Zendesk Pulls Itself Closer to Amazon Connect

The partnership broadens the scope for innovation at Zendesk

Zendesk Pulls Itself Closer to Amazon Connect
Contact CentreCRMNews Analysis

Published: March 27, 2023

Charlie Mitchell

Zendesk has entered into a five-year strategic collaboration agreement with AWS.

The partnership aims to  “provide faster, tailored conversational experiences” across various customer engagement channels.

As such, co-innovation is seemingly on the cards, which will likely advance Zendesk’s pre-built Amazon Connect integration.

Currently, this includes a softphone client that allows agents to work on cases in Zendesk while receiving and controlling contacts through Amazon Connect. This all happens on a single screen.

Additionally, there are further foundational elements, such as screen pop, which presents agents with crucial case details as contacts route through to them.

Yet, there are also more advanced capabilities. For instance, Connect attaches call recordings and transcriptions to the relevant Zendesk case. The Contact Lens tool then runs sentiment analysis on those and drops insights directly into the case too.

It seems that the new partnership will take this use case to the next level, promising to lower customer churn “by using AI to analyze customer emotion and take the best action.”

However, this appears only to be the start.

What Else Can Customers Expect from the Partnership?

Zendesk already runs all its services on AWS. Now, it plans to build more “secure customer service programs and chatbots” in its cloud.

The helpdesk provider hopes to create conversational experiences across channels and devices with these bots.

They will also support its objective to offer multi-channel, personalized support in Zendesk Sunshine Conversations, Amazon Connect, and AWS Contact Center Intelligence.

Finally, the vendors will work together to drive agent productivity through improved contact routing, self-service support, and AI-driven workflows.

Sharing more, Pascal Pettinicchio, VP of Alliances & Corporate Development at Zendesk, said:

By taking advantage of easy-to-use software powered by Zendesk AI and AWS, CX teams can free up time and resources to focus on what they do best — creating powerful customer interactions.

Also, the move may make more customer data available on the Zendesk platform, increasing the scope for its AI-powered tools, bots, and analytics.

Is This the End of Rumors That Zendesk Will Become a CCaaS Player?

Nowadays, what a company does with data drives competitive differentiation.

Zendesk holds a lot of data. So, its central focus is likely adding complementary data and building analytics around that.

Indeed, Ruba Borno, VP of Worldwide Channels and Alliances at AWS, notes the significance of sharing data between the platforms. She stated:

This strategic collaboration agreement with Zendesk allows companies to personalize experiences using data, taking customer experiences to the next level and helping businesses automate and scale their customer service operations on the cloud.

Nevertheless, many have long suggested that Zendesk may move into the CCaaS market to expand its business and build a bigger data pool for differentiation.

That is a tricky pivot to make. After all, building a calling platform and competing in a crowded market is no simple task.

However, there is an opportunity to encroach further on the market, become more service-orientated, and create robust partnerships to source and leverage this data.

By teaming up with AWS to offer its customers Amazon Connect, Zendesk already bridges the gap between its software and its customers’ contact centers.

Now, with a combined pool of data and a co-innovation agreement, Zendesk opens up more opportunities to deliver value to contact center teams – without the struggle of building its own CCaaS solution.

Of course, the caveat is that it must share its spoils with AWS. However, as Amazon Connect leads the space in customer acquisition, it’s an excellent partner to have.

Amazon Connect Is Becoming a Platform Solution

Amazon Connect could be on its way to becoming the first “platform” CCaaS solution if more CX vendors of Zendesk’s stature start building value-add tools on top of it.

Other examples of platform solutions include IOS, Windows, and Office. However, in the CX space, nobody is there yet, with the exception of Microsoft Teams. Amazon Connect may be next.

If this is indeed the case, AWS could garner more market momentum as vendors indirectly market their CCaaS solution.

Although, for now, the vendor seems content with building out a comprehensive partner base across the service space, having recently launched another glut of CX partnerships.

One of the most interesting is its partnership with Genesys, one of its chief rivals in the space.


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