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Table of contents
1.
Introduction
2.
Alexa for Business
3.
How can Alexa for Business transform the workplace?
4.
Alexa skills businesses can use
5.
Alexa’s competition
6.
Cost of Alexa for Business
7.
Security concerns with virtual assistants
8.
Frequently Asked Questions
8.1.
How do I set up Alexa for my business?
8.2.
Can I use Alexa in my office?
8.3.
How much does it cost to register your Business with Alexa?
9.
Conclusion
Last Updated: Mar 27, 2024

Alexa for Business

Author GAZAL ARORA
1 upvote
Master Python: Predicting weather forecasts
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Ashwin Goyal
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Introduction

Alexa is a cloud-based voice assistant designed by Amazon. It is managed with your voice that can be used with smart speakers and other Alexa-enabled devices. She can play music, control your smart home, answer questions, and connect you to your favorite services, keeping you organized, informed, protected, and entertained. 

That's a lot of Alexa. But, it seems, still not enough.

Alexa for Business

After acquiring homes, vehicles, and offices, Amazon now focuses on implementing voice-activated virtual assistants in Business workspaces by launching Alexa for Business. 

The Alexa for Business service from Amazon aims to make connecting to meetings, calendars, projects, and company data much easier in your conference rooms and at your workstation.

Alexa for Business

Alexa for Business is a managed service comprising three key components: management tools, APIs for integrating with current IT applications and infrastructure, and Echo devices. It is provided by Amazon Web Services (AWS) that sells Alexa for Business to major corporations.

It offers an enterprise-level security and manageability model. It also has business deployment systems that allow IT to set up hundreds or thousands of shared devices without manually configuring each one. Have a look at the promo video for Alexa for Business.

Alexa for Business can do a variety of tasks with voice commands, including:

😍Look up events.

😍Managing your time.

😍Organize your to-do list.

😍Read emails and respond to them.

😍Make a list of reminders.

😍Look for an available conference room.

😍Make reservations for conference rooms.

😍Give directions to a meeting room.

😍Initiate conference room calls.

😍Participate in virtual meetings.

😍Control the equipment in the conference room.

😍If there is a problem with the building, notify the facilities.

😍Notify IT if there's a problem with the technology.

😍Purchase office supplies.

😍Access databases and reports with queries.

😍Access the latest sales statistics.

😍Check Warehouse inventory 


Note: Amazon does not just allow businesses to install multiple Alexa devices across their workplace.

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How can Alexa for Business transform the workplace?

The biggest challenge to Amazon's vision is that many businesses are moving to open-concept offices. The Alexa-on-every-desk approach won't work because a single word can activate multiple devices. Conversing with Alexa and receiving audible input in an open area could be considered unfriendly and disturbing, as it may distract your neighbors.

Amazon's Alexa-powered wearable gadgets could be a potential workaround for using Alexa in an open office situation. The Echo Frames smart glasses and the Echo Buds can activate Alexa with touch or hand motions rather than voice commands. This could solve the problem of accidentally activating the wrong gadget and reducing distractions when receiving messages.

It can be valuable for remote workers and enterprises with multiple locations. It revealed new hands-free interfaces with Zoom Rooms and Lifesize during the COVID-19 pandemic. The user enrollment features allow enterprises to expand office functionality into their employee's homes.

Alexa skills businesses can use

According to Amazon, many Alexa skills are accessible to users — 40,000, and many are aimed toward workplace productivity.

Here are a few skills that would be useful in the workplace:

Astrobot skill It scans the emails from Gmail or Office365 accounts and allows users to snooze, delete, archive, and answer with ten canned responses.
Ticket Now It allows users to create and manage tickets in ServiceNow's IT service management tool. After creating a ticket, users can talk with Alexa, add and review comments, and report SLA breaches.
Voice Metrics skill It analyses corporate data and key performance indicators (KPIs) from apps like Google Sheets and Slack.
Voice Dashboard skill It connects to an AWS account and offers updates on information such as resource allocation for IT experts managing cloud infrastructure.
Concur’s skill It allows consumers to find information about upcoming travel arrangements.

Alexa’s competition

 

Alexa’s competition

There are multiple SMART SPEAKERS in the market. Amazon's Alexa, Google Assistant, and Apple's Siri are the three of them. Each has its own advantages and disadvantages.

Amazon's Echo is quickly outselling the competitors in terms of consumer sales. According to Slice Intelligence, Amazon accounted for 72 percent of A.I. assistant speaker sales between January and March this year, even as Apple launched its HomePod speaker, which uses Siri to respond to voice requests.

While it is a first and foremost use case for Alexa for Business, Alexa will most likely face competition from IBM, Microsoft, and Google as a general-purpose A.I. assistant. "These guys, especially IBM and Microsoft, all have powerful enterprise connections and will want to use those," Goertz said.

Microsoft already has a significant presence in the industry with its Cortana voice assistant. Apple, however, has its voice tool, Siri, which many business users would be familiar with.

However, according to Vaishno Devi Srinivasan, a Frost & Sullivan unified communications and collaboration market analyst, Amazon has already gotten ahead of its competitors with the launch of Alexa for Business and the popularity of its Echo devices.

Cost of Alexa for Business

Alexa for Business is a monthly pay-as-you-go subscription with a predetermined contract period.

Businesses pay $7 per month for each shared device they use, plus an additional $3 per month for each enrolled user.

Enrolled users can link their personal Alexa account to Alexa for Business, giving them access to the same skills they use at home and custom skills created by the company. Enrolled users have full access to and use shared devices.

Security concerns with virtual assistants

Data privacy and security have been a concern for the users of Alexa. According to reports, an Alexa device recorded a discussion between a husband and wife and sent it to their contacts without permission. (Amazon explained the event, saying it was "very rare.”)

However, these concerns will remain the same for all other voice assistance provided by different organizations.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I set up Alexa for my business?

Use your Amazon.com or Amazon Business credentials to log in to the Alexa Companion app. Follow the steps in the Alexa Companion app to set up your devices. Go to the console to access the Alexa for Business console. Choose the Shared devices.

Can I use Alexa in my office?

The Alexa voice assistant and Amazon's Echo smart speakers are most recognized for what they can do at home, but they can also be useful at work. You may hire Alexa as your new personal assistant whether you have your own office, or a cubicle, or operate in a shared workspace.

How much does it cost to register your Business with Alexa?

The cost will depend on the number of shared devices registered and the number of enrolled users in the device. Each enrolled user costs $3 per month, and each shared device costs $7. Also, Alexa for Business is now available in the US East (North Virginia).

Conclusion

In this article, we learned about Alexa for Business. Alexa is on its way to providing the business world with a handy device. It will ease the life of corporate workers. 

"Alexa for Business" is an exciting idea. "There are still a few things to finish. But, once it's finished, I think it'll be a fantastic platform for bringing voice interactions into the enterprise."

Amazon provides multiple other useful services. Click here to learn about Amazon Forecast Algorithms, Amazon Hirepro

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