First it took over the e-commerce market, then it started selling consumer electronics before moving into the cloud computing sphere (even providing such solutions as an online photo book editor). So it was not surprising at all when Amazon introduced Connect, its cloud-based customer contact service which also comes with many features that regular VoIP services provide.
What Can Amazon Connect Do?
Video Introduction to Amazon Connect
Getting Started with Amazon Connect
According to the company, Amazon Connect is a simple, fully scalable cloud-based customer contact center service that you can configure by yourself in minutes thanks to an intuitive graphical interface designed to create contact flows, manage your co-workers and track performance metrics. The system sports skill-based routing, ensuring that calling customers are always sent to the right agent based on their availability and relevant skill set. Amazon Connect comes with a built-in softphone that delivers HD quality sound, notifies you in the browser the moment you have an incoming call, and is resistant to packet losses. The system also records all calls, whether inbound or outgoing, for agent performance assessment and stores them in an S3 bucket in the cloud where you can freely access and even encrypt them.
Amazon Connect is a true champion in call analyses, as it can create real-time or historic metrics to provide details on various data points (number of calls per month, average time on hold, how many calls were on queue at the same time etc.), so you can improve the performance of your team accordingly. And to make things even better, the system offers and supports an API: you are entitled to build custom integrations, but Amazon Connect also provides pre-built ones for the most popular CRMs, other AWS services like Amazon S3 and Amazon Kinesis (the ones storing calls and contact records), and Workforce Management (WFM) suites.
Phone Numbers and Prices
Amazon Connect only offers two types of phone numbers, a direct inward dial (DID) number or a toll-free one for the U.S. and 18 European countries, with the option to add extra numbers as you grow. The use of each number is charged based on daily usage (DID: $0.03 per day; toll-free: $0.06 per day), while you also have to pay for inbound and outgoing calls: the former is $0.003 per minute for DID numbers (toll-free: $0.012 per minute), the latter is $0.0065 per minute for both phone number types.
As for the system itself, Amazon Connect costs $0.018 per minute, meaning that upfront payments, long-term contracts or minimum monthly fees are not required. Furthermore, thanks to the AWS Free Usage Tier, you receive 90 minutes of Amazon Connect service usage, one phone number, 30 minutes of inbound DID/toll-free calls and 30 minutes of outbound calls per month for a whole year after signup.