Announcing Alexa for Business: Using Amazon Alexa’s Voice Enabled Devices for Workplaces
There are only a few things more integrated into my day-to-day life than Alexa. I use my Echo device and the enabled Alexa Skills for turning on lights in my home, checking video from my Echo Show to see who is ringing my doorbell, keeping track of my extensive to-do list on a weekly basis, playing music, and lots more. I even have my family members enabling Alexa skills on their Echo devices for all types of activities that they now cannot seem to live without. My mother, who is in a much older generation (please don’t tell her I said that), uses her Echo and the custom Alexa skill I built for her to store her baking recipes. She also enjoys exploring skills that have the latest health and epicurean information. It’s no wonder then, that when I go to work I feel like something is missing. For example, I would love to be able to ask Alexa to read my flash briefing when I get to the office.
For those of you that would love to have Alexa as your intelligent assistant at work, I have exciting news. I am delighted to announce Alexa for Business, a new service that enables businesses and organizations to bring Alexa into the workplace at scale. Alexa for Business not only brings Alexa into your workday to boost your productivity, but also provides tools and resources for organizations to set up and manage Alexa devices at scale, enable private skills, and enroll users.
Making Workplaces Smarter with Alexa for Business
Alexa for Business brings the Alexa you know and love into the workplace to help all types of workers to be more productive and organized on both personal and shared Echo devices. In the workplace, shared devices can be placed in common areas for anyone to use, and workers can use their personal devices to connect at work and at home.
End users can use shared devices or personal devices. Here’s what they can do from each.
- Join meetings in conference rooms: You can simply say “Alexa, start the meeting”. Alexa turns on the video conferencing equipment, dials into your conference call, and gets the meeting going.
- Help around the office: access custom skills to help with directions around the office, finding an open conference room, reporting a building equipment problem, or ordering new supplies.
- Enable calling and messaging: Alexa helps make phone calls, hands free and can also send messages on your behalf.
- Automatically dial into conference calls: Alexa can join any meeting with a conference call number via voice from home, work, or on the go.
- Intelligent assistant: Alexa can quickly check calendars, help schedule meetings, manage to-do lists, and set reminders.
- Find information: Alexa can help find information in popular business applications like Salesforce, Concur, or Splunk.
Here are some of the controls available to administrators:
- Provision & Manage Shared Alexa Devices: You can provision and manage shared devices around your workplace using the Alexa for Business console. For each device you can set a location, such as a conference room designation, and assign public and private skills for the device.
- Configure Conference Room Settings: Kick off your meetings with a simple “Alexa, start the meeting.” Alexa for Business allows you to configure your conference room settings so you can use Alexa to start your meetings and control your conference room equipment, or dial in directly from the Amazon Echo device in the room.
- Manage Users: You can invite users in your organization to enroll their personal Alexa account with your Alexa for Business account. Once your users have enrolled, you can enable your custom private skills for them to use on any of the devices in their personal Alexa account, at work or at home.
- Manage Skills: You can assign public skills and custom private skills your organization has created to your shared devices, and make private skills available to your enrolled users. You can create skills groups, which you can then assign to specific shared devices.
- Build Private Skills & Use Alexa for Business APIs: Dig into the Alexa Skills Kit and build your own skills. Then you can make these available to the shared devices and enrolled users in your Alexa for Business account, all without having to publish them in the public Alexa Skills Store. Alexa for Business offers additional APIs, which you can use to add context to your skills and automate administrative tasks.
Read the entire article here, Announcing Alexa for Business: Using Amazon Alexa’s Voice Enabled Devices for Workplaces
Via the fine folks at Amazon Web Services.