This content is part of the Conference Coverage: A conference guide to AWS re:Invent 2023

AWS Amazon Connect adds generative AI for the contact center

The tech giant unveils generative AI capabilities, reminding CX competitors that it has a long history with conversational AI and can offer many intelligent customer service tools.

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 Amazon Connect Contact Lens, Amazon Lex and Amazon Connect Customer Profiles.

Amazon Q in Connect helps agents by recommending responses to customers' queries in real time. Amazon Connect Contact Lens provides post-call summaries of each customer call. Amazon Lex lets customer service teams create self-service chatbots and interactive voice response systems. And Amazon Connect Customer Profiles enable CX teams to create unified customer profiles to provide more personalized customer service experiences.

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

Amazon Q in Connect and Amazon Connect Contact Lens are available in preview. Amazon Lex in Connect and Amazon Connect Customer Profiles are generally available now.

Highlighting AWS' history with AI

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

"Conversational AI has long had inroads into contact centers, and Amazon Connect is no exception," Miller said.

Conversational AI mixes different AI technologies including natural language processing (NLP), natural language understanding and natural language generation to enable computers to understand human language.

It is obligatory for serious candidates for market share in the cloud-based contact center world to flesh out their generative AI offerings.
Dan MillerAnalyst, Opus Research

Advanced algorithms that make decisions based on a large amount of data support Contact Lens, Amazon Connect's set of machine learning speech analytics tools that analyze trends in customer behaviors. NLP supports Amazon Lex, which lets users publish voice or text chatbots to mobile devices, chat services and web apps.

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

"It is obligatory for serious candidates for market share in the cloud-based contact center world to flesh out their generative AI offerings," he added.

AWS CEO Adam Selipsky highlighted Amazon Q's capabilities for customer service during his re:Invent keynote.

"This is going to give contact center agents a major assist. Agents can chat with Q directly inside of Amazon Connect to help them respond quickly to customer questions," Selipsky said.

Screenshot of Amazon Connect Customer Profiles.
Amazon Connect Customer Profiles brings all the customer data into one place, while the Amazon Q AI chatbot acts as an assistant in the lower-right side.

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, Zoom and others, he said.

They include generative AI-supported tools for Nice's CXone Enlighten AI; Verint's Da Vinci AI for natural language search; and Five9 in Agent Assist 2.0 from Five9, supported by AI startup OpenAI, a partner of AWS rival Microsoft.

"Adding Agent Assist and LLM-powered profile creation shows that Amazon Connect's customers are asking for these capabilities," Miller said.

Amazon Q, which is integrated across AWS' various apps, including Connect, will be available for purchase in two plan options: Amazon Business for $20 per user, per month, and Amazon Builder for $25 per user, per month. 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 unified communications for TechTarget Editorial. Before TechTarget, Reines was arts editor at the Marblehead Reporter.

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