Amazon is far from the only major player in the voice control space. Apple, Google and Microsoft all have competent products in Siri, Assistant and Cortana, respectively, but it is Amazon’s Alexa that has resonated most with consumers.
With a win under its proverbial belt in the consumer market, Amazon is now turning its attention to the workplace.
Announced at the AWS re:Invent 2017 conference in Las Vegas on Thursday, Alexa for Business is a new service designed to enable businesses and organizations to bring Alexa into the workplace at scale. The vision is to help employees be more productive and organized on both personal and shared Echo devices.
Personal devices, as AWS technical evangelist Tara Walker highlights, could be used to enable calling and messaging, check calendars, schedule meetings, find information in popular apps like Salesforce and Concur and manage to-do lists.
Shared devices, meanwhile, could be used to join meetings in conference rooms, help with directions around the office, assist in reporting a building equipment problem or lend a hand in ordering additional office supplies.
Alexa for Business has the same capabilities as a standard Echo device. If you’re versed with using an Echo at home, doing so in the office should feel immediately familiar.
IT admins will have the tools needed to set up and manage Alexa devices, create private skills, enroll users and more.
Now, Amazon just needs to focus on getting as many large companies as possible on board with the idea (and get some purchase orders in for Echo devices). That shouldn’t be too hard considering the major steps that voice technology has taken in recent years and the public's willingness to accept it.