“Alexa, tell my boss he’s a jerk for putting these Echo devices in my office.”
Amazon’s popular Echo devices are going to make their way into your office effectively immediately. On Thursday Amazon Web Services, Inc., a division of Amazon, announced that it was launching a Alexa for Business initiative. The new service will use the exact same Echo devices you use in your home, but they will be focused on easing your work life.
Alexa will now be able to do things such as starting a conference call by simply asking her to “start the meeting.” The intelligent assistant will also be able to do things such as manage calendars, keep up with to-do lists and make phone calls.
Enterprise solutions will also be making their way to Alexa and will let you do things such as the following commands:
- “Alexa, ask RingCentral to read me my voicemail”
- “Alexa, ask Salesforce for the current status of my team’s big deals scheduled to close this quarter”
- “Alexa, ask Concur when my flight leaves”
- “Alexa, ask SuccessFactors to file paid time off for November 28 and 29, 2017”
- “Alexa, ask Splunk how many Amazon EC2 instances are running in our South America region”
- “Alexa, ask Cloudwatch to tell me about any alarms”
Amazon will also be adding the ability for companies to build their own commands with the Alexa Skills Kit and Alexa for Business APIs. You’ll be able to do tasks such as finding open meeting rooms, ordering supplies, notifying IT of equipment issues and more.
To get your company started with Alexa for Business, the company is offering an Alexa for Business Starter Kit which includes.
- 3 Amazon Echo (2nd generation) devices for use in conference rooms
- 2 Echo Dots (2nd generation) devices for controlling equipment in large conference rooms
- 2 Echo Show devices, perfect for desktop use
The starter kit sells for $709.93.
As someone who already has an Echo Show on his desk, this seems like the perfect solution. Considering the hoops I sometimes have to jump through to get on a video conference call, the idea of simply calling someone’s conference room this way seems like a dream come true.