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As we move into 2018, you might’ve noticed that the major theme of 2017 for technology was custom solutions for automating the home and office. Companies are finding it a challenging but rewarding venture to innovate technologies that allow clients to regain control of their time schedules and improve their quality of life. Voice recognition and virtual assistants like Amazon’s Alexa are a case in point. 

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Amazon is currently in hot competition with Apple’s Siri, Alphabet Inc.’s Google, and Microsoft’s Cortana for the top spot in the virtual assistant market. Voice recognition is considered by analysts to be the next development in regards to how people interface with technology, as it’s natural and streamlines the process of giving computers sets of tasks to complete. To give itself an edge, Amazon has designed Alexa for Business, which will automate many office tasks like booking conference rooms and ordering supplies.

You might be wondering where the AV industry fits into the new frontier of voice recognition in the office. The short answer is, of course, installation. But if you want a more detailed answer, check out the details below!


A Promising Start

RBC Capital Markets has made some recent predictions for both Amazon and the AV industry. RBC projects that installations of Alexa devices could reach 128 million by the year 2020, and that, within the same time frame, the voice-activated internet could net over $10 billion in revenues for Amazon.

These predictions are based on the assumption of a 40-percent adoption rate in the U.S. and 25 percent internationally. A March 2017 survey backed up that assumption with stats showing Amazon voice-recognition product ownership jumped from 13 percent in September 2016 to 87 percent at the time of the survey.

AV companies that strike while the iron is hot and offer installation services for Alexa devices could be looking at millions of potential clients. Make certain your company has freelance technicians on board with smart technology experience.


The Benefits of Voice-Recognition Adoption

Recently, there was some concern expressed about Amazon entering the professional AV arena with its B2B initiative, Amazon Business. As we have noted regarding that move, AV companies can easily adjust by making sure their services are differentiated from Amazon Business (which focuses on supplying AV devices and software) and offering expert installation expertise.

Alexa for Business is a great example of how AV companies’ roles haven’t diminished in the least.

Alexa for Business will work with built-in features customized for an office setting, including the ability to make calls and check security camera feeds. Amazon is also hoping to work together with software developers to build many more office-specific apps like managing work calendars and setting the stage for a meeting by dimming lights, lowering blinds, and adjusting temperatures in the conference room. The company calls these automation apps “skills” and already has companies like Concur Technologies developing a travel and expense management unit for the virtual assistant.

AV companies and their specialized freelancers will be in high demand to ensure that Alexa for Business is properly installed and customized with the right skills. Collaborative spaces like conference and huddle rooms are of paramount importance in the age of distance meetings and international projects.


Break Down Potential Barriers

Since the virtual assistant’s efficacy is still unproven, some clients might be hesitant to adopt Alexa for Business. You might find that clients want Alexa for specific areas of their businesses and not for every conference room. Other clients might find that having many workers talking to Alexa in the office is too disruptive to productivity. Custom solutions are only natural regarding a technology like this; however, and you can easily accommodate clients’ needs.

Let your clients know you’re their consultant as well as their integrators for voice-recognition technology. Find and hire freelancers who have the specialized knowledge to provide such excellent customer service, and your AV company could find itself a lucrative market to tap into in the coming years!


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Paul Weatherhead

Paul Weatherhead

Prior to founding AV Junction Inc., Paul worked for a tier one AV systems integrator in an operational management capacity for 10 years. His knowledge and experience have helped him oversee hundreds of system integration projects in a variety of industries. Paul’s leadership skills as matched by his sense of humour and easygoing nature. When he’s not at work, you can find him outdoors, exploring new places or spending time with family and friends.

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