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Perficient’s Amazon Connect Team – Dora Hodanic

As a member of the Amazon Web Services Partner Network, Perficient combines cloud expertise with the power of AWS to enable quick access to innovative technologies. Clients can spend more time on their core business competencies and less time worrying about the technology behind it.

A product within the Amazon Web Services platform, Amazon Connect creates powerful customer service solutions, providing an easy-to-use, cloud-based customer contact center that scales to support organizations of any size. We’re experts in the implementation, migration and on-going management of Amazon Connect services. In our on-going series about our Amazon Connect team, we hear from Lead Technical Consultant Dora Hodanic. 

Can you tell us a bit about your educational and technology background?

I studied at the Faculty of Engineering, University of Rijeka, Croatia, where I earned a Bachelor’s and Master’s Degrees in Computer Science. This was a comprehensive 5-year program that encompassed programming, computer networking, and general engineering courses.

At the time, I was mostly interested in Computer Networking and Telecommunications, so I started taking on university projects and eventually my thesis, within that domain.

After graduation, I started work as a Technical Support/UC engineer for contact centers. This eventually lead me to a more consulting-based role. Today, as a Lead Technical Consultant with Perficient I help customers migrate their call center platforms to more modern cloud-based solutions. I have been focused on Amazon Connect solutions since 2017.

What does a typical day like for you?

It depends! There is no typical day and I like it! During an ongoing implementation project, I will typically have a mixture of technical and consultative work.

Other times my focus may shift to other activities such as R&D, producing recommendations for Amazon Connect usage, creating client-facing and internal training materials or delivering training, etc.

What about working with Amazon Connect excites you?

It’s exciting to see how fast you can build a basic contact center. Just a few years ago, companies had to spend months, even years, to stage a basic contact center environment with supporting telephony.

Today, with Amazon Connect you can click through a graphical interface and answer your first call in 5 minutes. The other thing I find exciting is exploring the art of the possible. Amazon Connect is just one part of a much larger AWS ecosystem. Anything you want for the call center is now an API call away. How cool is that?

Why do you think it’s important for Contact Centers to embrace new technologies?

Contact centers with phone service are still a primary way for customers to reach appropriate customer service representatives. Embracing technology allows a contact center to improve customer experience.

It’s not uncommon for technology trends to eventually become industry standards and I can see this happening with the technology available in Amazon Connect. Take AI and Omnichannel, as an example. If I’m a customer needing to reschedule my flight, it’s not uncommon to expect the best recommendations regardless of the communication channel I choose. With Amazon Connect, you can ensure your customers have a standard level of service whether it’s through live chat, email or phone.

What do you enjoy most about working with clients?

The ongoing collaboration that ultimately culminates in implementing technology that improves a client’s business operations. I’m passionate about technology as is. What really takes it to the next level for me is figuring out how to apply that technology to a client’s real business challenge.

Making changes to existing technical systems comes with challenges. Do you have any advice to those who are looking to make a change but might be afraid?

Absolutely – the key is to start small!

A model that typically leads to higher success, better adoption, and lower risk is choosing a small group in the contact center. Ideally, it would be a group with a simpler workflow, simpler technology needs and one that’s somewhat isolated from the rest of the teams. Work on changing that first. It’s easier to plan for further change once a small group has proven out the new technology.

A really good example of this is the help desk. A lot of the times we find that help desk groups within contact centers are separate from other groups. Sometimes the workforce is a bit more tech-savvy too, which helps to adopt new technology. We’d implement a proof of concept (POC) and see how it worked out, iterating and improving where necessary.

For more information about how Perficient can help you get the most out of Amazon Connect, please contact us for a demo.

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