Jessica Brase is the business leader of Alexa Enterprise Services (AES), an organization within Amazon that provides 24/7 technical expertise to Alexa’s enterprise partners around the world.
Brase joined Amazon in January 2022 and after working in a role focused on financial operations, she decided to pursue a role leading the newly formed AES team. Prior to Amazon, Brase has served in leadership roles at organizations like the University of Washington (UW), where she was the COO and CFO of the UW School of Law.
“The role spoke to me on both professional and personal reasons,” says Brase. “On a personal note, my children have grown up conversing with Alexa, and I was excited at the opportunity to unlock natural and intuitive experiences like these for households and enterprises around the world. In addition, I’ve also enjoyed building teams and initiatives that deliver impact at scale throughout my career, and this role gave me the opportunity to do just that.”
Today, AES works with hundreds of enterprise partners across the globe. The organization spans teams across North America, The European Union, Latin America, and the Asia Pacific region.
“When I reflect on this opportunity, I can’t believe we’ve scaled so effectively to directly improve the experience for our enterprise customers,” says Brase. “It’s incredible to be able to work with a team to build something from the ground up and see immediate impact.”
In this interview, Brase talks about AES, and shares her vision for the future of ambient computing.
What is Alexa Enterprise Services?
Today, there are more than one million registered developers, brands, and device makers building conversational, natural, and proactive experiences with Alexa, and AES provides technical expertise to our partners as they build the ambient experiences of the future. We also work closely with business units across Amazon to make sure that our latest innovations are available in a meaningful way for our enterprise partners.
Since Alexa’s launch, enterprises across multiple industries from Philips to Atria have engaged customers with voice-forward experiences. We saw an immediate need to support our partners post-deployment. At the time, we didn’t have a global, scalable way to provide the ongoing support that they needed. AES was our solution.
At AES, it’s our job to make the visions of our enterprise partners a reality in whatever they are trying to do – from delighting residents at eldercare facilities, helping hotel guests play personalized music and do things like order room service, or even creating the next generation of driving experiences for people on the go. They can notify us of challenges they might facing post-deployment, and we’ll solve the issue for them.
Because of our customer-obsessed culture at Alexa, we decided to include AES as part of our existing services. Needless to say, in a customer-obsessed culture like Amazon, there was no discussion about charging our enterprise partners for this support. We started by supporting four enterprises, but four quickly became 12, then 60, then 80. Now, we have over 130 enterprise partners onboarded, and that number continues to grow.
What are some of the ways AES helps customers?
The main way AES helps our enterprise customers is providing reliable and 24/7 support across all global time zones. Prior to AES, it was difficult to support customers outside of North America. Now, with our centralized service portal, each of our partners has the assurance that they will receive consistent support to meet their needs, no matter what time of day or night they encounter issues.
We’re also moving beyond partner support to directly supporting the end customer. For example, say a light connected to Alexa isn’t responding. An Amazon customer service agent might perform initial troubleshooting and detect that it’s not an Alexa issue; it’s an issue with the light itself. In the past, the agent would redirect the customer to the company that manufactured the light to solve the issue. With the introduction of AES, those tickets now come to us. We contact the company on the end customer’s behalf to attempt remediation. Our customer service teams will resolve the issue so that customers don’t get bounced around between different companies.
At the end of the day, AES enables Alexa to attain our North Star of dream-state customer experience. We want to continue providing better support for our enterprise partners. We’re hungry to get to know these companies more, and start anticipating their needs before they can even tell us of any technical support they might need down the road. To this end, we’ve implemented a customer satisfaction (CSAT) strategy so that we can gauge the quality and satisfaction of our customer interactions, both when they open a ticket and when that ticket is closed. We want to champion the voices of our customers and continue to expand on AES’s charter to better meet their needs.
The ultimate goal is to provide a seamless experience for our enterprise partners. They should be able to reach out to us with a question, or any problem they might be experiencing, and we should be able to solve it for them.
What is your vision for the future of voice and ambient computing?
I’m incredibly proud of our team has done so far and the impact that we’ve had, but I would like to take it several steps further. Right now, we are able to support enterprise partners 24/7 if they have a need. But what I’m really excited about are the mechanisms we are putting in place for us to be able to reach out to help our partners even without them having to open a ticket. This will allow us to reach out to our enterprise partners and say, “Just letting you know, we saw something was wrong, and we’ve gone ahead and fixed it.”
Recently at the Amazon Devices and Services event, we previewed the future of Alexa, one that’s powered by a large language model (LLM) specifically optimized for voice interactions. Like we’ve done from the beginning, we want developers on this journey with us helping define and build new ambient experiences for our shared customers, and going forward, AES will continue to play a pivotal role in helping shape the next generation of computing experiences.