Digital & Technology
WHERE IC PROFESSIONALS COME TO TALK

RAISING YOUR VOICE: BRINGING HOME TECH INTO THE OFFICE

Home voice devices will soon be making a statement in the internal comms channel mix, believes Daniel Penton, principal consultant at DMP Voice.

16th May 2018

Voice can be a great way to reach deskless employees, like those on the road or senior managers who could have a device set up at home.

DANIEL PENTON, DMP VOICE

Hands-free, voice-controlled devices like Amazon Alexa and Google Home have crept into homes at a staggering rate since their emergence a few years ago.

Amazon is currently the most dominant player in this space, with analysts estimating that 33 million Alexa devices were sold in 2017, up from four million in 2016, so chances are you or your colleagues will already be using voice regularly at home.

The signs are that this popularity at home will translate to the workplace, particularly with Alexa for Business only available to company employees; Amazon’s enterprise voice offering adds additional security and allows organisations to develop private voice applications called skills.

The initial focus for Alexa for Business is on the practical side. For example, colleagues at WeWork – the shared workspace provider – are using Alexa to reserve conference rooms, file support tickets and provide status updates on meeting rooms. Capital One built a skill that allows the IT team to quickly check the status of bank systems and request specific updates on high-severity events.
 

A new method of engagement

However there’s another side to voice in the enterprise: its potential to become a new channel of communication within organisations. In the near future, I believe people will start consuming content like townhall recordings or training via voice, whether in the car, at home or in the office via headphones – bringing brand new ways to engage employees.

Another area of voice that holds a lot of potential is content exploration.

DMP Voice recently developed a skill where users can explore a company strategy, asking about the specific pillars and hearing relevant news snippets. The advantage of voice in this instance is that when people need answers, they can just speak to the device rather than having to hunt the information down on the intranet, saving time and giving them just one result.


Getting started with voice

So, how do communicators know if voice is right for their organisation?

Like all new technologies, you can do a lot worse than becoming a practitioner and using it before making any judgements. If you haven’t got an Alexa or Google Home, get one and start experimenting with it. From there, start thinking about possible use cases within your organisation. For example, voice can be a great way to reach deskless employees like those on the road or senior managers, who could have a device set up at home.

Like any technology- led deployment, it’s prudent to start small. Think about the investment required to purchase equipment (less than many think with bulk discounts from the likes of Amazon) and skill development costs – and then get ready to venture bravely where few communicators have yet gone.

Voice is here to stay and will become commonplace in our lives in the next 12-36 months, both at home and, I’m betting, in the workplace.

Communicators should make sure they’re one step ahead on this one and work out their strategy for voice sooner rather than later.

 

TOP TIP
Define what metrics will be measured from the outset. Think about segmenting the use case audience in half, so you can clearly see the impact of voice. 

Voice can be a great way to reach deskless employees, like those on the road or senior managers who could have a device set up at home.

DANIEL PENTON, DMP VOICE

Leave a comment

To leave a comment on this article, please complete the form below. Your comment will be posted once verified by our editorial team.

If you are not an IoIC member and would like to join to receive Voice and other membership benefits, visit our Membership page.

Room Booking

Thanks for staying with us! Please fill out the form below and our staff will be in contact with your shortly. The see all of our room options please visit the link below.
See All Rooms