Hands Off: Voice Messaging, Assistance Improving Workflows

Contributor: Jason Koestenblatt
Posted: 09/21/2017
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Communication has always been at the forefront of business success; without it, teams would be unable to properly connect, learn, and grow their productivity. As the technology age has evolved, written communication via computer or mobile device has become the norm, with verbal speech taking a back seat.

That’s starting to shift, however.

A world of artificial intelligence and voice content management capabilities is now crawling back into the enterprise work space and allowing employees throughout the organizational food chain to go hands off and let their words speak loudly.

One company wants to provide the functionality for managers to be able to communicate with their direct reports and other employees without ever having to look at a computer or mobile app.

Theatro announced the launch of its first-ever content management platform for voice, which allows management-level workers to create voice messages and automate their delivery to others in the retail, hospitality, and manufacturing industries.

“The CDM (content delivery manager) provided a critical link to the field as most hourly employees don’t have a company email or voicemail, and hourly labor laws make it difficult to make sure they get the information they need if they’re off the clock,” Theatro said in a release. “With Theatro’s Content Delivery Manager, headquarters can ensure vital information is communicated across the enterprise.”

The space for AI-powered voice assistance is certainly growing, and investors are jumping on the bandwagon early and often. It’s not just for Alexa, Cortada, and Siri – entire companies are being launched with a focus on this next wave of technology.

Take for example TalkIQ, which is using artificial intelligence to gain data on voice communication between enterprises and their customers. The company announced this week it just completed a Series A funding round worth $14 million, backed by Scale Venture Partners and participation from Aspect Ventures, Danhua Capital, Felicis Ventures LINE Corp, and Salesforce Ventures.

“TalkIQ applies the latest in speech recognition and natural language processing to a critical enterprise need,” said Rory O’Driscoll of Scale Venture Partners in a statement. “The platform’s ability to hand over precise analytics and insights from spoken conversations is game changing, but to do it in real-time while an agent or salesperson is on the call? Huge.”

The same way paper communication – from mailing documents to faxing them – was supplanted by digital communication through emails and now text messaging and team chat functions, screen-based interaction may, in time, be surpassed by voice technology. The ability to remove a worker’s eyes and fingers from a device, just to use their voice to enable and enhance workflows is picking up steam. Thanks to quickly-evolving technologies like artificial intelligence and machine learning, enterprise work processes could very well see a seismic shift in the coming decade.

Jason Koestenblatt
Contributor: Jason Koestenblatt