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Amazon opens up Alexa for Business to third-party devices

AMAZON HAS announced the release of Alexa For Business to third-party products.

What this means in real terms is that office equipment can now have Alexa features built-in, without the need for an Echo (or other) assistant device.

Alexa For Business’s main trick has little to do with application – rather that it can be shared by a group of people in the same office, making it easier to give that photocopier what for.

Amazon has a distinct advantage. None of the other major voice assistants has, as yet, been really exploited for its enterprise potential and as such, it’s likely to have a significant head start, and it looks like it is ready to capitalise on it.

“Customers love using Alexa on Echo devices to simplify meeting room experiences and have asked us to enable the same experiences on their existing equipment,” said Collin Davis, GM, Alexa for Business.

“We are excited to be working with device makers to bring the power of Alexa to our customers through the devices they already use around the office. Customers get all the benefits of Alexa for Business without having to install any new hardware.”

Of the rival services, only Cortana has a vague enterprise bend, but as yet it seems Microsoft isn’t rushing to demonstrate its potential.

Meanwhile, Amazon has already revealed partners including Plantronics, iHome and Blackberry (yes, it’s still a thing!) to bring Alexa to the office.

Integration with office telecoms systems, meeting and copier rooms and shared calendars are just some of the ways that Alexa can integrate with the office, in exactly the same familiar way as controlling home devices. The advantage of having employees who already know how to interact with Alexa is another distinct advantage over rivals.

Alexa For Business is available to anyone as an extension for the Amazon Voice Service (AVS) SDK. It’s on Github along with the rest of AVS for any noobs wanting to automate their office meeting rooms. μ

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Source : Inquirer

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