AMAZON HAS confirmed the launch of Alexa for Business.
After pretty much conquering the home smart assistant space, Amazon is looking to bring Alexa to a workplace near you.
Alexa for Business was confirmed at the AWS Re:invent conference with a series of launch partners already ready to bite your hand off for a piece of what may prove a very lucrative pie. Companies mentioned include Concur, Cisco, Teem, Salesforce, RingCentral, and Splunk.
CTO Werner Vogels made the announcement citing examples such as the widely-expected conference calling control but also suggests it will be able to manage expense reports and handle meeting room requests down to controlling climate and blinds.
Alexa for Business would make teleconferencing that bit easier - it just needs to expand on at the existing "drop-in" function of the Echo. It would also play nicely with customer management and sales platforms making it easy to add data by and from voice.
As usual with enterprise software, there'd need to be an extra layer or five of security, especially when it comes to picking individual voiceprints and tailoring their access to the company system.
There'll more than likely be a separate Skills Marketplace for specialist apps. CNBC listed a series of conference topics that give an idea of what Amazon has in mind for Alexa for Business.
Titles listed include:
- "Bring your Alexa to work. Voice enable your company"
- "Building smart conference rooms with Alexa"
- "New skills for Alexa for Business"
- "Hack your office: Building the skills that help you at work"
Apple has Siri, Google has Assistant, Microsoft has Cortana as well as Alexa. All will be gunning for your companies pockets. Amazon and Microsoft have got into bed early and will start interacting Alexa with Cortana next year.
But with Alexa already dominating so many domestic environments, it's likely to be a trusted name when IT Managers start pitching to their bosses on the benefits of a voice-enabled office.
Plus, if Amazon for Business is to launch imminently, that means a head start in another sector.
Although Amazon's biggest source of revenue is its cloud offering (AWS), it is best known a consumer-facing brand. If it can get its feet under the table at the start of the voice assistant revolution, it could prove a second highly effective source of cash for its coffers. µ
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