Virtual Office Featured Article

Virtual Office Operations Just Got Easier with Alexa

March 15, 2017
By Alicia Young - Web Editor

Amazon’s Alexa took the world by storm when it was first introduced. The AI quickly became a favorite in many households, making lives easier by providing services and answering questions immediately. For many, though, one key feature was missing: the ability to use Alexa to make phone calls. I know a few people who actually purchased Alexa for elderly grandparents so they could call 911 easily if they fell, but were disappointed to find that this wasn’t an option. Hands-free dialing is essential for some people— whether they’re disabled, elderly, or simply wanting to be more productive in the office— so you’d think it would be kind of a no-brainer for an AI that sits in people’s homes or offices all day, waiting for requests. So why not bring this capability to Alexa?

RingByName had the same question, and announced the solution to the problem this week. The company, which offers cloud communications services in 70 countries, just became the first cloud phone service to integrate with the Alexa family of devices, which is currently estimated to number greater than seven million. At home, this integration has potential to be a game-changer, but this capability brings virtual office capabilities to a whole new league.

Imagine for a moment that you’re at your desk in the office or working remotely at home. Per usual, you’re trying to get 10 things done at one time, and the phone rings. Rather than stopping everything to pick up the phone, you can ask Alexa to do it for you—which, if you’re at home, even works if you’re all the way across the room. You can easily have a handsfree conversation with the person on the phone via speakerphone while continuing what you were already doing.

According to Matt Bramson (News - Alert), Chief Growth Officer of RingByName, “Within weeks RingByName users will be able to ask Alexa to do all sorts of additional things hands-free including play voicemails, record calls, setup conference calls, and more. Smart Home technology can make offices smarter too and RingByName is a leader in realizing this.”

This new integration has the potential to make virtual office operations much easier. Anyone interested can find the RingByName Alexa Skill in Amazon’s Alexa app on Fire, iOS, and Android (News - Alert) devices, and on the Web. It can be used handsfree with a RingByName account and an IP phone that’s set to auto-answer.

This advance is a single step toward Alexa reaching its full potential in the business setting. Only time will tell what other improvements are in store for the AI. 

 If you’d like to learn more about this topic, be sure to check out TMC (News - Alert) and Crossfire Media’s newest conference and expo, Communications 20/20, happening July 18-20 at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas. The event will focus on the next wave of technology and innovations that will transcend the importance of person to person contact, disrupting the future of the entire communications industry. Find out more HERE.

Edited by Maurice Nagle

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