Device deployment is a huge task for IT Pros. New and refreshed PCs are in constant demand and strict policies and procedures have been put in place to ensure the devices meet corporate guidelines. In many organizations, OS deployment and hardware provisioning is a full time job and there are even week-long in-person training courses and a constant supply of conference sessions to provide IT Pros with the necessary tools to learn this job and improve on it.
So, its an important task.
At re:Invent 2017, Amazon announced that it is unveiling Alexa for Business. From an end-user perspective, Alexa will be capable of responding to commands for things like dialing contacts, joining con-calls, scheduling board rooms, checking diaries, arranging travel, and a myriad of other common tasks. Of course, this also means that the office will get a bit noisier with all the audible commands being issued. But, as Amazon sees it, voice is the future client platform, ready to replace Windows and other desktop operating systems.
But, what does Alexa for Business mean for those that are responsible for OS and hardware deployment? Amazon is addressing that, too:
- Provision & Manage Shared Alexa Devices: You can provision and manage shared devices around your workplace using the Alexa for Business console. For each device you can set a location, such as a conference room designation, and assign public and private skills for the device.
- Configure Conference Room Settings: Kick off your meetings with a simple “Alexa, start the meeting.” Alexa for Business allows you to configure your conference room settings so you can use Alexa to start your meetings and control your conference room equipment, or dial in directly from the Amazon Echo device in the room.
- Manage Users: You can invite users in your organization to enroll their personal Alexa account with your Alexa for Business account. Once your users have enrolled, you can enable your custom private skills for them to use on any of the devices in their personal Alexa account, at work or at home.
- Manage Skills: You can assign public skills and custom private skills your organization has created to your shared devices, and make private skills available to your enrolled users. You can create skills groups, which you can then assign to specific shared devices.
- Build Private Skills & Use Alexa for Business APIs: Dig into the Alexa Skills Kit and build your own skills. Then you can make these available to the shared devices and enrolled users in your Alexa for Business account, all without having to publish them in the public Alexa Skills Store. Alexa for Business offers additional APIs, which you can use to add context to your skills and automate administrative tasks.
Interesting in what this will look like an how it will work? Take a look through Amazon’s quick journey into Alexa for Business.
Alexa for Business main page: https://aws.amazon.com/alexaforbusiness/
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