Leveraging voice apps for increasing productivity in the workplace

By Nimish Vohra, Regalix

Businesses today are constantly hard-pressed to minimize information turnaround times, so everyone along the value chain can make fast, accurate business decisions. They are always on the lookout  for  technologies that  can enable  turning  words into action quickly, while also enabling a seamless flow of information and connection between people, systems and activities so that one can get things done on the go.

So at the most literal level, they need technologies that translate the spoken word into the requisite action. And that is why so many businesses, big and small, have latched on to intelligent voice to text Virtual assistance apps or, as some business linguists call them, speech productivity technologies that are easy to use and help business professionals save time and become more productive.

Virtual Assistants are fast becoming a bit of a phenomenon amongst productivity-enhancing tools. Now these smart voice recognition apps help users plan, prioritize, schedule and execute routine tasks on their behalf by recognizing the words you are speaking and processing, and producing it with more than reasonable accuracy to help enable better, faster documentation and quick turnaround time. These apps are specially impressive in the way they assist professionals who need to keep their hands free like doctors, scientists, lab technicians, to multitask and generate on-the-go reports, etc.

Plus they also help you get/stay greener by becoming a paper-light organization. By helping ease the pressure on the users, these smartphone apps help people focus on more ‘qualitative work’. Voice-enabled Virtual Assistants go a step further and provide a natural language voice interface. One could issue voice commands like “Call Mr. Johnson” or ‘Organize meeting” and the software would do these by accessing various data points.

Siri, a product of Siri Inc., was one of the earliest ‘intelligent personal assistants’ and used a natural language interface to answer questions. In April 2010, it was acquired by Apple making Apple Siri, the first voice app that functions as a virtual assistant. Since then, several players have entered this space with applications that are capable of Text-to-Speech and Speech Recognition.

Although this includes global giants like Google and Microsoft, today, the market is dominated by other players.

Outlook

According to Transparency Market Research, the Intelligent Virtual Assistant market is expected to reach $2,126.4 mn by 2019.

However, Virtual Personal Assistants (VPAs) have their own share of detractors. Enterprises have expressed concerns around security, misuse of confidential data, and ROI. Users and enterprises seek statistics on the difference they have made to the bottom-line.

Future VPAs will be able to undertake more complex tasks with multiple steps and more context. Conversations could also get longer, with the VPA learning better with use, as well as getting more proactive in supporting the user – precisely what one would expect of an assistant.

Here’s to the world where nothing is lost in translation!

The author is the Senior Vice President – Marketing at Regalix