Amazon Connect for Business Continuity and Disaster Recovery

July 5, 2020

The concept of business continuity is defined as an organization’s ability to ensure operations and core business functions are not severely impacted by a disaster or unplanned incident that take critical systems offline. Conversely, Disaster Recovery is the process of getting all important IT infrastructure and operations up and running following an outage. To be sure, business continuity is not the same as disaster recovery. Business continuity differs in that it is the process of getting the entire business back to full functionality after a crisis.

For each organization this strategy can look vastly different in practice, and will depend on a multitude of factors and technologies. What matters most however at the end of the day is deploying a strategy that will ensure as little business interruption to downtime as possible.

While it is true that legacy on-premises based customer experience platforms have built-in redundancy to provide for multiple touchpoints of failure, they are not bullet-proof solutions. The reality in the world of prem-based solutions is that there will be points in time when your customers will hear a busy tone. This leads to losses in revenue that can pile up fast. Every company has ways to plan for and handle these disaster scenarios, but all of them differ in terms of experience, feasibility, and cost. Wouldn’t it be great if your business could implement a DR contact center solution that costs nothing to license and maintain and only incurred operating expense once those dreaded unplanned disasters occur?

What is CCaaS?

Contact Center as a Service, or CCaaS is a cloud-based customer experience solution that allows companies to utilize a contact center provider's software. A CCaaS model allows businesses to purchase only the technology they need, which reduces the need for internal IT support. With the rise of Cloud Computing over the last 15 years beginning with Amazon’s release of Elastic Compute service in 2006, businesses now more than ever have the flexibility to consume only the IT services they need. This means no more heavy capital expenditures for costly and complex licensing platforms, fixed multi-year contracts, and on-going maintenance costs. This is rule number one and the main reason why any CIO worth his salt is going to learn Cloud Computing like the back of his hand.

Back in 2007 when Amazon was shopping around for a new customer experience platform, they encountered the familiar contract hurdles and antiquated licensing models that persist to this day. So they did what Amazon does and began building their own contact center application and ten years later productized it as Software as a Service and called it Amazon Connect. The concept is simple; No licenses, contracts, or infrastructure. Pay for what you use, and automatically scale your contact center on-demand across the entire world via AWS regions. One of the more refreshing concepts of consuming IT services from the AWS cloud is the fact that as they scale, the costs to consume those services become cheaper, not more expensive. This was made evident by the recent announcement by AWS to change the billing model for inbound voice from being charged by the minute to by second, resulting in savings of up to %5. Note: Calls are only billed by the second after the first connected voice minute.

So how do I use Amazon Connect for Disaster Recovery?

So how easy is it to use Amazon Connect for Disaster Recovery and Business Continuity purposes? One popular use-case involves forwarding ingress phone numbers to Amazon Connect via changes to dial-peer statements, or something as simple as forwarding a Google Voice number. After that, the features and functionality you choose to provide your customers during business continuity situations depend wholly upon whether or not you want to maintain life for like, or just enough to keep the lights on. The key here lies in the fact that you can absolutely design and implement a like-for-like feature rich customer experience platform in the Cloud with Amazon Connect and only pay for it in the event that your customer eventually experience that dreaded busy signal.

By choosing to stand up your DR solution via Amazon Connect you can provide a no-cost platform ready to go at a moment's notice. One other particular use-case to setup a DR Amazon Connect instance with a Cisco contact center CUBE is using the Out-of-Dialog (OOD) options ping feature, which provides a generic heartbeat to monitor the status of SIP servers or endpoints and provide the option of busying-out a dial-peer upon
total heartbeat failure. By configuring a dial-peer preference to point to your Amazon Connect inbound DID or toll free numbers you can rest easy knowing the calls will route dynamically to you agents who would always be logged onto the Contact Control Panel in case of outage.

If you want to learn more about the costs associated with designing and building a DR solution using Amazon Connect please contact our sales team.

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