2020: The Year in Review

Author: Simon Black, CEODate: 2021/04/13

I think we can all agree that the end of the year and early days of January have not been the most enjoyable time worldwide, however, it’s worth reminding ourselves just how much we have accomplished over the last 12 months.

There is much to celebrate (despite the fact that we still have the pandemic hanging over us), so it’s even more crucial to recognise our achievements during 2020. And importantly, to thank you all for your support during this challenging time. Whether you’re a customer, a supplier, a partner, or, of course, an Awaken employee, you have all played a vital role in our organisation’s success during the last year. We thank you for your resilience and energy. Long may our productive relationship continue into 2021 and beyond.

 

Customer and Partner Success 

During the last year, we have onboarded several new clients ranging from a global rollout to one of the largest TPAs, to a large medical insurance TPA and to a digital marketing agency, Enabled Media. In addition, we have expanded our work across several key and existing customers ranging from STARS, the helicopter air ambulance program in Canada, the Scottish fully remote-based contact centre Aquarius, Sitel UK; CX management experts, and Vattenfall, one of Europe’s largest energy companies.

 

We’ve also been exceptionally busy expanding our partner network with;

 

These extended or new associations mean that we are able to further develop and offer our client base the support and services fit for businesses striving to meet the ever-growing expectations of their customers.

 

We also joined the Government and Public Sector Operating, G Cloud 12 Digital Marketplace, integrated with Amazon Connect and most recently Awaken’s Agent Guidance (Scripting Solution) was added to the Genesys AppFoundry.

 

Technical Milestones

2020 was also an exceptionally busy year in terms of product development. We continue to be astounded by the tireless efforts and expertise of our engineers and developers, led by our CTO, Geouffrey Erasmus. Some of the highlights involved the following:

 

  • Creating a Hosted Solution for 25,000+ agents in just 7 days (!)

Awaken Scripting was selected as the dynamic agent guidance solution as part of a national government COVID-19 crisis management solution. Part of the requirement meant delivering our Awaken Scripting Platform within 7 days. This involved deploying a fully resilient and secure platform across multiple availability zones within Amazon Web Services (AWS) and exposing our Synergy Web application to nearly 30 contact centres and up to 30,000 agents (all home workers).

 

  • Application Penetration Testing

As part of the above-mentioned government project, we were asked to perform penetration testing on our application, ensuring that data remains secure at all times. With the tight deadlines for go-live, it meant that there was very little time to ensure all remediations were implemented in a timely manner. However, the complete test and remediations took just 3 weeks to complete thanks to a massive effort from our Awaken Engineering Team.

 

  • Single Sign-On (SSO) support

SSO was fast becoming a critical requirement from most of our enterprise customers. And we are very happy to announce that we now support SSO using SAML in the Awaken Scripting/Synergy platform.

 

  • Record Management

We refined our record management processes. Awaken Scripting offers the platform by which records are loaded and distributed to users. Periodically, records will be loaded into the Scripting application via a CSV and a custom add on. The import process will run validation on the records being imported to make sure the data is valid before allowing it to be loaded i.e. phone numbers are the correct format and length.

On import, the records can be associated with different groups and distributed to users via user/group permissions within the Awaken Scripting platform.

The Awaken Scripting Desktop allows the users to “request” the next record and the corresponding script/agent guidance will be displayed to allow the user to process the record. Data associated with the record can drive the script logic/flow accordingly.

 

  • Automation of Infrastructure Deployment and Monitoring

As we look to further expand our Awaken Cloud offering in 2021 it’s worth noting the investments we’ve made during the past 12 months into our infrastructure automation deployment and monitoring using automation tools. For customers this means they’ll notice:

    • Significantly reduced time to go-live.
    • Painless and cost-effective resilient hosting. We take care of patching and availability of the services.
    • Proactive monitoring for hosted and on-prem (self-hosted) customers.

 

Expanding Our Team 

And, finally, we welcomed nine new joiners in 2020! With roles ranging from marketing and sales through to engineering and developing, it’s safe to say that the Awaken team is going from strength to strength. If you haven’t met them (virtually, of course) they are:

 

 

The personal experiences of 2020 may still be raw and although the pandemic is far from over, we should all look back on the past year with gratitude. Those at Awaken have shown true grit and determination, uniting as a team to help develop a business that can adapt even when disasters beyond our control strike. For that I am truly proud and, once again, thank you all for your support and hope that 2021 becomes a healthier and safer year for all.

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