“Alexa, disrupt my coworkers” — Amazon unveils Alexa for work

At its huge annual developer conference, Amazon’s announced the latest evolution of its voice assistant, Alexa for Business.

December 1, 2017

At its annual developer conference, Amazon’s CTO Werner Vogels repped the Foo Fighters — and announced a slew of software updates, including the latest evolution of its voice assistant, Alexa for Business.

In other words, your open office is about to get a lot chattier

The A4B (our acronym, not theirs) platform will include a new set of work-focused features, or “skills” for things like booking meeting rooms, starting conference calls, and scheduling PTO.

It’s also opening the floor for other software companies to develop Alexa custom skills — like Salesforce, which is already working on an integration to let workers check in on the status of their quarterly deals.

The goal is to create an “ecosystem” of developers building features for the platform so that its usefulness grows exponentially over time (for reference, Alexa currently has about 20k skills — Microsoft’s assistant Cortana only has around 200).

Guess who’s one of their pilot customers?

Who else? WeWork.

WeWork will partner with Amazon to pilot A4B skills they’ve developed in-house, allowing members to do things like dim lighting and adjust room temperature — or rather, “submit temperature change requests via Zendesk.”

Let’s not get carried away…

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