With Alexa for Business, You Could Have a New Personal Assistant at Work

If you are one of the 39 million Americans who own a smart speaker, you are a testament to the convenience and luxury of artificial intelligence. Since 2014, consumers have entrusted Alexa with the menial tasks of their day; creating grocery lists, making phone calls, playing music, and controlling temperatures throughout the house can now all be done simply by asking.

To whatever degree you use Alexa at home, one thing is true: this virtual assistant is here to make your life easier. As more people continue to integrate Alexa into their homes, Amazon is hoping to extend these same perks to the workplace. You may be wondering what took so long, but installing these devices in a business setting is much more complicated than supporting multiple devices throughout someone’s home. Alexa for Business is still tying up some loose ends, but, once complete, will simplify tedious tasks and solve the logistics behind meetings and conference calls. There are two primary ways that Alexa can be used in your workplace: as your own personal assistant to keep you organized and productive throughout the day or as a shared device that all employees can interact with.

You don’t have to be a boss to have your own personal assistant

Just like you would use your device at home, Alexa can help simplify your life during your 9-5 job. You can set daily reminders, manage your calendar, make internal or external phone calls, and track down information in a flash, like website analytics or sales data. Amazon is also hoping that in the future Alexa will even be able to reschedule the meetings on your calendar based on your availability or the urgency of an event or task. Not all employees can have access to their own personal assistant, but Alexa is the next best thing.

The future of the workplace

When Alexa for Business was introduced, it was important that the system could support shared devices so that everyone in the office could use its voice-enabled controls. This not only enhances communication, it cuts down on the amount of time employees spend doing mundane tasks. Alexa can report an equipment malfunction to the IT department, order new office supplies when inventory is low, and even streamline the process of conference calls. In fact, one of the main facets of the workplace that Alexa for Business wants to resolve is the process of using a conference room for a meeting or phone call.

Before, you would have to manually prep the conference room for the meeting, use a remote control to manage the equipment, look up the necessary call information prior to the start time, and also remind employees where the meeting was being held. Now, all you have to do is say “Alexa, start my meeting,” and all of that will be taken care of for you. Alexa can alert employees before the meeting about where it is taking place, it will automatically dial-in the necessary parties, and it will turn on the equipment you need for your Powerpoint presentation.

Alexa for Business has the potential to completely transform your workplace, but is it right for every business? It’s important that companies take their time before rushing to jump on the technology bandwagon; it takes time to see if something has the potential to actually benefit the growth of a business. Here are some things to think about: who your employees are, your budget, what processes you would use Alexa for, and the overall size of your company. Alexa for Business is still not a commonplace feature in most companies—and maybe it never will be—but it’s something that has potential to drive your business into the future.