After making the announcement last year to bring Alexa into the workplace, Werner Vogels, the CTO of Amazon, recently published a blog post to explain further how this technology may change our work life.
Meetings take place every day, whether they are face-to-face or conducted remotely. However, it’s not always easy to run online meetings smoothly – sometimes the passcode doesn’t work and sometimes the dial-in information is wrong.
With Alexa for Business, Amazon wants employees to be able to walk to a meeting and say “Alexa, start my meeting.” The assistant will automatically know what the meeting is for based on the time of the day or the dial-in information. It will then dial the conference provider and start the meeting.
It is able to function because Alexa has connected the conference rooms and calendars. Other possible automatic actions with Alexa include lowering the projector screen, dimming the lights, and more.
WeWork, a co-working space rental service, has integrated Alexa in its offices in order to reserve conference rooms and file support requests for management teams.
Alexa already has corporate applications with Salesforce, Concur and ServiceNow. Acumatica, an enterprise resource planning company, is also working with Amazon to develop a voice skill that will recognize who’s speaking to Alexa and know how much data each person has access to.
For large corporations, security control and data access will be key concerns affecting the decision to bring Alexa into offices or not. The first is the management layer, which brings control and monitoring of the Alexa platform into each company’s IT department. Second, various Alexa APIs will be integrated into a company’s IT apps and infrastructures. Lastly, they will need to install voice-enabled devices in many corners.
“Using your voice is powerful because it’s spontaneous, intuitive and enables you to interact with technology in the most natural way possible…..When you use your voice, you don’t need to adapt and learn a new user interface,” wrote Vogels.
It’s true that the voice interface may have lower learning curve with a company’s various technology software and platforms. However, to integrate voice assistant into office, companies will also need developers who can develop voice skills.