as its main IT service management software. During the demo — working with implementation partner Accenture — AWS showed Vodafone Business Services management an integration with ServiceNow, with a Vodafone “skin,” i.e., user interface. This single pane of glass between ServiceNow and the contact center application was not possible with the earlier solution and is part of Amazon Connect delivering a better agent and customer experience.
The preceding case studies show different paths for moving to modern public cloud-based contact center solutions like Amazon Connect are available. One path is from premises contact center solutions; another is from first-generation cloud deployments.