What are Voice Assistants?

Most people are familiar with Voice Assistants (VAs) like Amazon Echo, Google Home, Microsoft Cortana and Apple Siri. They use these devices for music playback, making to-do lists, setting alarms, streaming podcasts, playing audiobooks, and providing weather, traffic, and real time news information. They can also use VAs for home automation, to control smart devices, i.e. the Internet of Things (IoT), or to play standalone applications.

VAs use natural language parsing (NLP) to communicate in ways that human beings find familiar. They speak in colloquial English and answer in kind. Effectively, they are audio-only interfaces that connect front end users to the traditional back end computational power and process like Big Data. They allow users to communicate while their attention is elsewhere, hands-free and eyes-free.

As such VAs are meant to be the vehicles of seamless and perfect communication – though your mileage may vary. You can create memorable experiences by minimizing inacuracies and misunderstandings. You can learn more tricks of the trade here.

What does a typical consultancy involve?

Every engagement, like every client, is different. Each has unique challenges and goals. Each has hidden resources and emerging opportunities. As a result, we approach each engagement within its own context, to take advantage of client strengths and to mitigate challenges. Our goal is to come up with solutions – sometimes simple, sometimes complex – that are workable within the situations we find. For more details, please see the Case Studies.

How long do consultancies last?

We usually work with clients for anywhere from weeks to months. We ask to begin with an initial assessment, to define project needs and gauge stakeholder engagement. This phase typically lasts two weeks. After this initial contracting period, we assemble the teams needed to get the work done. Typically they will work together with the client for two to six months. The work will end with a hand-off meeting to ensure good continuity of effort.

Who do you work with?

We have a virtual stable of different consultants that we work with, each with specific expertise. SharePoint, Alexa Skills Kit, ACCESS, Excel, Word, SQL, etc. In all cases we established working relationships of long standing, which makes communication and task execution more efficient. For more details, please see the Case Studies.

Do you have any case studies available for review?

You can find a few of our case studies under the Advisory Services section. You are also welcome to check out our blog, which delivers case studies, opinion pieces, book excerpts and articles of interest.