Amazon Web Services announced Tuesday Amazon Connect, a self-service, cloud-based contact center service for the enterprise, productizing a service the company already uses in house.
The new service allows businesses to set up a cloud-based virtual contact center with "a few clicks," according to AWS. Customers pay by the minute, plus any related telephony costs.
Using technologies first revealed in December, the service uses Amazon's virtual assistant Alexa to respond to questions over the phone or via text, its Lex chatbot building service and its text-to-speech program Polly.
Contact centers consistently top the list of activities businesses are most interested in automating. But AWS points out that traditional contact center solutions can be complicated and expensive.
With Connect, Amazon wants to strike while the automation trend is hot and give businesses an easy way to accomplish contact center automation, streamline their operations and potentially save money.
Several other companies, including Spoken, Cisco, Avaya and Genesys, have shown interest in providing technologies to help automate the call center industry. Some already provide such services to an extent, though AWS has competition in the space, it can tout its own customer service experience as an example of why to use the technology.
Evolving the call center is just one drop in the bucket when it comes to automation. More and more the market will see automation-enabling products picking up steam in the coming years. Forrester recently predicted one-quarter of all job tasks will be assigned to "software robots, physical robots or customer self-service automation" by 2019.