The Gartner Group predicts that by 2020, there will be over 26 billion connected devices as the prevalence of Internet of Things expands both within the consumer segment, as well as the business realm. That’s why it didn’t come as a surprise when, in late November, 2017, Amazon announced Alexa for Business, “a new service that enables businesses and organizations to bring Alexa into the workplace at scale.”
Amazon realizes that people spend too much time each day on tedious tasks at work, like managing calendars, pulling reports, searching for information, dialing into meetings, and more. They wanted a way to bring Alexa into your workday to help boost your productivity, but also to provide businesses with tools and resources needed to set-up and manage Alexa devices at scale.
Amazon explains that “Alexa lets people use their voice to interact with technology so they can spontaneously ask questions in a way that feels natural. Alexa can help people take care of these tasks just by asking. Alexa can help people stay organized and focused on the things that matter, whether they are working in their office or at home. Alexa can simplify conference rooms, allowing meeting attendees to start meetings and control the equipment in the room by simply using their voice. Alexa can also do things around the workplace, like providing directions to a conference room, notifying IT about a broken printer, or placing an order for office supplies.”
Headless platforms, like Salesforce’s cloud-based CRM platform, are already starting to integrate their technologies with Alexa for Business. Ryan Aytay, executive vice president of Salesforce.com explained in Digital Commerce 360 that “Alexa for Business provides our customers an exciting new channel to get business done faster and build closer connections with their own customers.” Companies can take advantage of help from the Alexa Skills Kits and Alexa for Business APIs that Amazon is making available, “designed to help users develop new “skills” to manage tasks through Alexa for Business.”
Alexa for Business brings the benefits of Alexa into the workplace, helping to make workforces more productive and organized through things like voice-activated conference calls; conference room availability search; reporting a building equipment problem; ordering new supplies; enabling calling and messaging; pulling reports; and more.
But Alexa for Business also means that voice-activated assistants and other Internet of Things (IoT) will become commonplace in the workplace as well the home, creating a more pressing demand when it comes to everything from organizing your day-to-day, to placing both B2B and B2C orders.
Businesses that utilize headless eCommerce platforms for their eCommerce experience will be able to more quickly and easily take advantage of new Internet of Things technologies like Alexa for Business, making their products available via new channels to new markets.
We predict that in 2018, Headless eCommerce will support a stronger emphasis on the Internet of Things as an enabler of growth and increased operational efficiency. Read more about this prediction and our others in our 2018 eCommerce Predictions eBook. Download it here.