Last year at the AWS Invent conference, Amazon announced that Alexa will soon be integrated into the workplace. According to techcrunch.com, “[Amazon’s] first challenge is getting large companies to invest in a huge quantity of Echo devices”. This may take some time as The Wall Street Journal (WSJ) quoted, “Most experts agree, however, that existing products, which were mostly designed for home use, tend to fall short of the workplace’s more robust needs”. Sounds like there are some bugs that need fixing before companies will be able to fully rely on an intelligent for work and conference room needs.
What can Alexa for Business do? According to Geekwire.com and reuters.com, users will be able to dial into conference calls, check business calendars, order work supplies from Amazon and look up information in popular business tools like Salesforce with voice command. There are a lot of implications where Alexa could make processes quicker and easier like setting a meeting on your calendar or pulling up an email from a colleague. The biggest question is going to be the reliability of Alexa in the conference room and if it can function properly on a consistent basis. Time will tell if it is ready, but it looks like time is on Alexa’s side. WSJ surveyed IT professionals in 2016 about their attitudes toward technology and roughly half said that their organizations already use intelligent assistants for work-related tasks on company-owned devices or plan to in the next three years. Companies everywhere are warming up to the idea of an intelligent assistant in the workplace.
Conclusion: Alexa for Business is just the beginning of intelligent assistants for the workplace and I think it is safe to say that as the bugs continue to get fixed, over time we will start seeing more and more intelligent assistants popping up in offices around the world. I do have one question for Amazon, what happens when you have an employee named Alexa? Just saying, I wouldn’t want people yelling my name around the office all day, that could get annoying.
Join the conversation: How do you think Alexa will integrate into the workplace? Is Alexa for Business something you would want in your conference rooms?
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