The Future of the Intelligent Cloud Looks Bright
At the Amazon AWS re:Invent conference this week Amazon announced it wants to be your new executive assistant at work. Alexa, the hugely popular digital assistant is now being programmed to handle a range of enterprise tasks from helping employees dial into conference calls, manage their calendars, find open meeting rooms and interact with employees across the enterprise. Alexa for Business is a new platform that will let companies build out their own skills and integrations for a huge variety of use cases.
The Voice-activated enterprise
Voice support is a major focus for Amazon, which aims to unlock digital systems for everyone. “Meetings always start 10 minutes late due to small technical issues,” said Amazon CTO Werner Vogels when he announced the new Alexa for Business service during Thursday’s keynote address. “If voice is a natural way of interacting with devices and applications in your home, why don’t we build something that you can actually use at work as well?”
Amazon worked with Microsoft to enable better support for its suite of productivity services, as well as other enterprise services. Many other Amazon partners are also integrating their business applications with Alexa for Business, allowing users to accomplish tasks with phrases like:
“Alexa, ask RingCentral to read me my voicemail.”
“Alexa, ask Salesforce for the current status of my team’s big deals scheduled to close this quarter.”
“Alexa, ask Concur when my flight leaves.”
“Alexa, ask SuccessFactors to file paid time off for November 28 and 29, 2017.”
“Alexa, ask Splunk how many Amazon EC2 instances are running in our South America region.”
“Alexa, ask Cloudwatch to tell me about any alarms.”
Additional companies integrating with Alexa include Capital One, WeWork, and JPL.
Amazon’s Alexa for Business offering enables companies to provision and manage multiple Alexa devices from a central console. Devices can be purchased for $7 per month, and companies can opt to enroll employees’ home devices into their Alexa networks for $3 per month per user.
Intelligence and data move to the cloud
As intelligence increasingly moves to the cloud with devices like Alexa, businesses are also looking for storage and networking technology that can help them move and share workloads between the enterprise premises, data center and the cloud.
Companies will move many applications like Alexa to the AWS public cloud, and, yes, they will move some back again. The tough thing about moving applications like Alexa is moving their data as well. Storage products that facilitate that movement to the cloud will thrive and storage products that deny it will lose relevance.
One such company is Wasabi, whose Direct Connect service provides a fixed-cost option geared to mid-to-large sized enterprises with private high-speed port speeds to Wasabi cloud storage of 1, 10 and 100 Gb/s. Since it is Amazon S3 compatible, Wasabi also offers AWS Direct Connect with port speeds of 1 and 10 Gb/s to AWS EC2
“The collection and analysis of millions of pieces of data from devices and applications like Alexa are revolutionizing the efficiency and profitability of many businesses,” says David Friend, co-founder and CEO of Wasabi.
Indeed, the future of the intelligent cloud looks bright!