Amazon is bringing its AI assistant to the workplace with a new service called Alexa for Business. The news was announced today by Amazon CTO Werner Vogels onstage during the keynote address at the AWS re:Invent conference being held this week in Las Vegas.
Alexa for Business will be able to place meeting calls with Cisco, Polycom, Zoom, and other communication companies that can respond when you say “Alexa, join my meeting.” The platform will also include Salesforce to answer questions about business performance, Concur to share business travel itinerary information, RingCentral for voicemail readings, SAP SuccessFactors for HR, and other third-party voice services for the enterprise.
A series of features added to Alexa this year make the AI assistant better equipped to enter the workplace, including the ability to make phone and video calls, plus the incorporation of calendars from Office 365 and Google’s G Suite.
The expansion is also likely to put to use AI services announced Wednesday like AWS Transcribe, AWS Comprehend, and Rekognition Video.
Workplace administrators will be able to configure what happens each time an employee says “Alexa, start the meeting” and which specific skills are enabled in meeting rooms. Businesses are also invited to make their own private Alexa skills. Unlike groups of Alexa-enabled devices at home, Alexa for Business customers will be able to control 25 devices at once, according to an AWS blog post, with things like skills groups and room profiles.
Developers can make Alexa for Business skills for control smart devices, flash briefings, and…