Now also used in B2B communication: virtual assistants in the business environment
From the Home to the Office:
Playtime is over – virtual assistants such as Amazon’s Alexa and Omega by i.am+ now also offer a helping hand in the world of business, bringing with them completely new possibilities in customer communication.
Amazon took the connected home a step further with its virtual assistant, and now the smart office has arrived. The online retailer calls its platform for business customers “Alexa for Business”. This service is currently only available for US customers, but the innovation will soon be generating enormous interest around the world. After all, Alexa’s new business applications lead to significant time savings. Take a business meeting, for example. Rather than inviting team members and setting the appropriate time via Outlook, a simple voice command now suffices: “Alexa, invite the IT team to a meeting at 9am tomorrow!” Alexa is said to have the intelligence to automatically book the right meeting room or to enter the right dial-in data for a web conference. i.am+, the company of the musician will.i.am, has developed a virtual assistant called Omega, which also uses artificial intelligence technology and which is on call to assist in day-to-day business.
The race is on
There are no limits to the possible fields of applications within a company. A number of technology partners have already developed applications. Amazon itself provides an Alexa Skills Kit. The early developers include some of the bigger providers such as Salesforce. Using voice commands, users can access special surveys at Einstein Analytics or the customer information saved by Salesforce. Staff at companies that use travel management solutions by Concur could ask Alexa, as they walk to the coffee room, at what time they need to set off for the airport, and they’ll get a reliable answer based on current travel information. All this makes features such as reading out emails or the voice-control app for the office air conditioning system seem like standard functions.
Direct line to the manufacturers
This could revolutionize the office of the future. Not only could Alexa, Omega and other assistants that will inevitably follow reveal the shortest route to the printer or the nearest cafeteria, they will also offer a direct line to the manufacturers of office products. That’s because digital virtual assistants now also offer B2B companies a new contact channel to their customers. This element of customer communication can make the ordering process for products or services – and thereby general office routines – more efficient for end users. The B2B companies that introduce Alexa & Co. as representatives thereby have an opportunity to provide their customers with exactly the information or services they need right now.
Author: Editorial team Future. Customer. Image: AdobeStock