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Amazon’s Alexa Is Entering the Workplace

by | Jul 16, 2018 | MyTek Blog, Technology

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Every business would benefit from an office assistant that can take on the little work tasks that big bosses and owners can’t get to in their day at the office. While these assistants can be very helpful, most small businesses don’t have it in their budget to hire one. Today, we’re going to look at how to use Amazon Alexa as an office assistant.

Before You Invest…

One major thing we would like to point out and discuss before we start is that you should consider the lack of privacy that comes with having an Amazon Alexa in your office. This goes for other voice-activated virtual assistants as well. Because you’re not sure what this assistant could tell other people, you should be considerate about what you say around it. This could lead to a potentially uncomfortable situation.

Some ways to prevent issues with a voice-activated assistant is by disabling voice shipping and enabling PIN security on it. You can also make sure your Alexa only replies to a specific voice, so that way, no one unauthorized can use it to their advantage.

Alexa Manages Your Meetings

Once the privacy side of things is worked out, you can add your calendar to your Alexa so it can help you schedule meetings and appointments. To do this, go to the Alexa website or open up the Alexa application. Alexa can pair with many different productivity suites, such as Microsoft Outlook, Office 365, Google Calendar, G Suite and iCloud. This makes it versatile for any system you currently use, so you don’t have to change your ways to get Alexa to work for you. Once you have synced the calendars you use to Alexa, you can ask her to add meetings and events to your account. She can also read you the events you have going on that day or answer questions you have about your calendar, such as what you’re doing on other days.

Alexa for Business

Amazon is making Alexa for Business much easier by having it built right into their Echo devices. Because of this, businesses can use Alexa’s new business solutions, like these:

  • Providing access to sales data
  • Initiating phone calls
  • Ordering supplies
  • Setting reminders
  • Performing queries on local databases
  • Managing lists
  • Checking and managing inventory
  • Controlling AV equipment
  • Notifying support for IT & building maintenance

Amazon is also implementing new enterprise-level security solutions and management into their Alexa devices, through the Amazon Web Services division. This integrates enrollment tools that can help you manage and control your critical security systems. Any security devices you need are bought separately, but management currently remains static. 

Several large businesses are using Alexa for Business and have found ways to make it profitable, so your company has opportunities to do the same. You should at least consider the thought since Alexa for Business has become such a huge defining force in the industry.

The Alexa Virtual Assistant Skills Kit

Even if you are associated with Alexa for Business, there are many tools and skills that Alexa can offer to your company as a virtual assistant. Here are some apps that are offered in Alexa’s Skills Kit:

  • Conference Manager: This application, by Vonage, lets your Google Calendar tell you when your next conference call is. It can even connect you to your call through your Alexa device. It can use multiple conferencing call systems like Cisco WebEx, Citrix GoToMeeting, and Vonage Business.
  • Scheduling Assistant: Thanks to FreeBusy Scheduling Assistant, Alexa can schedule a meeting with several people by checking all calendars and finding a time that works for everyone. This can be used with Exchange, Outlook, Google Calendar, and Office 365.
  • Email Assistant: With EasilyDo Email Assistant for Alexa, your virtual assistant can help travelers remember their reserved time by going through their emails and pulling together all of the important information they need.
  • Chat Bot for Slack: While Slack is developing its own integrations, this third-party one works great for now. This app makes it possible for you to keep updated with your collaboration and communication on Slack.
  • Edit Docs: This app allows you to create and edit sheets, slides, and documents.
  • Mastermind: This allows Alexa to connect to your phone so it can send and receive text messages, make phone calls and view call information.

Do you think your business would use these Alexa virtual assistant skills? Come back to our blog later for more tips and tricks.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

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Tim Tiller, LMSW

 
Tim Tiller, MSW brings a deep service background to his role at Mytek, having graduated from McDonald’s management training program, fresh out of high school, and working his way up through the ranks in the hospitality industry. He has led two prior companies – Multi-Systems Inc., an IT-focused organization providing technology to hospitality companies (where he was named President at age 36), and most recently, as Chief Operating Officer for Jewish Voice Ministries International.

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