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University of Auckland takes its contact centres into AWS' cloud

University of Auckland takes its contact centres into AWS' cloud

Last year, NZ's largest uni was working to "operationalise" AWS' cloud

Credit: Photo 90072807 © Klodien - Dreamstime.com

The University of Auckland has taken its contact centre to the cloud using Amazon Connect, a cloud contact centre service on Amazon Web Services (AWS).

The new contact centre brings all of the university's customer interactions from multiple platforms including voice, chat boxes, and social media into a single cloud-based interface.

The project appears to be part of a broader effort to "operationalise cloud" at the university.

Minutes from a May 2019 council meeting said the cloud enablement team was working with the university’s partners, Consegna and AWS, to deliver an AWS platform that would meet the security, architectural and delivery needs of the University. 

"The ‘operationalise cloud’ initiative aims to achieve ‘platform readiness’ for further applications to be moved into the cloud environment," the minutes said.

"Focus over the last few months has been on enabling other teams to use cloud services to productionise significant workloads in our cloud environment. 

"In conjunction with this enabling work, the team is developing a cloud cost model to enable us to reliably forecast our cloud spend and to identify which are the workloads for which the cloud environment makes operational and financial sense."

The centralised contact centre, developed and deployed by Consegna, gives call agents access to real-time data on previous interactions, negating the need for students to repeat information.

Students are now also given the option to connect directly to the agent they last interacted with, offering a more personalised experience.

The university had six weeks to integrate the technology and, thanks to the simplicity of Amazon Connect, this time constraint wasn’t a concern, said the university’s senior digital product owner, Amanda Walsh.

“This is an exciting journey for the university, students, and our staff and we look forward to improving the services we offer with this new technology,” Walsh added.

Consegna managing director John Taylor said one of the challenges for the university was being able to scale up and down during peak periods such as enrolments or results-time when calls could increase by 200 per cent. 

"The University can now scale up to accommodate more call center agents that can easily access Amazon Connect from anywhere, without the need for manual intervention,” he said.

 AWS New Zealand country manager Tim Dacombe-Bird said the project not only simplified the university’s contact centre operations but provided staff with new tools to gather real-time customer insights that deliver a better experience. 

"This is a great example of how we are working with our APN [AWS Partner Network] partners to help New Zealand companies, large and small, leverage new technology in an innovative way to connect with customers," he said.


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