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November 30, 2017Paul Cutsinger
Today, Amazon announced Alexa for Business from Amazon Web Services. Alexa for Business is a service that makes it easy for organizations to use Alexa in the workplace. This opens up new opportunities for Alexa skill developers to build skills that help organizations and employees use Alexa to get more done in less time.
Using Alexa for Business, organizations can deploy Alexa-enabled devices across a variety of locations, including at employees' desks, in conference rooms, and in common locations throughout the workplace. Administrative features provide organizations with the ability to manage skills, users, and devices across organizations. Skills or groups of skills are deployed directly to devices provisioned within the organization. These can be selectively enabled across rooms or types of rooms that you define. You can also optionally manage and invite users to use these same Alexa skills on their personal devices.
You can build skills using the Alexa Skills Kit (ASK) and Alexa for Business that enable employees to use Alexa while at their desk to quickly find information such as the latest sales data or inventory levels. You can build skills for use in conference rooms to enable employees to start meetings and control conference-room equipment settings using voice. You can also build skills for scenarios in which Alexa-enabled devices are distributed in common locations throughout the workplace. For these occasions, you can build custom skills that enable employees to use Alexa to find open meeting rooms, order new supplies, report building problems, or notify IT of equipment issues.
We invited a few companies to participate in the early developer preview for Alexa for Business. Here’s how they are using these capabilities:
You can create any type of skill for Alexa for Business customers. For example, you can create a skill that provides definitions to industry terms, provides a news briefing specific to an industry or business, or helps an employee control video conferencing equipment.
If you are creating skills specific to your business or on behalf of an organization, you can choose to publish skills privately to an Alexa for Business account rather than the public Alexa Skill Store. The Skill Management API command-line tool enable you to incorporate this into manual or automated workflows. For more information, see Create and Publish Private Skills.
Check out our documentation on Alexa for Business to learn more about how you can create skills for organizations using Alexa Skills Kit and Alexa for Business.
To learn more about building skills for organizations or using the new APIs, please visit the Alexa for Business page. And sign up for our webinar on January 16 to learn tips and best practices for building skills with Alexa for Business. We can’t wait to see what you build.