Amazon’s popular home assistant, Alexa, is available via Amazon Web Services (AWS) as an enterprise assistant for businesses.
Alexa for Business is intended to increase productivity by assisting employees, using voice operations to retrieve information or to carry out regular tasks such as making calls, joining meetings, creating events, booking meeting rooms, assisting with audio conferencing and accessing business calendars.
Amazon opened the Alexa Skills program up to businesses, publishers and brands, expanding the business pitch significantly. With new private business skills, including the Business Q&A and Onboard Guide Blueprints, businesses can create voice-activated productivity services specific, and exclusive, to their company.
The Business Q&A Blueprint lets users create a set of questions and answers for common workplace inquiries, like the number for the IT department or what the guest Wi-Fi password is. The Onboard Guide Blueprint is meant to create skills that answer questions for new employees, like instructions on how to submit an expense report, for instance.
Amazon is also currently working together with car manufacturers to build Alexa into their cars which will enable employees to work from their vehicles while stuck in traffic, re-arrange/schedule meetings, make phone calls all safely using voice while keeping their eyes on the road. Audi, Ford and Lexus are a few of the car manufacturers at this time, that have Alexa integrated.
In much the same way an IT department might use the Microsoft Deployment Toolkit to provision Windows 10 PCs across the company, companies can use Alexa for Business to deploy and manage the Alexa-enabled kit.
Employees can link their personal Alexa accounts to their Alexa for Business account, letting them check their work calendar on their home devices, for instance, or join a conference call if they’re working from home. Alexa for Business also supports shared devices that can be placed in areas such as meeting rooms and reception desks. These devices aren’t associated with any one user account and refuse to install personal skills, so there’s no breach of privacy.
Undoubtedly, Alexa offers businesses a cost-effective way to increase productivity, through innovative technologies that can be tailored to suit.
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