Alexa Comes to the Workplace

Amazon is trying to bring its flagship voice-based AI platform into the workplace with Alexa for Business.

Alexa Comes to the WorkplaceAlexa for Business can do the usual tasks like scheduling meetings, reordering office supplies, and starting conference calls. But it can also be programmed with custom skills designed specifically for a given workplace’s needs using Alexa for Business APIs. And with an AWS Management Console, Alexa can be integrated into common areas like conference rooms or a building’s lobby.

Importantly, the solution is already compatible with a number of enterprise platforms that are already popular in numerous workplaces, including solutions from Concur, Polycom, and Salesforce, as well as Google G Suite and – thanks to Amazon’s cooperation with Microsoft – Microsoft Office 365 and Microsoft Exchange.

It’s the latest sign of Alexa’s expansion beyond the consumer electronics sector, and of the growing proliferation of artificial intelligence in everyday life more broadly, with companies that embrace the solution essentially giving each of their employees a virtual assistant.

Amazon says that its Alexa for Business Starter Kit for US customers includes three Amazon Echo devices and two Echo Dots for conference rooms, and two Echo Show devices for the desktop.