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How Will Amazon Alexa and Google Home Continue to Shape the Workplace?

Like most people, you probably order products from Amazon because of the quality and variety of their products and services. You may even use Alexa or Google Home to simplify processes and maximize your time away from work. If so, you also may be taking advantage of Alexa for Business or Google Home at the office.

Amazon’s Continuous Innovation

Since 1996, Amazon has been evolving into different sectors of the online marketplace. What started as a humble bookseller now includes advanced products such as the Echo smart speaker, Amazon Music Unlimited and Amazon Studios’ Emmy-winning TV shows. Currently the second-largest seller of apparel in the United States, Amazon continues to reinvent itself. From outdoor furniture, home goods, and electronic accessories to diapers and perishables, the company sells practically anything consumers want.

Amazon’s Evolving Platforms

Unlike Apple, Google and Microsoft, which are focused on a tightly designed system of interlocking apps and services, Amazon is focused on platforms that most efficiently and effectively fill consumers’ needs. Because consumers remain loyal until another company offers a better service, Amazon remains motivated to continue evolving to better serve and retain buyers. For instance, Amazon purchased the streaming video-game network Twitch in 2014 and rolled out Prime Video in 2016 to compete with other video game and TV and movie-streaming companies. Plus, Amazon Web Services fills not only the company’s own e-commerce infrastructure needs, but also the needs of other globally recognized businesses.

Alexa for Business

Amazon launched Alexa for Business in 2017. Companies use the platform to build out their own skills and integrations for both practical and business use cases. For instance, Alexa for Business can act as a conference room by providing audio and video conferencing capabilities along with both productivity and enterprise services. For instance, businesses can customize Alexa skills for use within their organization, such as voice access to an employee directory, data on clients and accounts, or company calendar information. And, Alexa for Business can change the temperature in a specific room, turn the lights on and off, share news and the weather, set timers and alarms, and answer questions. Plus, Alexa for Business lets enterprise users build apps and skills for calendar management, meeting room scheduling, and ordering supplies. In addition, the smart speaker lets users access business information on their phones or outside of the building through the Alexa app.

Google Home

Google Home, introduced in 2017, is a smart speaker that comes equipped with a Google-powered digital assistant. Users download the Google Home App and follow the steps for setup. Google Home can be used in the office to set timers for a work routine, schedule events on a digital calendar or provide reminders. Users also can run basic information searches, adjust the temperature in the room and turn the lights on and off.

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