Top 10: Voice Assistants for business

Updated: August 01, 2023

Voice assistants for business are digital AI-powered tools designed to enhance productivity and streamline operations within the workplace. These voice-enabled assistants, often integrated into smart devices or applications, allow employees to perform tasks and access information hands-free, simply by using voice commands. Voice assistants for business can answer questions, schedule meetings, set reminders, manage to-do lists, and even initiate calls or send messages. By freeing employees from manual tasks and reducing the need for manual data entry, voice assistants can significantly increase efficiency and save valuable time. Moreover, with advanced natural language processing capabilities, voice assistants are becoming increasingly adept at understanding complex queries and providing accurate and relevant responses. By embracing voice assistants for business, organizations can empower their employees with a more intuitive and efficient way to interact with technology, leading to improved collaboration, enhanced productivity, and a more streamlined work experience. Some of the most popular voice assistants for business are listed below.

See also: Top 10 AI Assistants

2019. The Google Assistant can now finally manage your G Suite Calendar

A new functionality has been introduced to Google Assistant, allowing users to effectively manage their work calendar within G Suite. By signing in with their G Suite accounts, individuals can inquire about their workday details using the Assistant. This integration extends to various Google Assistant platforms, including in-car devices and Assistant displays like the Google Home Hub. Currently, the primary focus of this feature revolves around retrieving information regarding calendar events, while event creation through the Assistant is not yet supported. However, Google mentions that users can leverage this functionality to, for instance, inquire about upcoming events and subsequently send emails to other attendees. Notably, Google has not previously positioned the Assistant explicitly as a productivity tool in the workplace, evident from names such as "Google Home" and "Home Hub." Nevertheless, there are instances where work and personal life intersect, and the underlying technology that allows you to control kitchen lights with voice commands can also extract valuable insights from spreadsheets.

2018. Alexa for Business opens up to third-party device makers

In a prior year, Amazon introduced a new initiative known as Alexa for Business with the objective of integrating its voice assistant technology and Echo devices into corporate settings. Today, Amazon is taking a significant stride by expanding the platform to encompass device manufacturers who are developing their own solutions incorporating Alexa. This expansion allows device makers to create products that can be registered with Alexa for Business and managed as shared devices throughout the entire organization. Notable device management capabilities include configuring room assignments, specifying locations, monitoring device health, and controlling the allocation of public and private skills to the shared devices. According to Amazon, numerous businesses, including Express Trucking, Fender, and Propel Insurance, have already embraced the integration of Amazon Echo devices alongside their existing office equipment since the program's inception, with thousands of companies actively participating in this initiative.

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.

2017. Amazon Alexa comes to office

Amazon has introduced its latest digital voice assistant, Alexa for Business, designed to enhance productivity and focus on important tasks throughout the day. With Alexa, you can efficiently manage your schedule, keep track of to-do lists, and set reminders. Moreover, Alexa is capable of automatically joining conference calls and making phone calls on your behalf. This move by Amazon aims to solidify its dominant position in the market, surpassing competitors like Apple's Siri, Google's Assistant, and Microsoft's Cortana. Analysts believe that this market has the potential to revolutionize the way people interact with technology. The Alexa for Business Starter Kit, which includes seven smart speakers, is available for $709, providing businesses with a comprehensive solution for leveraging Alexa's capabilities.

2016. Microsoft redesigned Cortana for iPhone and Android

The virtual assistant Cortana hasn't gained significant popularity on iOS and Android platforms. Consequently, Microsoft has undertaken a redesign to enhance its appeal. In the revamped version of Cortana, commonly used "quick actions" have been given greater prominence. While these actions are still accessible with a tap from the main screen, tasks such as viewing your day, setting or viewing reminders, checking meetings, and reading news now occupy a more prominent position within the user experience. The previous black-and-white theme has been replaced with an aesthetically pleasing shade of purple. Under the hood, Microsoft has also implemented speed improvements to make the app feel faster than its previous iteration.

2016. Google opens Assistant to third-party developers

Google Assistant, Google's AI-powered virtual assistant comparable to Alexa and Siri, takes center stage in the newly announced Pixel phone. Following in the footsteps of Alexa, Google plans to allow third-party integration with its intelligent assistant. The company's response to Amazon's Skills is called Actions on Google, despite its seemingly passive name. This program grants developers access to Assistant's software development kit (SDK) starting from December. Through this SDK, developers will have the capability to create two types of actions: Direct and Conversation. Direct actions involve straightforward requests, such as home automation, while Conversation actions facilitate dynamic interactions utilizing the platform.

2016. Siri lands on the desktop

Apple has recently launched the latest version of its desktop operating system, macOS Sierra, which can be obtained as a free download from the Mac App Store. One of the notable enhancements is the introduction of Siri on the Mac platform for the first time. This intelligent assistant is capable of replacing several features of Spotlight, allowing you to effortlessly locate files and search through photos. Additionally, Siri enables you to interact with your Mac by performing tasks like activating or deactivating Wi-Fi, initiating FaceTime calls, setting reminders, and adjusting the volume. The integration of Siri on the Mac emphasizes multitasking capabilities, allowing you to continue working on a task, such as finalizing a document, while instructing Siri to send a message to a colleague, all without interrupting your workflow.