Amazon wants Alexa, its virtual voice assistant, to help out in the office as well as your home. It has announced Alexa for Business, where the assistant will simplify general IT tasks in the office, such as managing calendars, setting up conference calls, and general information searches.
Alexa can be used in offices and at home, linking up a business account with a personal Alexa device, ready to provide information based on work events when asked. In a video, Amazon shows Alexa scheduling meetings, booking meeting rooms and suggesting schedules, and helping out in meetings.
It’s also demonstrated how Alexa could be used to help employees navigate large offices, and streamline product and supply ordering processes.
At Amazon’s AWS re:Invent 2017 conference, CTO Werner Vogels said:
“Alexa for Business is a fully managed service for having many Alexa devices at work, to manage the users, to manage unique skills you may have, and to work. Voice is the first disruption that will happen driven by the capabilities of deep learning tools. It’s a natural way of interacting with your systems.”
Up to 25 Amazon Alexa devices can be managed by an IT department, where skills can be assigned to them. Businesses won’t buy Echo or Show devices individually, but hire them on a monthly fee basis, without the need to link the hardware to individual Amazon accounts. Linking personal devices will also be possible for an extra fee, says Reuters.