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Transforming Contact Centers with an AI-First Approach Using Amazon Connect and IBM Consulting CCM

By Simona Bonková, Ján Šalata, Petr Vaculík, Avdyl Haxhaj, Shiva Bayati, and Hana Konrád – IBM Consulting
By Phani Lingamallu, Partner Solutions Architect – AWS

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Imagine a world where customer issues are resolved effortlessly from the first interaction and reduce customer churn. Today’s customers demand exceptional service and a seamless omnichannel experience, and they expect businesses to recognize their identity, past purchases, and desired outcomes across all channels.

While some companies excel in meeting these expectations, others face significant challenges.

Contact center agents operate under vast pressure navigating multiple screens and programs, with limited knowledge of their clients’ previous interactions, and struggle to address complex customer queries as customer data is dispersed across various systems, making it difficult to access and utilize efficiently.

These mounting pressures can result in high turnover rates, accompanied by the expenses of hiring and training new agents, and lead to a negative customer experience.

The IBM Consulting Contact Center Modernization (CCM) solution powered by Amazon Connect helps address complex and costly issues faced by businesses, enhances customer experience, and reduces churn.

In this post, you will learn how IBM Consulting CCM combines Amazon Connect—an intuitive, omnichannel cloud platform—with enriched functionality built by IBM Consulting.

As an AWS Premier Tier Services Partner with numerous AWS Competencies and Service Delivery specializations including Amazon Connect. As a leader in data and artificial intelligence (AI) consulting, IBM holds a distinguished position in the industry.

With IBM Consulting’s extensive expertise and depth of capabilities in contact center transformation—gained through thousands of client transformations—businesses can trust in IBM’s proven track record of success.

How IBM Enriches the Amazon Connect Solution

Contact center managers often face challenges with infrastructure, such as implementing new features and managing multiple communication channels. This complexity requires extra effort, skills, and costs for daily operations. Upgrading these systems can be expensive, time-consuming, and risky, and businesses often struggle to leverage the right AI tools and technologies.

The contact center landscape is evolving with the recent developments in generative AI. Customer service transformation has become the top priority for business leaders to experiment and implement generative AI. According to a recent IBM study, 85% of business leaders believe that in the next two years generative AI will be directly interacting with customers.

The CCM solution is delivered as a managed service with no initial financial outlay. It can be implemented in less than four months, minimizing upfront costs and business risks. During this time, IBM gathers necessary information, sets up the environment, configures the contact center, and deploys the solution to production.


Figure 1 – Combining AWS and IBM innovations in one solution, delivered with speed as a managed service.

This streamlined approach ensures an efficient implementation process, empowering contact center managers to optimize their operations, enhance customer experiences, and drive business success. All of this without the typical financial and operational burdens associated with traditional contact center infrastructure upgrades.

IBM Consulting CCM provides the following key enhancements:

  • Comprehensive omnichannel integration leverages classic voice and chat channels and expands its capabilities by incorporating email and messaging channels (WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, etc.) for external and internal communications.
  • Robust self-service capabilities lean on skill-based routing and conversational AI, leveraging cutting-edge AWS services and pre-trained robots to enhance voice and digital channels. The voice part of IBM Consulting CCM utilizes natural language interpretation, enabling more intuitive and engaging interactions.
  • Integration of contact flows with AWS-based cloud services and external systems provide a powerful integration platform with inputs into self-service and agent-assisted conversations.
  • Single sign-on (SSO) and identity verification integration based on industry standards with tools such as OneLogin to provide a streamlined and secure authentication process for users.
  • Seamless integration with customer relationship management (CRM) systems including Salesforce, Microsoft Dynamics, and other industry-leading platforms.
  • Custom agent user interface (UI) and supervisor app offers a modern, responsive experience and unifies views to provide enhanced insights.
  • Unified data layer is created atop the raw data sources to deliver a comprehensive view of incoming data. This unified data layer provides seamless reporting and filtering across multiple data sources, as well as supports advanced analytics covering use cases like bot maintenance, agent performance, contact center performance, and health dashboards of integration systems.
  • Visualization as the structured form of the common data layer allows for using any business intelligence (BI) solution for visualization. Amazon QuickSight is utilized as an AWS-native solution for visualizing the data.

Generative AI Accelerators

Following the principles above, IBM CCM has implemented four generative AI accelerators using AWS generative AI services:

  • Automated email handling: The system detects the topic of the email messages, can determine which information is missing, and immediately sends a response back to the user asking to provide the remaining information.
  • Agent assist with semantic search: In real time, the agent is offered answers to questions the customer is asking during the conversation (based on information stored in a knowledge base).
  • Conversation summarization: During handover and after the interaction, the agent is offered a summary of the conversation (structured on unstructured). This feature assists in significantly reducing after-call work for agents by automatically generating a summary of the call, including information such as the reason for customer contact and agent.
  • Information extraction: As part of automated email handling and summarization, generative AI is leveraged for extracting selected pieces of information (such as product being discussed, and sentiment). This is stored as structured data and used for reporting and further decision making and maintenance.


Figure 2 – IBM CCM generative AI accelerators.

IBM Consulting CCM further expedites implementation by offering a standardized collection of industry-specific business scenarios. These serve as a foundation for pre-training virtual assistants, providing a baseline concierge bot solution capability known as IBM Consulting CCM Cartridges.

As every industry has specific unique functions, these cartridges have already been tailored to five key sectors: banking, utilities, telecommunications, retail, and insurance. Each industry cartridge comes equipped with a set of pre-built scenarios, readily available for customization according to customer requirements.

For example, as a banking client you can set a new limit for your credit card, block your credit card, or request a new one—using just chatbot or voicebot. The virtual assistant executes requested actions using an AWS Lambda function to resolve customer requests and sending proper details to the customer enterprise system.

IBM CCM Solution Architecture

IBM Consulting CCM features a modular, loosely coupled architecture for scalability and flexibility, allowing integration with third-party applications, enabling organizations to leverage existing tools and technologies. It uses role-based access control (RBAC) to minimize security risks and logs all activities for auditing and compliance purposes.

  1. Amazon Connect: Using Amazon Connect as the heart, IBM Consulting has developed a powerful and open contact center platform by combining various AWS generative AI services, custom-built retrieval-augmented generation (RAG) and other accelerators on top of the default Amazon Connect capabilities. The focus is on user-friendliness, simplicity, and maximal automation, including testing and deployment areas.
  2. Generative AI accelerators: IBM Consulting utilizes the fully managed Amazon Bedrock and Amazon SageMaker services, along with various foundation models (FMs) depending on the use case.
  3. Functionality and orchestration: AWS Lambda and AWS Step Functions are used across IBM CCM, including various integrations to external enterprise systems such as Salesforce and Microsoft Dynamics.
  4. AI/ML capabilities support: Amazon Lex contributes on bot-based conversations, while Amazon Connect Contact Lens covers speech and sentiment analysis, and Amazon Polly and Amazon Transcribe provide lifelike speech-text conversions. Amazon Comprehend and Amazon Q in Connect deliver suggested responses to agents.
  5. Data storage: Amazon Simple Storage Service (Amazon S3) and Amazon DynamoDB automatically scale serverless storages and strongly support IBM CCM automation.
  6. Reporting and analytics: The solution utilizes AWS Glue to prepare and transform data for further analytics, along with Amazon Athena for querying and Amazon QuickSight for advanced business intelligence (BI) capabilities.


Figure 3 – IBM CCM architecture with generative AI accelerators.


IBM Consulting’s unique delivery and commercial approach offer added value by enabling brands to break free from the conventional customer service model and accelerate their customer service transformation with the following benefits:

  • Improved agent performance and satisfaction through direct access to all information needed to serve clients better and faster.
  • Shortened average handling time savings agent’s time for more complex tasks that cannot be easily automated.
  • Increased customer satisfaction resulting from prompt responses.
  • Reduced the load on contact centers by automation.
  • Improved quality of insight into all interactions, uncovering new possibilities in personalization.

In Figure 4 below, note the benefits are based on past client engagements; results may vary across clients.


Figure 4 – Values provided by IBM Consulting’s CCM.


In this post, you discovered a deeper understanding of how the IBM Consulting Contact Center Modernization (CCM) solution powered by Amazon Connect can drive your contact center and customer service transformation. By leveraging speed and operational efficiency, and by delivering exceptional customer experiences, IBM Consulting CCM enables brands to jump-start their journey towards success.

With a range of pre-built features that can be customized to align with your organization’s specific requirements, partnering with IBM Consulting empowers you to continually enhance and expand your customer service capabilities. Embrace this transformative solution and unlock the full potential of your contact center operations.

Contact IBM Consulting to learn more about how CCM can revolutionize your contact center operations, improve customer satisfaction, and drive business growth.


IBM – AWS Partner Spotlight

IBM Consulting is an AWS Premier Tier Services Partner that helps customers who use AWS to harness the power of innovation and drive their business transformation.

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