Alexa for Business to bring Echo technology into the workplace

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At Amazon Web Services’ annual re:Invent conference Amazon announced Alexa for Business to carry out tedious tasks at work, like managing their calendars, dialing in to meetings, or searching for information.

Frankly this sounds brilliant! If there’s one thing I absolutely detest it’s when I have to join a conference call and either face the pain of downloading some god-awful software to my PC or dial in and then enter a PIN and then say my name after the beeps and “press the pound sign (or hash)”. If I can say “Alexa start my meeting” and she can do this for me then I’m already sold.

The idea is that Alexa can simplify conference rooms, allowing meeting attendees to start meetings and control the equipment in the room by simply using their voice. Alexa can also do things around the workplace, like booking and then providing directions to a conference room, notifying IT about a broken printer, or placing an order for office supplies.

Solution and software providers, including Salesforce, Concur, SuccessFactors, ServiceNow, Splunk, Acumatica, Tact, Polycom, Crestron, RingCentral, Teem, Twine, and Zoom, are integrating their business applications with Alexa for Business or developing skills that will allow users to accomplish all kinds of tasks.

Alexa for Business Starter Kit

Alexa For Business Starter KitCustomers in the US can bring Alexa to their workplace starting today with the Alexa for Business Starter Kit. Each kit includes the following:

  • 3 Amazon Echo (2nd generation) devices for use in conference rooms
  • 2 Echo Dots (2nd generation) devices for controlling equipment in large conference rooms
  • 2 Echo Show devices, perfect for desktop use

Alexa at your desk

Alexa lets you be more productive throughout your day and stay focused on important tasks. Alexa can help you manage your schedule, keep track of your to-do list, and set reminders. Alexa can automatically dial into your conference calls and make phone calls for you. Alexa can help quickly find information for you, like the latest sales data, or the inventory levels in your warehouse.

Alexa for conference rooms

Alexa lets you start meetings and control your conference room settings using your voice. With Alexa, you don’t need to use remote controls, look up conference call information, and manually dial in to meetings – you can simply say “Alexa, start my meeting”, and Alexa gets your meeting started. Alexa-enabled devices can act as audio conferencing devices in smaller conference rooms, or control equipment in larger rooms.

Alexa for Business custom skills

By building your own custom Alexa Skills, you can easily voice-enable your workplace, and let Alexa help with common everyday tasks. Using your custom Alexa Skills, Alexa can provide directions, find an open meeting room, order new supplies, report building problems, or notify IT of an equipment issue. Alexa can also provide important information, like inventory levels, and help with on-the-job training.

Alexa for customer support

Alexa lets you add voice to your products and services so you can provide rich, personalized voice experiences for your customers. Alexa can help hotel guests feel comfortable, play their favorite music, and even order room service. Alexa can provide customers with valuable information about your product, and provide support when they run into problems. With Alexa, you can redefine the way your customers interact with your products and services.

Perhaps the most exciting part of this is enabling Alexa to provide shipping updates and order information for customers – anything that gets away from answering emails or telephone calls has to be a good thing.

Amazon for Business

If you’re wondering why Amazon would take a consumer device and pop it into a workplace environment then you don’t have to look too far and no it’s not just to sell a few Echo, Echo Show and Echo Dot devices!

Think about the Amazon Business proposition where companies sign up and enable employees to purchase from Amazon as a preferred supplier. Suddenly when your printer runs out of ink and you ask Alexa for a replacement toner cartridge it all makes sense. Your company is already hooked up with Alexa enabled devices and it just follows on that they’ll start using Amazon Business to order office supplies and sooner or later your voice command will translate into an order to Amazon.


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