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Hankook Rapidly Deploys Remote Operations and Cuts Costs Using Amazon Connect and Amazon WorkSpaces

2020

Focused on providing advanced customer relationship management (CRM) solutions, contact center consignment and consulting company Hankook Corporation (Hankook) set its sights on the cloud to increase the flexibility of its offerings to enterprise customers. In December 2019, the company decided it wanted to build a remote work environment for its own employees and its customers’ contact center employees to test how it might increase the quality of customer service. Hankook began the process in February 2020, but setting up remote operations with its on-premises internet protocol (IP)–based telephone network required time-consuming home visits. The system was also costly, with a large-scale upfront investment in infrastructure.

When the COVID-19 pandemic arrived, Hankook’s interest in remote operations suddenly became a necessity for meeting its customers’ contact center demands. The company turned to Amazon Web Services (AWS), implementing Amazon WorkSpaces—a managed, secure desktop-as-a-service solution—to quickly enable a home work environment for employees. Soon, the company plans to expand its remote operations in the cloud by migrating its on-premises telephone system to Amazon Connect, an easy-to-use omnichannel cloud contact center. Together, the AWS solutions will enable Hankook to reduce costs associated with on-premises operations while providing unwavering business continuity to its customers.

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APIs are increasingly used to connect the contact center solution to our customers’ infrastructure. It’s great to use Amazon Connect to satisfy our customers with various API services.

Changhee Kim
Deputy General Manager, Hankook

Moving Away from On-Premises Solutions and to the AWS Cloud

Founded in South Korea in 1991, Hankook is a CRM marketing business with deep expertise in contact centers, from system development and integration to personnel management. It has facilitated the contact center operations for 117 companies and has 3,000 consultants who respond to calls on behalf of enterprise customers. Before turning to AWS solutions, Hankook had an on-premises private branch exchange (PBX) system, a private telephone network on which the call centers operate, that was based on fixed IP addresses. But when some of Hankook’s enterprise customers requested remote contact center functionality, the company struggled to support remote work with the traditional PBX environment. “To support remote work, we needed to have around 30 fixed IP addresses,” says Changhee Kim, deputy general manager of Hankook. “And it wasn’t possible to manage.” The urgency for an easily established remote work environment intensified during the COVID-19 pandemic and was further compounded by the depreciation costs of the on-premises call system. The company either had to reinvest in its existing information technology environments and infrastructure—a total cost of $3 million—or find another solution.

Hankook searched for a pay-per-usage model in the cloud and landed on Amazon Connect. But since the solution wouldn’t be available in Korea, the company developed a proof of concept offering Amazon Connect for two of its customers in Japan and the United States, where Amazon Connect was already available. These customers reported satisfaction with the quality and service of the Amazon Connect cloud system, and they were particularly drawn to its application programming interface (API). “APIs are increasingly used to connect the contact center solution to our customers’ infrastructure,” says Kim. “It’s great to use Amazon Connect to satisfy our customers with various API services.”

To deploy a virtual desktop infrastructure suitable for telecommuting within South Korea, Hankook turned to Amazon WorkSpaces, which it had first considered 2 years earlier as an alternative to costly physical contact centers. The company had worried that remote work would cause technical issues and a decrease in the quality of service—that is, until it developed a proof of concept using the two AWS services and found them suitable for the company’s remote work needs. “We received a lot of support from the AWS Solutions Architect team, which was really helpful for adapting these services to our needs,” says Kim. Hankook was attracted to the easy work environment and network setting enabled by Amazon WorkSpaces.

Deploying Amazon WorkSpaces for Remote Work in 2 Days

Though Hankook expressed interest in Amazon WorkSpaces well before the COVID-19 pandemic, the company saw a need to accelerate adoption as South Korea imposed work-from-home restrictions due to an increase in COVID-19 infections in call centers. Building the new system using Amazon WorkSpaces and Hankook’s customers’ existing call systems took 2 weeks. After that, Hankook deployed the remote work environment in 2 days—a 50 percent reduction in service delivery time compared to introducing telecommuting with an on-premises PBX system. Hankook handled most of the setup as well as the distribution of Amazon WorkSpaces to employees, but it turned to AWS Partner Network (APN) Premier Consulting Partner Megazone Cloud to configure a standardized network policy and a virtual private cloud that enabled Hankook to launch AWS resources within a network it could define.

Hankook relied on AWS to address other pain points from a prior solution, such as the voice quality and transcription of calls, as well as security. Voice quality in Amazon WorkSpaces improved tremendously, whereas Amazon Connect made it possible for third-party solutions to transcribe calls. AWS is the first global cloud service provider to achieve the Korea-Information Security Management System certification, which helps enterprises and organizations across Korea meet compliance requirements more effectively. Amazon WorkSpaces also reduces the risk that customer information would be leaked, because no user data is stored on consultants’ laptops.

By developing this Amazon WorkSpaces solution, Hankook has enabled 120 of its customers’ contact center employees to work remotely. Employees work with USB phones and laptops or desktops, using Hankook’s Amazon WorkSpaces to download URL and login information to access the virtual desktop infrastructure and get started. The company is using this sample group as a proof of concept to test the solution for future use. “We might have all employees work from home in the future,” says Kim.

Hankook customers are responding to the continuous, secure service the company has provided. “Customers trust that their contact centers will be safe—even during the COVID-19 pandemic,” says Kim. “Call centers can easily transfer to the cloud environment, enabling employees to work remotely from home. And security is continually updated. These points can win over new customers.” Also, Hankook expects immense cost savings, including more than $500,000 a month for one building, by prioritizing remote cloud contact centers over physical ones. “The industry needs remote environments because rent cost is a huge part of our total cost,” says Kim.

Embracing a Paradigm Shift from On Premises to the Cloud

When Amazon Connect launches in South Korea, Hankook will realize its vision for expanding remote operations in its contact center solutions. Until then, the company is adjusting to managing its resources effectively in the cloud. “We are continuously managing our resources and doing training to support quality of service in remote areas,” says Kim. “And the Korean enterprise customer will accept the paradigm shift from on premises to the cloud as well as the remote working environment.”

Hankook quickly launched into action when the COVID-19 pandemic hit by using Amazon WorkSpaces, migrating to the solution and deploying secure remote operations for customers’ contact centers in just 2 days, without complicated network settings or home visits. By using AWS, Hankook maintained business continuity, furthering its reputation as a reliable solution that its customers can trust—even in volatile situations.


About Hankook Corporation

Founded in 1991, Hankook is a CRM marketing business in Korea that offers consulting and development solutions for contact centers. It has facilitated contact center operations, including system development and personnel management, for 117 companies.

Benefits of AWS

  • Enabled 120 employees to work remotely
  • Deployed Amazon WorkSpaces in 2 days
  • Cut service delivery time by 50% compared to its on-premises PBX system

AWS Services Used

Amazon Connect

Amazon Connect is an easy to use omnichannel cloud contact center that helps companies provide superior customer service at a lower cost. Today thousands of companies ranging from 10 to tens of thousands of agents use Amazon Connect to serve millions of customers daily.

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Amazon WorkSpaces

Amazon WorkSpaces is a managed, secure Desktop-as-a-Service (DaaS) solution. You can use Amazon WorkSpaces to provision either Windows or Linux desktops in just a few minutes and quickly scale to provide thousands of desktops to workers across the globe. With Amazon WorkSpaces, your users get a fast, responsive desktop of their choice that they can access anywhere, anytime, from any supported device.

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