The Power of Voice Technology in the Enterprise

Voice technology is predicted to become a billion-dollar industry and enterprise adoption is becoming more widespread as new offerings come to market. In fact, it’s estimated that one in six Americans now own a smart speaker, a staggering increase of 128 percent since January 2017. Major investments in voice are coming from tech powerhouses, like Amazon and Google, that promises to simplify tasks in our personal lives and increase productivity in business . Just this week, Apple announced that the Apple Watch will soon come equipped with walkie talkie capabilities, a move that validates voice as a critical platform for the future of peer-to-peer communication.

Bringing Voice to the Enterprise

Apple’s announcement indicates the increasing adoption of push-to-talk (PTT) applications, which is becoming increasingly transformative for businesses in need of real-time communications. Global organizations are already using voice technology to power diverse integrations across devices to enhance team productivity, optimize resources, and boost revenue.

To dig deeper, we commissioned the 2018 Voice in the Workplace report, which examines the use of voice technology in today’s increasingly mobile workforce. Through our research, we found that businesses are not only relying on it to get work done, but effective use can actually set companies apart from their competitors. The biggest takeaway? Nearly 85 percent of professionals want to use voice tools in the workplace, and automation is playing a larger role in how businesses choose and use voice technology among global teams.

Another interesting finding? Consumer devices are not getting the job done. For organizations using devices like smartphones or consumer-grade tablets, many reported a variety of issues – most notably, poor battery life, unreliable network coverage and high device costs. Smart walkie-talkie solutions built specifically for the workplace, like Onyx and AppTalk, ensures team communication is not limited by device type, operating system, range, or physical location. Workers can stay connected anytime, anywhere, optimizing productivity that is essential to a company’s bottom line.

The Convergence of Voice and Automation

Earlier this year, I wrote about the three features that are fueling voice as a top trend in the enterprise for 2018. We’re not only seeing businesses adopt voice technology, but they are also integrating PTT with additional tools like automation, chatbots, and improved software and hardware.

  • Workers can trigger processes that automate administrative data entry, such as logging expenses or tracking a shipment – with just a simple voice command.
  • Chatbots can process speech commands and queries through artificial intelligence and natural language processing – removing the need to dig through spreadsheets or databases for information.
  • The combination of hardware and software automation (think smartphones, wearables, home assistants, chatbots) means our devices will be able to better understand us and operate applications on our behalf.

Which Industries are Benefiting from Push-To-Talk (PTT)?

For communication in the enterprise, every minute counts and organizational devices must be purpose-built and equipped with the capabilities that keep workers connected, safe, efficient and productive. According to our Voice in the Workplace report, PTT technologies like real-time voice services, two-way radios, smart walkie talkies, and consumer radios are the primary communication tools for organizations in a myriad of industries that require heads up, real-time interaction. Of the industries we surveyed, hospitality professionals were most likely to use PTT, at a rate of 47 percent.

When we look at our roster of customers, it’s clear that voice technology is transforming the way that teams communicate across nearly every industry imaginable. We’re seeing businesses like a local flower shop with only 10 employees use Orion to connect delivery drivers and shop workers. We also have event spaces, like churches and amphitheaters, using our devices to manage employees across a widespread venue. Even security teams that rely heavily on communication in potentially dangerous situations are using Orion’s connected voice solutions to stay safe, connected, and enabled in their roles to respond quickly in emergencies.

Voice Will Power the Future of Business

Voice technology has advanced significantly over the past few years, and we’re continuing to see higher rates of adoption among consumers. We’re excited about the new developments occurring in the space, which are allowing more people to experience the possibilities of using voice at home, on their wrist or through their smartphone.

That’s why we believe in the power of voice in the workplace – we’re entering a new business landscape where the nature of work is evolving, and teams are faced with new challenges born out of our on-demand, always-on behaviors. The need for simpler, streamlined collaboration has never been more urgent, and the potential for technology to automate work and make employees more effective has never been higher. Voice is here, and it’s bridging the gap between humans and powerful technologies to simplify our everyday lives.

Learn more about Orion Labs at MWC Americas 2018

Want to know more about how Orion is helping enterprise companies and large organizations succeed using connected voice technology? We’ve got a big announcement coming up on September 12 at Mobile World Congress Americas. If you’re planning to be there, schedule a meeting at MWCA in Los Angeles to get a first look at what’s next. Can’t make it? Keep an eye on our blog for the exciting announcement on September 12.