Virtual assistants in the digital workplace: Alexa for business.

Just hired Alexa, but who is she?

Alexa is a voice activated virtual assistant. Talking to a device was something for the future. Not anymore. Alexa can change and shape the digital workplace by supporting employees with the basic tasks of their jobs.

November 17th 2017, Alexa for Business has been launched to the market. It exists out of three components being:

  • The device itself
  • API kit to integrate with others solutions
  • A set of management tools

Alexa has a lot of basic skills but the great thing is, you can learn Alexa advanced skills that will help enrich your digital workplace. Some examples are managing your agenda or adding and deleting things from your to do list.

How to use Alexa for business? 

As previously mentioned, it is possible to add skills to Alexa by using code and the API toolset. This means that you can ask Alexa to interpret certain tasks and do something with it. An example. Imagine you have to upload images to your Digital Asset Management (DAM) system on a weekly basis. It is a recurrent task that takes time. Who doesn’t think these kind of task are a burden? Well, Alexa can do this job for you, even adding metadata to all the uploaded files. Another example is that due the integration of IoT it is possible to manage devices with voice commands. You can for example easily ask Alexa to forward your printing job to the nearest available printer when the first one is out of paper. 

These simple tasks can be done by Alexa so there is more room to focus on the more complex and important tasks. This could bring employee productivity to an even higher level.

Impact on the digital workspace

No doubt that Alexa and her friends will become a part of the digital workplace. It is only a matter of time before there will be a focus on the implementation of virtual assistants. But don’t forget, some of us might have Alexa at home already. So, the trend might be that we use this device at home and that we will push our companies to have something similar available on the work floor.

Like all new things, it will take some time before a virtual assistant becomes part of our daily life and company culture. Some people will be hesitant to talk to machines, others will be best friends with the assistant from day one. Nonetheless, we are curious to see this evolution and will keep you posted!