Can voice assistants take off in the enterprise?
- The popularity of voice assistants such as Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant are on the rise, with 98% of voice assistant users stating that they believe they’ll still be using their voice assistants five years from now, according to research released Wednesday from IFTTT, a web service used to create conditional statement chains.
- The survey, which included responses from 1,531 IFTTT users, found 29% of respondents use their assistants at least seven times a day. Top uses for the devices were streaming music and controlling smart lights.
- In some cases, voice assistants are taking over jobs normally handled by smart phones. Almost half of respondents said they purchased their assistants to get news and other information and 46% now turn to their voice assistants for information rather than their smartphones.
Voice assistants are primarily viewed as consumer devices today, but given interest and potential, it likely won’t be long before they play a bigger role in the enterprise. IFTTT’s data shows how people are already using digital assistants, which can be a good starting point for businesses looking to leverage their use.
Some businesses are already trying to figure out how to use voice assistants in their offerings. For example, FinancialForce customers can use Alexa to do things like check the status of deliverables, run reports and respond to business information through simple voice commands.
In April, IBM's Watson Internet of Things (IoT) unit and Harman Professional Solutions group announced they are working together on an artificial intelligence-based Voice-Enabled Cognitive Rooms. Box too has enabled employees to use Amazon's Alexa to find, book and interact with conference room facilities using a voice-activated personal assistant.
Of course, part of expanding in the enterprise is about having the capabilities to enable that. Amazon appears to be the clear winner there. Last week, Amazon confirmed that its Alexa voice platform now has more than 15,000 skills — Amazon’s term for voice-based apps — up from the 10,000 skills Amazon officially announced in February.