Amazon’s virtual assistant is designed to support home and office automation, maximize efficiency and save user time and money. Can Alexa’s automation of professional processes translate into profit – and conquer the business world?
It’s no surprise to most consumers that Amazon loves integration and automation. After a successful “dabble” in a shipping membership, its Amazon Prime service now estimates 80 million users and generates $6.4 billion in annual revenue. After test markets proved successful with both Amazon Prime Now, expediting delivery on specific Amazon Prime products to within a two-hour window, and Amazon Fresh, a home delivery grocery service, Amazon’s acquisition of Whole Foods seemed a logical next step to offer consumers a one-stop shop for most purchases.
Simultaneously, the expanding Amazon Echo product line-up aims to help consumers with artificial intelligence-based home automation solutions.
“Alexa, order more laundry detergent…”
“Alexa, set a timer for 15 minutes…”
“Alexa, what is the weather supposed to be like today…”
Alexa is happy to call another Echo product by looking through your contacts to find who has an Alexa-enabled device, or to command your Roomba to start a clean cycle. A whole-house Sonos audio system will set you back a few thousand dollars, but a couple of Amazon Echo devices will cost you a few hundred dollars by comparison and can be linked together to play the same music with comparable sound quality. Amazon Echo products and the voice-activated Alexa smart assistant are becoming more commonplace in homes but isn’t seen as a valuable option for a virtual assistant in the workplace – yet. Consumers tend to feel a bit overwhelmed by the vast options for how users can take full advantage of Alexa’s capabilities. Amazon does send a weekly email with the latest tips on how to make the most off Alexa, but we’re betting you didn’t know you can enable the Chat Bot skill to have Alexa assist in posting to your Slack account in a specific channel.
Yes, Alexa can help you post to a Slack channel. Let that sink in. Did you know Alexa can also integrate with Salesforce tools? Through Amazon Web Services (AWS), developers can design innovative voice-enabled technologies to build an Alexa skill, much like the Chat Bot skill mentioned above. Alexa can fetch various reports, like expense reports and professional status reports, with a simple voice command. Voice-activated automation of simple and repetitive tasks increase both efficiency and productivity and are far more cost-efficient.
Those are the buzzwords of the day: efficiency and productivity. What can you do to increase each, and improve overall cost-efficiency for your company? Think about what tasks your business can automate. That is the initial goal.
What skills would help your business run more efficiently? Here are a few existing Alexa skills that you can already implement:
Did you know that with Skill Finder, Alexa will also tell you a “Skill of the Day” to showcase one featured skill? This is aside from the “Alexa Things to Try” skill, which means Alexa really wants to help you learn what it has to offer!
In the last decade, every major organization needed to develop a website to stay competitive, but in the last few years, the requirement has become the mobile app. Organizations that wasted time, money and resources on a mobile app that didn’t add value for users found themselves removed from smartphone screen real estate and declining metrics via their mobile app dashboard. Consumers feel the same way about Alexa skills that are published to the Alexa Skill storefront. More importantly, allocate resources to developing an Alexa skill that just doesn’t offer much improvement in productivity for your organization will be even more frustrating.
How can you run your day-to-day operations more efficiently? What processes can you automate? Sure, you already automate many tasks using software programs, but Alexa is different. You can tell Alexa what you need it to do while you’re performing another function.
Between Notion and Quick Events, the next day your human assistant takes the day off, try an Alexa skill to see how Alexa can help you run your business and dominate your industry by saving you time and making you money!
Scott Gallupe of 403Tech Discusses Cybersecurity Threats in Business in Calgary Article
The COVID-19 pandemic sent businesses scrambling to pivot from an office-based environment to a remote workforce. A recent issue of Business in Calgary featured 403Tech President Scott Gallupe, who advised on how local businesses can protect their IT systems from cybersecurity threats. He explained that passwords and video collaboration tools are possible entryways for viruses and malware. The article, Alright, Stop, Collaborate and Listen, features several local IT leaders, describes the issues faced by business owners during the pandemic and provides guidance on ways to protect business data from ransomware and other types of cyberattacks.