At this year’s CES tradeshow, many PC makers introduced Amazon’s Alexa integrated into their latest Windows laptops meant for the workplace. While assistants from Google, Apple (Siri) and Microsoft (Cortana) continue to compete, it appears that Alexa and its “anywhere, everywhere” strategy (home, car, workplace) seems to be taking the lead. It raises an interesting question for businesses: What are the implications of virtual/voice assistants in the office?
To Do What?
Amazon has known for some time that it wanted to enter the workplace, so it launched services specifically targeted to businesses and partnered with large business software vendors like Salesforce and ServiceNow to allow their services to be introduced as “skills” for Alexa. Simply put, a “skill” is what makes Alexa intelligent about a particular topic or piece of software. So, as a result of Salesforce integration into Alexa, the assistant will know what you mean by, “how many Salesforce leads are on my list for today?”
Other interesting use cases for businesses include the potential to streamline desktop support: “Alexa, can you reset my ServiceNow password?” Or even to access other devices in the office, like the ability to walk into a conference room and say, “Alexa, can you start a video conference with John Smith in the New York office?”
What About Security?
Certainly, businesses are right to raise concerns about an always-on, always-listening device. The challenges of introducing voice-activated smart assistants is somewhat analogous to the influx of smartphones in work environments over the past decade. That revolution forced IT to deal with new data security headaches brought about by consumer devices showing up on corporate networks – and eventually led to the arrival of BYOD policies, along with an entirely new paradigm for managing devices and networks. Fortunately, this is simply another device but you’ll want to be comfortable with what’s happening as Alexa thinks about and responds to requests.
For more about how voice assistants can help or hinder office security – or for help regarding how to keep your office safe as these become more commonplace – contact Superior Technology Solutions via www.superiortechnology.com or (845) 735-3555.
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