888.678.7282    Get SUPPORT

Strata Information Technology Blog

How Alexa Can Become Your Most Valuable Employee

How Alexa Can Become Your Most Valuable Employee

An assistant has long been a greatly desired resource in the office setting. Typically, assistants do all the “grunt work” that the executives don’t have time for. Executives have long relied on a steadfast helper to make their professional lives easier, but capital for additional help may not be there. To counter this, small business owners are now using devices like Amazon’s Alexa to help them manage their busy schedules. You can too! Here’s how.

Before You Consider Alexa Your Work Assistant…
One major problem people have with the virtual assistant is the lack of privacy the user gets when using it. If you are going to bring your virtual assistant to the office you’ll have to be cognizant that the more your VA knows about you, the more it’s liable to tell other people. If you aren’t careful, you are opening up a can of worms that could have the opposite effect than the one you intend.

You’ll want to make sure that you are taking the proper steps to protect yourself. You’ll want to disable voice shopping or enable a PIN for security. Additionally, if you haven’t done it already, you’ll want to configure your Alexa with your specific voice profile to avoid other people speaking to it as you.

Alexa Manages Your Meetings
Once your privacy is squared away (or as squared away as it’s going to be), the first thing you’ll want to do is add your calendar to your Alexa so that it can help manage your appointments. To do this, go to alexa.amazon.com, or open the Alexa app and go to Settings > Calendar. Alexa supports G Suite, Google Calendar, Outlook, Office 365, and iCloud, so no matter what device you use regularly, Alexa can integrate with your calendar. Once it’s added, you can prompt it to add an event by simply stating, “Alexa, add an event to my calendar.” Like a human assistant, Alexa can read back your events for the day and be able to answer calendar related questions.

Alexa for Business
When Amazon realized that millions of people were using Echo with Alexa, they knew it would be a viable product. Shortly thereafter they announced they were rolling out Echo devices with Alexa for Business. Some industry experts scoffed at the retail giant’s attempt to put an Echo everywhere. Tech savvy professionals, however, especially those who have embraced the virtual assistant, should find some value in Alexa’s expanded capabilities. They include:

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

Amazon has made it clear that just bringing your Echo into work and starting to use it isn’t going to work for them. They have developed an enterprise-level security and manageability model that has integrated enrollment tools that manage access to the system. As a part of its Amazon Web services division, it works a lot like their software as a service offerings do. While businesses need to pay for devices separately, the cost of management will remain with the Alexa for Business model.

The smart office, where calls and meetings are completely managed by the virtual assistant isn’t that far off. Alexa for Business has been rolled out in several large enterprises who have found varying degrees of success with the platform. One thing is for certain: Amazon is making a play to build the first virtual assistant that is uniformly utilized throughout a person’s life, and it’s got help.

The Alexa Skills Kit
For the businessperson who wants to use Alexa for their own productivity, and doesn’t work at an Alexa for Business-sponsored company, there have been useful integrations developed to help them build their Amazon Echo, Echo Dot, or Tap into a personal assistant. Some of the apps in the Skills Kit include:

  • Conference Manager: Built by VoIP provider Vonage, the Conference Manager syncs with Google Calendar to see a person’s next conference call. It automates the process of connecting to the call, and simply calls you on an Alexa-enabled device (Internet phone or smartphone). It currently supports many of the top conferencing options such as Cisco WebEx Meeting Center, Citrix GoToMeeting, and Vonage Business.
  • Scheduling Assistant: As was stated above, Alexa can be of use scheduling meetings. With an integration from developer FreeBusy, the FreeBusy Scheduling Assistant can automate the process of checking to see if a person is available and scheduling a conference call when all parties can meet. With integrations with Google Calendar, Exchange, Outlook, and Office 365, FreeBusy Scheduling Assistant is a must have app for your Alexa-fueled business.
  • Email Assistant: Built by productivity software developer EasilyDo, the Email Assistant for Alexa is best used by traveling parties to confirm their reserved times for travel. By crawling the person’s email, it can gain all the relevant information quickly and accurately.
  • Chat Bot for Slack: Developers say that integration with Slack is coming, but for now the best they can do is, through a third-party software integration, update the communications and collaboration platform with up to date information.
  • Edit Docs: A useful app that lets you create docs, sheets, and slides, edit them, and lists your most-utilized files on command.
  • Mastermind: Still in beta because of high demand, the Mastermind skill is a communications application that allows Alexa access to a users personal smartphone communications, giving them the ability to send and receive text messages, make calls, and see who is calling them.

That’s just a taste of what Alexa is capable of, so even if your organization doesn’t utilize Alexa for Business, you can make the virtual assistant work for you.

Do you use Alexa at home and wish you could use it at work? Leave your experiences in the comments section below.

Tip of the Week: How to Manage Your Network Profil...
Stress Makes Your Employees and Business Suffer
 

Comments

No comments made yet. Be the first to submit a comment
Already Registered? Login Here
Guest
Friday, February 15 2019
If you'd like to register, please fill in the username, password and name fields.

Captcha Image

Mobile? Grab this Article!

QR-Code dieser Seite

Tag Cloud

Tip of the Week Security Business Computing Technology Best Practices Managed IT Services Privacy Cloud Network Security Malware Internet Cybersecurity Hackers User Tips Communications Software Productivity Tech Term Backup Ransomware Passwords Outsourced IT Efficiency IT Support Smartphones VoIP Business Management Microsoft Data Productivity Alert Business Hardware Email Communication Small Business Browser Data Recovery Innovation IT Services Social Media Windows 10 Network Google Data Backup Save Money Hosted Solutions Microsoft Office Cloud Computing Users Mobile Device Smartphone Phishing Holiday Collaboration Access Control Twitter Internet of Things Apps Business Continuity Miscellaneous Saving Money Data Breach Vulnerability Android App Bandwidth Government BDR Applications Facebook Workplace Tips Office 365 Law Enforcement Blockchain Patch Management Workers Wireless Mobile Device Management Personal Information Settings Employer-Employee Relationship Remote Monitoring Scam Mobile Devices Excel Wi-Fi Company Culture Compliance Cybercrime Computer Networking Politics Virus Information Windows Word Marketing Virtual Assistant Connectivity How To Data Security Entertainment Website Recovery Antivirus Medical IT Maintenance Password Retail Computers Spam Office Remote Monitoring and Management Education BYOD Vendor Management Automation Managed IT Service Chrome SaaS Dark Web Managing Stress disposal Comparison Hard Drives A.I. Scalability Phone System Lead Generation Error IT Management Sports Video Games Google Maps Emergency Telephony Help Desk DDoS Tech Support Inventory Apple Regulation Vulnerabilities Safety Edge Threat IaaS Outlook Dongle Worker Spyware Value Television Information Technology Multi-Factor Security Specifications Troubleshooting Avoiding Downtime The Internet of Things Movies Credit Cards News Healthcare Dark Data Smart Technology Email Management Touchscreen Tech Terms Staffing Licensing Voice over IP Certification Gadgets Budget Amazon iPhone Reporting HaaS Printer Server Managed Service Cortana Bring Your Own Device Printer Unified Threat Management HP Biometrics VoIPMyths Data loss Gadget Telephone System WannaCry Plug-In Business Intelligence Sales Microsoft Office 365 Managed Service Provider Cost Management Streaming Media Travel Mobility WiFi Managed IT Cleaning Printers Physical Security Profitability Technology Tips Hybrid Cloud Proactive IT E-Commerce Botnet VPN Document Management Database Leadership Access Router Content Filtering VoIPSavings Hiring/Firing Employer Employee Relationship Upgrade Staff RAM Current Events Shortcut HIPAA Tablet Authentication Downloads Live Streaming Training Telephone Systems Data Protection GDPR Encryption Computer Care Files Eliminating Downtime Battery Data Management Backup and Disaster Recovery Cables Remote Support Hard Drive Payment Paperless Office Tactics Gmail Update Automobile Websites Microsoft Teams Net Neutrality CrashOverride e-waste Disaster Recovery Knowledge Authorization Artificial Intelligence Trends WhatsApp Wireless Charging Security Cameras Synergy Remote Control Storage IT budget PowerPoint Gaming Console Wireless Internet Yahoo Two-factor Authentication SSD Voice over Internet Protocol Processors instant Messaging Digital Internet Explorer Analytics Technology Efficiently Quick Tips Augmented Reality Machine Learning Wearables Copy Spam Blocking User Security Search Scheduling Wireless Technology 5G Tip of the week Server IBM G Suite Windows 10 Emoji Hacker Telecommute VoIP Paste Business Technology Instagram Mobile Security Cryptocurrency Money Competition Laptop Printing Remote Computing Samsung Customer Relationship Management IP Address Conferencing Big Data Unified Communications Operating System Network Attached Storage Managed IT Services eCommerce Paper Telecommuting Customer Service Mobile Office Environment Domains Server Management Online Shopping Fun Ink Millennials Google Drive Public Speaking File Sharing Presentation IT Support Hosted Solution Autocorrect Lithium-ion battery User Tip Virtualization

Newsletter Sign Up