Alexa is Coming to the Enterprise
Amazon’s Alexa is powering some of the most successful consumer electronic devices of all time. Recently, developer have been steadily extending Alexa’s capabilities into the enterprise.
A few days ago, a company called SoftServe delivered VoiceMyBot, a solution that integrates Alexa with popular enterprise messaging tool HipChat. Using VoiceMyBot, companies can use Alexa-powered devices such as Amazon Echo to interact with a HipChat room by using voice commands.
Solutions like VoiceMyBot are possible because Amazon designed Alexa with extensibility as a first-class-citizen since the first day. Alexa Skills Kit is the main extensibility point of the platform and developers are starting to use it to integrate Alexa with enterprise systems and business processes.
An Office Digital Assistant
Alexa-powered devices such as Amazon echo can become an efficient digital assitant in the enterprise. New Alexa skills can be created to rapidly access information and improve collaboration using conversational interfaces. We can imagine an enterprise deploying Echo devices on every conference room to improve meetings and collaborative activities between its employees.
A Voice Extension to Enterprise Systems
Alexa has the potential to become a conversational interface gateway for common back-office systems. For instance, there are already efforts to integrate Alexa with common line of business systems such as Salesforce or Workday. As more line of business systems provide this type of conversational capabilities powered by Alexa, the can for enterprise deployments of Amazon’s devices will become more viable.
Enterprise Messaging Platforms are the Low-Hanging Fruit
Enterprise messaging platform such as HipChat or Slack as well as newcomers such as Facebook Workplace or Microsoft Teams remain the obvious first choice to enable Alexa integrations. Those messaging platforms already include thousands of bots that can be easily extended to integrate with the Alexa platform.
Alexa’s Path to the Enterprise Requires Partnerships
Don’t expect Amazon to try to introduce Alexa to the enterprise by themselves. Amazon will be more successful by enterprise software vendors such as Salesforce, Microsoft, Slack, Atlassian, ec. Alexa-powered enterprise solutions are unlikely to become mission-crititcal in the enterprise any time soon but can be a very simple add-on to mission critical enterprise systems.
What About the Competition?
If there is a market for office digital assistants, Amazon is in a unique position to dominate it. No other voice platform combines hte market penetration, extensibility and developer communiyty to be able to make a strong transition into the enterprise. Sophisticated voice software platforms such as Watson and cortant lack hardware devices with the popularity ofAmazonn Echo to be considered relevant in the enterprise at this point. Google Home is an interesting choice but, at the moment, Amazon Echo enjoys a solid lead.