Versent deploys Amazon Connect to super fund Rest

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Versent deploys Amazon Connect to super fund Rest

Managed services provider Versent has scored an Amazon Connect deployment with superannuation fund Rest Super.

Amazon Connect was brought in to enable Rest’s financial advisers to work remotely during the COVID-19 lockdown restrictions in Australia and continue supporting the company’s members with financial advice.

The uncertainty surrounding COVID-19 saw Rest’s interactions with customers increase 54 percent as share markets globally took a downturn in February and March 2020, as members sought reassurance about their retirement savings.

Rest, which stands for Retail Employees Superannuation Trust, said the volumes continued for “many months”, prompting the upgrade to a cloud telephony solution, and also pivoting to a new delivery model.

Melbourne-based Versent was picked to deploy the solution, with Amazon Connect chosen for its pay-per-minute pricing to enable easy team onboarding and give Rest a more-cost efficient billing model.

"We've been working with Rest for about 12 months prior to help the company rebuild its Amazon environment around things like automation and new ways to unlock flexibility," Versent chief technology officer Tim Hope said.

"We had just finished setting up the foundation to serve as the critical building blocks to allow us to build new applications on top of it, so as COVID-19 hit, we've had conversations about how we can support Rest at the time.

Rest general manager of technology Simon Smith said the company had started a big push to move to cloud, eventually landing on AWS with Versent as its technology partner.

"The reason for choosing Amazon Connect had to do with ensuring people's health and safety and wellbeing so we instantly moved to push everyone to remote working," Smith said.

"We were able to do that for the majority of the workers, except unfortunately for 11 people that were tied to the desk because we had a legacy PBX at the time. After talking to Versent, we saw Amazon Connect as the right technology since the cloud foundation already in place could get it to stand the platform up really quickly."

Smith said the rollout was completed in a record eight days, and it took three weeks to get advisors already conducting over-the-phone advisory calls on Amazon Connect. It was fully completed after two more weeks after the development of more advanced features.

On the hardware side, Hope said Rest had to move away from legacy PBX to something cloud-based so softphones had to be brought in and some retraining had to be done.

"We let the staff go through a discovery process to help make the team feel very comfortable on what they would look like and how they would operate," he said.

Smith said Amazon Connect has “significantly improved” its service levels for both internal and external communications, and has also improved its product experience with deeper insights into contact centre operation for Rest’s management team, with access to powerful real-time analytics tools.

"Some of the benefits our team have articulated to me include the platform's usability and ease of use and the fact that Amazon likes to iterate very quickly so there's always new features and functionality," Smith said.

"For me, the 80 percent saving on our costs from a PBX perspective, moving from legacy to cloud, has always helped me when we're reporting to the board."

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