I am happy to share some insight on AWS drawn from our latest research. The Ventana Research Value Index: Contact Center in the Cloud in 2018 is the distillation of a year of market and product research efforts by Ventana Research. We utilized a structured research methodology that includes evaluation categories designed to reflect the breadth of the real-world criteria incorporated in a request for proposal (RFP) and vendor selection process for contact centers in the cloud. We evaluated AWS and 12 other vendors in seven categories, five relevant to the product (adaptability, capability, manageability, reliability and usability) and two related to the vendor (TCO/ROI and vendor validation). To arrive at the Value Index rating for a given vendor, we weighted each category to reflect its relative importance in an RFP process, with the weightings based on our experience and data derived from our benchmark research on contact centers in the cloud.
The Value Index assessed AWS Amazon Connect, released in August 2017. AWS has become a significant provider of cloud computing and the infrastructure associated with it and has been expanding into software. It has sought to enter the cloud contact center market by providing a developer-friendly approach, but our evaluation found the robustness of its offering to be lacking. AWS ranks 13th overall in the 2018 Contact Center in the Cloud Value Index.
AWS achieves its best rating, 10th of 13, in Reliability. While the platform has the ability to scale and deliver performance, the information provided on its site leaves much to be desired and does not do much to build confidence in how this offering operates. In the other six categories, AWS consistently placed last because it did not provide information and its website sorely lacked the depth required. Where it did provide information, that merely exposed weakness. In the Usability category, for example, videos of the product revealed an unsophisticated approach. In Manageability, the level of depth in notifications and documentation was inadequate. In the Adaptability category, the company does provide information about integration, but developer-level skills are required to integrate the variety of types of interaction channels needed for contact centers. For Validation, we found the focus on and commitment to contact centers not to be clear as the website didn’t provide much information about its customers, products or services. In the TCO/ROI category, AWS did not adequately communicate the value, benefits or costs of the product. In Capability, the company provides minimal support and has significant room for improvement in the available channels, interactions, capturing, analytics and performance management.
AWS did not actively participate in this Value Index and information on which our evaluation is based was derived solely from its website, the depth of which is sorely inadequate. AWS may have established a presence in the market through its marketing and new offering, but it will have to make significant investments to gain the credibility required to convince organizations that it can effectively support the sophistication required in contact centers.
Since the completion of this value index research, AWS has added outbound caller ID, APIs for user management, call transferring across queues and cross-regional support for Lex Bots, all small steps in improving its offering, especially in the capability area. More information is available in its dedicated blog.
This research-based index is the first such industry undertaking to assess the value of software designed specifically for enabling a contact center in the cloud. You can learn more about AWS and others in our Value Index as an effective vendor selection and RFI/RFP tool and can read the whole Value Index report.
CEO & Chief Research Officer