Alexa Ready to Take Over Pre-Existing Business Devices

Emanating from one of their recent announcements, Amazon are now opening up the opportunity for their Alexa voice assistant to be built into pre-existing business devices.

Released last year, Alexa for Business has been allowing organizations and companies the opportunity to use the voice assistant for automation purposes. Since that time, businesses have been able to pair the voice assistant with some equipment found in the workplace such as printers, photocopiers and other electronic devices. However, after calls from business owners aimed at Amazon have been made to help minimalize the amount of technology required to make it work effectively, the e-commerce giant is now allowing the voice assistant to be built into existing devices.

The Alexa Voice Service

For device makers, Amazon are encouraging those building equipment using the Alexa Voice Service (AVS) to register their product with Alexa for Business. This means that products can be managed as shared devices within organizations and companies. Pre-existing customers of the service will be able to control both Amazon built and third-party built devices containing the voice assistant centrally. This comes in a form of extension to the service’s current development toolkit. Amazon quote this as “bringing the power of voice to enterprises”.

Taken from their Blog, Amazon have provided several examples of how the new extension to Alexa for Business will provide solutions to business owners including:

  • Deployment of third-party devices to shared spaces e.g. conference rooms, hotel rooms, lobbies break rooms, kitchens.
  • Device management as part of the management flow e.g. room designations, device health monitoring, location setting.
  • Alexa Skill management e.g. both public and private skill assignment for shared devices without publishing to the public Skills Store.

‘A Significant Opportunity for Device Makers’

Speaking more on the development of their Amazon for Business platform, General Manager of Alexa for Business, Collin Davis said:

“We are excited to be working with device makers to bring the power of Alexa to our customers through the devices they already use around the office. Customers get all the benefits of Alexa for Business without having to install any new hardware.”

Vice President of the Alexa Voice Service, Pete Thompson further adds his thoughts on how the extension to the voice service development kit will create further opportunities in the long run. “The ability to create Alexa built-in products represents a significant opportunity for device makers. With a simple extension to the AVS Device SDK, device makers can address the growing demand for voice in organizations and deliver new-voice based solutions that simplify tasks and enhance productivity.”

A New Voice in the Office

The increasing use of Amazon’s assistant within workplaces is something we’ve previously covered on the Office Supplies Blog. Since the introduction of Alexa and other voice assistants, experts and business owners have predicted that 84% of organizations will be using Voice AI in the workplace with the next year. 94% believe they will be utilizing the technology within the next two years. With automation in the office becoming a hot topic over the past year, Amazon are continuing to develop their Alexa for Business service to further benefit organizations. This amongst other advancements in Voice AI, could soon result in a sharp uptake of voice assisted business processes for the foreseeable future.

Do you currently use Alexa for Business in your organization? Or is your business yet to see any implementation of voice assistance?

Let us know in the comments below or tweet us with your thoughts at @OfficeSuppBlog.

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Sam Rose