Alexa

Alexa For Biz Lets Workers Make Custom Voice Apps

Amazon Alexa

Amazon has launched Alexa for Business Blueprints, which are templates for the company’s voice assistant that will allow users to make and publish private voice skills without having to code them, according to reports.

“Private skills are voice-powered capabilities that enhance the Alexa experience while remaining private to members of an Alexa for Business organization. Skill Blueprints are so easy to use, people have used them extensively to create Alexa skills for their households,” Amazon Product Marketing Manager Ben Grossman said in a blog post. “Now anyone at the office can do the same for their workplace, simply by filling in custom requests and responses in one of dozens of easy-to-use Blueprints. IT administrators can then review and enable that content for the company’s users and managed Alexa-enabled devices.”

Some of the available Blueprints are queries like “What’s the guest Wi-Fi password?” or “What are the hours for IT?” Queries might be time-focused, as in “When does open enrollment start?” Other questions could be location-related, such as “Where’s the mailing center?” or could be regarding equipment setup, like “How do I set up corporate email on my phone?”

“Using a link provided by the company’s Alexa for Business administrator, anyone, whether an executive assistant, salesperson, line of business owner, or IT admin, can use any available Skill Blueprint on the Alexa Skill Blueprints website to create, test, and then publish a private skill to their organization,” Grossman said. “Once distributed, the company’s IT admin can then review and enable the skill for the organization’s shared devices and enrolled users.”

Kyle Collins, assistant VP of technology transformation for Saint Louis University, said he plans to use Blueprints to drive student and worker engagement at the university.

“Our resident students have quickly adopted Alexa in assisting them in their daily lives at SLU, which has been made possible through the Alexa for Business platform,” Collins said. “We are also rapidly expanding Alexa out to support our faculty and staff in their workday as well. A main challenge we have faced to date is developing Alexa skills and content fast enough to meet demand. With the new capability to create Alexa private skills based off of Skill Blueprints with no coding required, we have the solution we were looking for.”

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