Calculating the Total Cost of Ownership for Amazon Connect

Published August 28, 2019

Total cost of ownership (TCO) is an important factor when deciding whether to migrate your contact center to the cloud. However, unlike a move from one on-premises application to another, calculating the TCO for a cloud-based app is like comparing apples to oranges. At USAN, we’ve helped many clients determine the TCO of moving to Amazon Connect. This is what we’ve learned.


Understanding Amazon Connect Start-up Costs

When contact centers adopt Amazon Connect, they procure contact center services through a standard browser. The implementation doesn’t require additional hardware or software, so the costs you’d traditionally incur for an on-premises application are eliminated. Installing, patching, or otherwise maintaining the application is unnecessary because it runs on Amazon’s infrastructure.

User licenses are also eliminated when you move to Connect, as Amazon charges by the minute instead of the number of seats in your contact center. You can easily conduct a proof of concept with a handful of agents and move to production without the costs or operational overhead of procuring additional user licenses. Similarly, you can increase your agent headcount during busy periods without worrying about licensing.

Ongoing configuration and maintenance efforts aren’t eliminated when you move to Amazon Connect, but they are likely lower—especially if you’re already an AWS shop. If you’re not already on AWS, you’ll find the interfaces consistent across products and thus require less training to set up and maintain the solution.

Finally, implementing Amazon Connect will likely require data and reporting customization, which will incur costs. But, you can approach these issues one of two ways: smart or expensive. Contact centers with little or no experience with AWS sometimes choose to go it alone and rely on in-house resources to figure out how to tailor and optimize their applications effectively. This can result in a much longer project with suboptimal results. An AWS Consulting Partner like USAN can help you design, architect, build, and migrate your data and reporting schemas, accelerating the project to realize a quicker return on your investment.


Understanding Operational Costs when Moving to Amazon Connect

Amazon Connect offers the same operational benefits as other cloud-based solutions, with the main difference being that now you’re paying your cloud provider for telephony. Whereas companies previously had to reconcile with multiple telephony vendors for one contact center platform, Amazon Connect includes everything on one bill. The entire service is linked together, and it’s clear what the fees are tied to. There’s no need to have someone constantly audit and reconcile your bills.

Because moving to Amazon Connect eliminates the need to run hardware and software on-premises, you also don’t need the people to implement, maintain, and replace that hardware and software. Furthermore, there’s no need to buy shelf-ware to ensure scalability during peak periods. Amazon Connect seamlessly scales to accommodate your business demands, such as during end-of-month payments or Black Friday shopping. Thus, you only pay for the services you use, and your operational costs align with your revenue.

The feature delivery associated with Amazon Connect differs slightly from that of traditional on-premises applications. Contact centers are advised to consider a roadmap for the features and functionality they will need and are encouraged to leverage their own innovation. Because of the platform’s open APIs and the AWS ecosystem of services, custom functionality can be realized at a fraction of the price versus that of an on-premises system (if it is possible at all outside of influencing the vendor roadmap).

Bottom line: Amazon Connect’s start-up and operational costs can be significantly lower than anything else on the market today. The benefits of moving your contact center to the cloud—eliminating the need to procure and manage hardware, eliminating end-user licenses, and improving scalability—make Amazon Connect the TCO winner.

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