Third-party devices that utilize Amazon’s Alexa through the Alexa Voice Service (AVS) can now be integrated with Alexa for Business and managed as shared devices, Amazon announced in a Thursday press release. Alexa for Business integrations were previously only available through Amazon’s proprietary hardware lineup, lead by the Echo.
This, of course, broadens the available devices that can be used in the Alexa for Business program, the release said. As such, administrators can use these new shared devices to make specific skills available to their employees through the console.
For those unfamiliar, Amazon unveiled the Alexa for Business program the 2017 AWS re:Invent conference. It’s an enterprise-focused version of Alexa that can make calls, start meetings in a conference room, and integrate with consumer Alexa devices at home.
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Alexa for Business also helps companies manage their Alexa users as well as devices and the skills they have implemented, the release said.
Alexa for Business can be accessed as an extension to the AVS Device SDK, which can be found on Github. It can be integrated into new devices or existing Alexa built-in devices.
Amazon Alexa has nearly 50,000 skills available on its platform and is a front runner for business-friendly home speakers. Smart speaker sales have stagnated a bit, but experts expect them to pick back up soon. The question for business leaders is whether or not their environment is set up in such a way that encourages the use of such tools.
The big takeaways for tech leaders:
- With an Alexa Voice Service (AVS) update, business customers can better manage company skills and push specific apps to the speaker.
- Alexa for Business can be accessed as an extension to the AVS Device SDK, and allows third-party makers from stealing copyrighted material.