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Amazon Alexa layoffs: what does it mean for enterprises adopting voice-tech

Amazon is set to layoff Approx. 10,000 people in the coming days and weeks. Seems that the majority of them will be from Amazon Alexa business unit. Though this is an unfortunate event for those employees getting fired, in this post we’d like to discuss and reflect on what does this mean for conversation (voice) related solutions, at the enterprise use case.


Amazon launched its smart speaker back in 2015, when the Alexa Echo device was first introduced. Throughout the years since, Amazon device grew to be the market leader in the smart speakers segment with a 40% market share of the US households market. Numerous studies, articles and researchers analyzed the audience usage of the smart speakers, comparing Amazon with Google, Apple, etc. and discussing various aspects of the service’s data privacy issues.

At the end of the day, despite incredible market penetration, the bottom line was that the Alexa unit shows operating losses of $5B annually, while the usage was not monetized - people are still using the smart speakers for playing a song or getting the weather or - searching for a retail item, as shown in this summary from the latest VOICE CONSUMER INDEX 2022 (VIXEN Labs):


Smart speakers and enterprise voice tech

As Amazon Alexa adoption rates across consumers rose, it has become clear that the next step would be introducing such kind of interface to the enterprise use case. And indeed there were genuine attempts to make the smart speaker help the enterprise user to query information or capture it.

Some of these attempts were:

  • An Alexa skill for - link.

  • Alexa Skills and Google Actions created for conferencing devices where employers can install smart voice devices at their workplace.

  • Utilizing smart speakers for updating to-do lists & tracking tasks, Managing travel itineraries, etc.

Eventually these attempts did not succeed, and the reasons for that varies:

  1. Privacy and dependability. User personal identifiable information (PII) was required in order to complete a transaction – which marks a significant difference between the consumer related services (play music, ask for the weather).

  2. Accuracy and efficiency. A voice transaction - to be efficient, must be very accurate and provide the user with the full benefit of it, which won’t work if the data captured is not analyzed and processed in high accuracy rates. This goes beyond transcription – when we human being talk, we usually have different ways to articulate what we wish to say, and won’t provide the same wording every time we add our report data. The fundamental smart speakers’ approach is all about the indoctrination – the user must speak in a certain way for the information to be accurately processed.

  3. Simplicity of integration. A major difference is where the smart speaker needs to work within an enterprise data warehouse, rather than access the “already available” services (again – music, weather, internet search), which requires a completely different technology approach, when it comes to applying specific data structure and terminology. A pharma user will have different terms and reports structure from a real estate or software vendor one and so on.

Voice and the enterprise use case

Corporates and big organizations need to improve productivity. Employees are on-the-go, and now more than ever, as work from home is the new norm, along with going back to customers meeting, a Covid19 becomes a new version of the flew.

Information captured by the people on the go and by employees at the office, still needs to be stored, accurately at the corporate data store, CRM and any other back office system.

Using the cloud platform based smart speaker is simply not adequate to cope with the challenges such use case will have:

  • Complex terminology. Think medical terms for a pharma company, or industrial parts for a utility company. Not to mention the unique corporate lingo and acronym used by the team.

  • Challenging infrastructure- which might not always support the smart speaker’s integration requirement and APIs.

  • Data privacy, regulation – sharing valuable business data and more so – personal data goes against all best practices in the enterprise use case.

  • The smart speaker is not portable, and will not support the people on the go.

For these and other reasons, smart speakers won’t provide a sufficient solution at the enterprise. But this doesn’t mean conversational voice technology has no place.

TalkSense – outsmart corporate bureaucracy.

When leaders, in any type or size of organization, try to reflect on the year that comes to an end, they look for means to make the next year better.

This will, in many times, generate an internal constructive discussions, involving innovation managers, product leaders and other executives. When a company’s employees are traveling, visiting customers, whether they are sales representatives, technician, service providers, consultants and so on – they all need to report back their meetings’ summary. This data is crucial for the company to better track and plan the progress across all aspects of its activity.

Looking for solutions to improve company’s productivity will lead to the realization that a major bottle neck resides at the manual data entry to back office data store. CRM or else, the data is needed to support the planning and overlooking of the timely progress of the company. And still, more than 50% of it, isn’t get updated, as reporting to the CRM is considered a painful task, as many people will witness.

TalkSense – Say it and you’re done!

At TalkSense we’re outsmarting big enterprises’ bureaucracy with a new solution: simply talking ;).

60% of business data in big enterprise is lost, due to field force reluctance to report. This data, missing from the CRM, is hurting business results causing overall inefficiency. As Covid19 made work from home the new norm – data loss is becoming more crucial, across different market segments.

TalkSense solution makes employees more productive, by replacing the tedious reporting with talking to the app. TalkSense is a Salesforce ISV partner, and can be implemented on any CRM platform, supporting any language and use case.

What’s next?

If you’re in charge of sales, sales operations, growth, customer experience, or product – you need to start planning your voice strategy, and there are several articles about it online. Or you can talk to us.

Schedule a meeting to learn how to make your field force more productive.

Follow us on Twitter or LinkedIn.

Contact us for more or visit our website.

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