How Amazon Connect's Open Platform Integrates with CRMs (Video)

Pasquale DeMaio, General Manager, Amazon Connect, AWS, explains how Amazon Connect works with both off-the-shelf and custom CRM systems in this clip from his keynote at CRM evolution 2018.

See more clips from CRM evolution in the CRM evolution Conference video portal. Learn more about CRM evolution here

Read the complete transcript of this clip:

Pasquale DeMaio: The last part of building things here is really about the platform. I'm going to dive a little bit into how we've configured this and where we think things are going for people to be able to be empowered. I talked a lot about the portions of this that are very self-service in terms of business decision-makers, but I'm guessing a bunch of you have some fairly heavy integrations as well where you have back end services where you have CRMs.

Are any folks in here using off-the-shelf CRM? Anybody?

Are any folks in here using a custom CRM or agent desktop? So I've got a few of those as well.

At Amazon, we use both. We have a number of different businesses doing different types of things all the way from help desks that have maybe just a few agents all the way up to that 70,000 scale. And we're integrating with all different tools.

The first part of that from Amazon Connect standpoint is the contact flow engine, where you can go in and drag and drop and create the experience the customer has.

But to get those great personalized experiences, you're going to have to make calls out to some backend systems--probably to a CRM, probably to some databases, and in the future almost certainly to business intelligence. Where you're making decisions based on what you know about the customer, based on ongoing situations, and based on what you're predicting is going to happen in the future.

All those things seem to be integrated in that contact flow. Amazon AWS Lambda is the tool that makes that super simple. You have to have some programming skills to use Lambda because you're going to be talking to a lot of these older systems, and they probably have quite a few different ways they want you to interface with them. But Lambda allows you to write a very small amount of coding that is opposed to setting up a big, heavy integration that requires setting up servers and having a backend system running all the time. With Lambda, you run the code only when you need it. It's what we call a server-less architecture, which means you write just a few snippets of code that make the call out to that backend system, and you can talk to virtually any backend system immediately.

When you want to know who this customer is, you make that call into your CRM and it returns back the information you want. For example, their name, their phone number, when their last order was, who was the last agent they talked to. You can bring all that stuff back and then use that directly in that drag-and-grab contact flow model I talked about.

So, instead of calling up and saying, "Hello, how can I help you? Who are you? Enter your ID." You can say, "Oh, I see this phone number.” So I send that phone number out and I come back and say, “Oh, that's Pasquale. And, oh, by the way, I know that I talked to him yesterday." I can even ask, "Hey, are you calling about the same issue you had yesterday?” You can do all that because you have easy access to that information.

And that's a big part of being able to change the whole mental model around how these bots are talking to your customers and how you're making their experiences much, much better, and much, much more personal.

Of course, if you hand it off to an agent, that agent needs to be able to follow through and take care of that. We do that through integration with the CRM or that agent desktop you have. We have a very simple contact control panel that lets you plug directly into our CRM. We support the big guys you might know: Salesforce, End Desk, a bunch of others. But you also can do it in a custom one.

We had one customer say they integrated our contact control panel--the thing that shows you the phone number call coming in, allows you to accept it or decline it. They integrated that in less than a day. And so the point is again, this velocity, this business philosophy that you have to do things quickly is so key to the future because things change quickly and you want to be empowered to make those changes quickly.

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