Top 10: AI Assistants for business

Updated: August 01, 2023

AI assistants for business are advanced digital tools that leverage artificial intelligence and natural language processing to provide personalized and efficient support to businesses and their employees. These AI-powered assistants can perform various tasks, such as answering queries, scheduling appointments, managing calendars, setting reminders, and conducting research, all through voice or text-based interactions. By automating routine and repetitive tasks, AI assistants free up employees' time, enabling them to focus on more strategic and high-value activities. Moreover, AI assistants can learn from user interactions, continuously improving their capabilities and understanding of specific business processes. With the ability to integrate with other business tools and systems, AI assistants seamlessly fit into existing workflows, enhancing productivity and streamlining day-to-day operations. As AI technology continues to advance, AI assistants for business are becoming increasingly sophisticated, offering companies a valuable asset to improve efficiency, enhance employee experiences, and drive overall business success. Some of the most popular AI assistants for business are listed below.

See also: Top 10 AI Assistants

2019. Workplace AI assistant Capacity raised $13.2M

Capacity (former, the startup dedicated to addressing the problem of information fragmentation within enterprises, has successfully raised new funding to tackle the issue through its corporate data search platform. The company has recently concluded a Series B funding round, securing an impressive $13.2 million. Capacity empowers its customers to consolidate all their organizational data onto a unified platform, facilitating enhanced accessibility to company information for internal personnel. This streamlined process is facilitated by a chat interface and directory, enabling employees to effortlessly search for information. The platform offers a high degree of flexibility in customizing how queries are answered and determining the appropriate routing to an on-site representative when necessary.

2019. Zoho Recruit got AI assistant

Zoho has introduced the latest version of its recruiting software, Zoho Recruit, which incorporates the AI assistant Zia. Zia recognizes candidates as individuals with career profiles, moving beyond simply analyzing keywords in their resumes. This advanced understanding enables Zia to identify the most suitable candidates for job openings by matching their experiences, skills, and proficiencies with the specific requirements of the position and assigning them appropriate grades. Additionally, Zoho Recruit has introduced a Vendor Portal feature, allowing recruiters to invite third-party recruitment agencies to submit candidates for open positions directly into the database. Recruiters can provide these agencies with self-service access to track the progress of their submitted candidates.

2019. Zoho’s office suite got virtual assistant

Zoho is set to release a significant update for its primary office suite products, including Zoho Writer, Sheet, Show, and Notebooks. These tools will be enriched with the integration of Zoho's AI assistant, Zia. With this enhancement, users will be able to ask questions related to data in their spreadsheets, and Zia will generate charts and pivot tables as per their queries. Moreover, Zoho has implemented Zia in its document editor and presentation tools, enhancing the grammar and spellchecking capabilities. Additionally, users will now receive a readability score and receive tips for improving their text. In Zoho Notebook, the company's latest note-taking application, Zia will assist users in creating various formats for their note cards based on the content, such as text, photo, audio, checklist, and sketch. This integration of Zia across Zoho's office suite aims to provide users with intelligent assistance and improved productivity in their day-to-day tasks.

2018. Amazon Alexa virtual assistant now available on Windows 10 PCs as a standalone app

Alexa made its debut on select Windows 10 laptops earlier this year, being integrated into a variety of newly released HP, Asus, Acer, and Lenovo notebooks. Now, Alexa is available for download on all compatible devices, expanding its accessibility. With its presence on Windows 10, Alexa aims to enhance work productivity, reflecting its growing utilization in office environments. This trajectory is reminiscent of the iPhone's rapid transition from individual users to becoming a staple tool in the workforce back in 2007. Furthermore, Amazon is actively establishing partnerships with corporate entities. Several companies, including Salesforce, SAP SuccessFactors, Concur, Ring Central, and ServiceNow, have plans to integrate their applications with Alexa for Business. This service was launched last year to assist companies in effectively managing a large number of Alexa devices in the workplace. The collaboration between Alexa and these corporate partners demonstrates the increasing role of voice assistants in optimizing workplace efficiency and streamlining business operations.

2018. Salesforce allows to enter data to CRM via voice

Sales managers are renowned for their verbal prowess, as talking is an integral part of their job. However, when it comes to entering customer data into a CRM system, they are faced with the arduous task of typing. Salesforce aims to alleviate this cognitive dissonance by introducing a new feature called Einstein Voice. This feature enables users to input data into the system effortlessly using natural speech. Just imagine, you hop into your car, open the mobile app, and have a conversation with a virtual assistant. You might say, "I just had a meeting with John Smith. He expressed interest in making a purchase but requested a follow-up call in a week...". The virtual assistant then dutifully adds a note to the customer's history in the CRM system. However, Salesforce might need to address the personality of their virtual assistant. It seems incongruous to task Einstein with such mundane responsibilities.

2018. Adobe introduced AI assistant for Adobe Analytics

Adobe has unveiled Intelligent Alerts, an AI-powered virtual assistant designed to enhance the capabilities of Adobe Analytics by assisting users in uncovering valuable insights that may have gone unnoticed. This intelligent assistant works by delivering alerts to analysts, which they can explore to gain deeper understanding and additional insights. If the analyst is unsatisfied with the results, they have the ability to fine-tune the system, allowing it to learn and adapt to their specific data requirements over time. Users have the flexibility to configure the frequency and quantity of alerts they receive. Intelligent Alerts is part of Adobe's broader artificial intelligence platform, known as Sensei, which aims to infuse intelligence throughout the entire range of Adobe products.

2018. Zoho gets virtual assistant and analytics upgrades

Zoho has introduced several enhancements to its all-in-one cloud app suite, Zoho One, including new analytics capabilities and expanded access to its Zia AI assistant. Initially available exclusively in Zoho's CRM tool, Zia provided sales representatives with data-driven suggestions. Now, Zia's functionality has been extended to all Zoho One apps, enabling users to access contextual information from various sources. For example, Zia can extract data from Zoho CRM and Zoho Desk, the service desk tool, to provide users with insights such as the number of customers in the sales pipeline who have an open support ticket. Customers can now ask Zia questions that span multiple apps and receive responses that may involve Zia's collaboration with multiple Zoho One apps behind the scenes to provide the answer.

2018. Alexa-Cortana integration is now available

Microsoft has introduced a new feature that enables owners of Alexa devices to summon their own virtual assistant, Cortana, and vice versa. With this integration, customers can now access Microsoft's Cortana through their Echo devices and activate Amazon's Alexa on Windows 10 devices and Harman Kardon Invoke speakers. In the future, this functionality will also be available on mobile platforms such as iOS and Android. Once activated, this integration allows Cortana users to utilize Alexa to shop on Amazon, manage their Amazon orders, and utilize some of Alexa's third-party skills. Likewise, Alexa users will have access to Cortana's expertise in productivity features, including calendar management, daily overviews, and email management.

2018. Google Assistant gets custom routines and schedules

Google has recently introduced two new features for Google Assistant: custom routines and schedules, each providing unique ways to automate regular tasks. With custom routines, users can execute multiple commands with a single custom phrase. For instance, saying "Hey Google, I'm awake" can unsilence your phone, turn on the lights, and read the latest news. On the other hand, schedules allow the automation of a series of commands at specific times and on specific days, eliminating the need for manual activation. With schedules, tasks can be executed without the user having to utter a command. These additions enhance the convenience and efficiency of using Google Assistant for managing daily activities.

2018. Alexa gets smart meeting scheduling

Amazon's Alexa has introduced enhanced capabilities for business users, simplifying the management of personal schedules through voice commands. The new feature, called Smart Scheduling Assistant, enables users to easily reschedule appointments and arrange meetings based on the availability of participants. While Alexa already allowed the creation and cancellation of appointments, this addition provides users with greater control, significantly reducing time and effort. To initiate the scheduling of one-to-one meetings, users need to link a calendar to their Alexa account.

2018. Zoho's Zia learned to speak like Cortana

Zoho CRM 2018 has introduced a new update that enhances its AI-powered sales assistant, Zia, by adding voice capabilities. With this update, Zia can now interact with users through both voice commands and chat messages to perform various actions within Zoho CRM. Need to check your schedule for the day? Simply ask Zia. On the move and want to verify if you have enough inventory of a specific product before meeting a customer? Just ask Zia. Want to quickly mark a deal as Closed-Won after a phone call? Let Zia handle it for you. You can engage with Zia using either the voice interface in the Zoho CRM app on your iPhone or Android device, or through the chat bar in Zoho CRM on your desktop web browser. It's worth noting that Microsoft integrated its voice assistant, Cortana, into Dynamics CRM nearly three years ago.

2018. IBM unveiled voice assistant for business and it's called ... Watson

In "The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy," the super-intelligent robot Marvin was frequently asked to perform menial tasks, leading to his perpetual state of depression. A similar situation could arise with IBM's AI Watson. IBM intends to utilize Watson as a voice assistant, primarily answering basic inquiries related to weather, traffic, and schedules. Adding to the complexity, people may not even realize they are interacting with Watson since the service is white-labeled. This means that any company can now create its own voice assistant using the Watson Assistant platform and assign it a distinctive name like Ivie, for example. In fact, Watson Assistant is already deployed in various locations, including the Munich Airport and the Royal Bank of Scotland.

2018. Google Assistant arrives on iPad

Google Assistant has expanded its availability by launching on the iPad, enabling users to control their smart home, make calls, send texts, set reminders, and more directly from their Apple tablet. This feature is now accessible on iOS devices in multiple languages, including English, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Portuguese (Brazil), and Spanish, as highlighted by Google. The arrival of Google Assistant on iPad offers a similar experience to its iPhone counterpart, with the main difference being the larger screen and support for iPad-exclusive features such as multitasking with a split screen. While smart speakers like Amazon Echo, Google Home, and Apple's HomePod gain popularity, voice assistants have even greater potential for widespread usage through mobile devices. It's worth noting that the Alexa app and Google Assistant may not be as readily accessible on iOS devices like the iPad compared to Siri, which can be activated with a simple button press or the voice command, "Hey Siri."

2018. Microsoft Teams will integrate with Cortana

Microsoft Teams, the team collaboration software developed by Microsoft and a competitor to Slack, has unveiled a range of new features that will be gradually introduced to the software in 2018. These features include the ability to record, transcribe, and save meetings to the cloud, integrations with the voice assistant Cortana, inline message translation, and more. The integration with Cortana's voice assistance functionality could potentially give Microsoft an advantage in its competition with Slack, considering the growing significance of voice-based computing in the workplace and productivity applications.

2018. Google Assistant adds Routines and location-based reminders

Google Assistant is introducing two exciting additions: Routines and location-based reminders. Routines empower users to create personalized commands and receive tailored responses. For instance, by saying "OK Google, I'm home," one can activate the lights, adjust the thermostat, and play music simultaneously. This feature was initially announced by rival Alexa in September 2017. Additionally, location-based reminders will soon be available. Although already present in Google Assistant on smartphones, it will now be seamlessly integrated into Google Home devices. Alongside these updates, Google has also recently revealed plans for multilingual support and the inclusion of more languages for Google Assistant.

2017. Zoho CRM got AI assistant

Zoho has introduced Zia, an Artificial Intelligence-powered Sales Assistant for Zoho CRM. With Zia, users can receive notifications when something exceptional or problematic occurs within their sales operations. This intelligent assistant understands users' intentions and assists in accomplishing tasks more efficiently, eliminating the need for prolonged voicemails and unread emails. Over time, Zia learns the most frequent actions performed by individual users on Zoho CRM. Additionally, Zoho has introduced Blueprint, a platform for automating sales processes, and has enhanced two existing features: Zoho PhoneBridge, which integrates a customer's PBX system with Zoho CRM, and SalesSignals, which delivers real-time information about customer and prospect activities.