It’s no secret that universities have a constant battle keeping their curriculums up-to-date with the fast-paced development of artificial intelligence (AI) and automation. Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology (RMIT) is disrupting this institutional norm by preparing their students for working life through company mentorship programs. Companies such as VoiceFoundry, who develop innovative Contact Centre technologies for enterprise, are working with students in Computer Science degrees to develop innovative and real-world business solutions. More businesses are looking for novel ways to engage their customers and deliver better service. Graduates entering the workforce who can demonstrate technology skills in Automation and AI are undoubtedly valued. VoiceFoundry are proud to be a part of the development of these skills.
VoiceFoundry teamed up with RMIT in July 2018, with Technical Consultant, Gail Miller, as the students’ lead mentor. Working with five students in their final year at RMIT, the project was focused on chatbots/data/interfaces and improving the customer experience. Over the semester, the team built out a fully functional cloud Contact Centre environment for a theoretical bank. The students had never seen or touched Amazon Connect before, so they were learning and building the architecture from the ground up. VoiceFoundry mentored and challenged the team with real-world Contact Centre requirements, scenarios, and situations. VoiceFoundry and the students had weekly meetings. They also made use of online collaboration tools to help each other navigate achieving the goals they had set.
Building out the Contact Centre Environment
By the end of the semester, the team had built out:
- A voice capable IVR in Amazon Connect using natural language processing (NLP) / speech recognition
- Bespoke customer and agent dashboards. This displays data such as average time spent in queue, number of calls answered, call rate etc
- An Amazon Alexa skill voice response that answers questions such as ‘how many agents are available?’ or ‘how long has the customer has been waiting?’
- Visualisation dashboards created using Kibana that monitor the customer behaviour during the conversation and agent performance
VoiceFoundry Team Wins Best Industry Project
The project achieved the overall target of developing a fully functional Contact Centre environment with additional chatbot functionality. The VoiceFoundry team were recognised for their innovative solution and were voted best overall industry project at the RMIT Computer Science, Software Engineering and IT student showcase.
The team experienced minor technical challenges when attempting to integrate the third-party Alexa skill with Amazon Connect. These were quickly overcome through students using their own research skills and problem-solving. Consulting with VoiceFoundry to navigate the integration of Alexa skill with their Contact Centre inside AWS was also valuable.
One of the students working on the project, Balapriya Tenneti, said “I learned and executed the requirement elicitation, design, development, system integrations, network configurations, team collaboration and management, testing. This experience has supported me in stepping into the professional industry following my Master’s degree. I really feel I’ve fine-tuned my configuration and development skills on AWS Infrastructure. I’ve gained significant exposure to the emerging technologies, workplace cultures, and processes.”
VoiceFoundry are pleased with the partnership formed with RMIT. We look forward to working on similar projects together in the future. If you or your organisation would like to collaborate with VoiceFoundry, please get in touch with us to discuss any opportunities.