Voice gained a new entrant this week. Meet Einstein Voice. If the name has anything to say about the product, others that are attempting to move voice into the world of business might find strong competition.
Einstein Voice is part of Salesforce’s artificial intelligence (AI) platform that when released, will enable business users -- especially those who are mobile -- to dictate memos and navigate cloud services hands-free. The platform is geared toward salespeople, but is available to anyone -- including marketers -- who use the company's CRM and other platforms.
Users can verbally talk to the Salesforce platform to perform a range of tasks, such as navigating through Einstein Analytics dashboards, updating Salesforce records and creating tasks using natural language. The platform can now search and retrieve information to deliver daily briefs of key priorities such as calendar appointments, similar to Google Assistant, which some estimate owns 13.9% of the voice assistant market in the U.S.
Julia Stead, vice president of marketing at Invoca, a software company that tracks and automates phone calls, called the release “very smart” and “timely.” Voice is rapidly becoming the preferred channel for business, she said.
Despite the opportunities, there are challenges.
“It requires a change in user behavior,” said Dan O’Connell, GM of VoiceAI at Dialpad, a cloud-based phone system that powers voice, video, and messages. “We’re not used to speaking our notes, which requires us to be more thoughtful about what we say and the language used such as calling out action items.”
People have become more willing to accept talking to machines. The Voicebot Smart Speaker Consumer Adoption Report, released earlier this year, found that 19.7% of U.S. adults have access to smart speakers today -- up from less than 1% of the population just two years ago.
Interestingly, iPhone users are 22% more likely to own a smart speaker.
Consumers typically adopt technology first, and then it lands in the hands of businesspeople.
The launch of Einstein Voice comes days after founder Marc Benioff and wife, Lynne, personally acquired Time Magazine for $190 million. From Meredith Corp.