Amazon Echo…Meet FinancialForce ERP

FinancialForce – Cloud-based applications company FinancialForce, recently developed an Alexa skill to work alongside its ERP solution. In an interview, CTO Andy Fawcett and Kevin Roberts, Director of Platform Technology discussed the features and how their new Alexa skill works. After playing around with Amazon Echo, the pair realized making the skill was simply a matter of bridging the gap between the Amazon Skill API to the Salesforce Flow API. “I think we were both quite shocked just how quickly we could define new commands and associated responses from Echo once we had the underlying skill running,” said Roberts.

Seeing how consumer used the Amazon Echo to answer simple questions, the pair started with an easy question “Who am I?” This question could be asked a by a new hire for them to instantly get basic information about their new position, such as job title and department and employee number. Another one was to be able to add a comment to any project’s chatter feed. Alexa is now able to do this by only asking two simple questions of the user. “Working with the Echo has shown that voice recognition technology has matured to a level where accuracy is high and the spoken interface feels very natural.  When you add the growing adoption of Apple Siri, Microsoft Cortana and Google voice controlled interfaces we will see an expectation for these consumer technologies to become applied to business applications,” concluded Roberts.

To learn more about how Fawcett and Roberts built the FinancialForce Alexa skill, read the full interview here.