Business Productivity

Alexa for Business announces end of meeting reminders, intelligent room release, and room utilization metrics

Since Alexa for Business launched room booking last year, we have spent a lot of time learning from our customers about the pain points they encounter with shared meeting spaces in their offices. IT administrators, office managers, and users told us the same story: meeting room availability and efficiency is an ongoing challenge. Users described frustrations of rooms being reserved but empty. Facilities and IT managers know they have a room utilization problem, but didn’t know how to measure, or improve it, in cost-effective ways. It is for these reasons that we are excited to launch a group of proactive Alexa features that help our customers improve their meeting room utilization.

End of meeting reminder

It’s easy to get caught up in a meeting and lose track of time. Just one meeting that runs over in a conference room can cause a domino effect of late meeting starts for the rest of the day. Now, Alexa can prompt employees to wrap up when their meeting is coming to an end. In the Alexa for Business console, you can choose the timing of the reminder (3, 5, or 10 minutes left). You also can select what the reminder sounds like – you can have Alexa wake up and say “time check” or “5 minutes left”, or just have the device play a sound to indicate the end of the meeting. Listen to the options here.

“Employee experience is the true north star for the Glidewell IT team. With Alexa for Business, things just work now, and employees are more productive. They particularly love Alexa’s end of meeting reminder, which has been a huge help in keeping our meetings running on time. My peers that visit our offices leave impressed and inspired by how Alexa makes technology more accessible to employees.”

-Mike Selberis, Chief Technology Officer at Glidewell Dental

Intelligent room release

Meeting room availability is at a premium. While rooms are a crucial part of the work day, they often aren’t available when employees need them. Users told us that one of their biggest frustrations in the office is seeing no availability on rooms’ calendars, yet when they walk the floor, most of the rooms are empty. With intelligent room release, Alexa for Business will release a room’s calendar when a meeting isn’t checked into within a selected time period.

If a user starts their meeting by saying “Alexa, join the meeting”, or are in a call on a compatible device with Alexa built-in, they will automatically be checked in. Users can also just say, “Alexa, check in”. Just in case, Alexa will remind the room to check in one minute before releasing it. Alexa will also notify the room when the reservation is released.

Room utilization metrics

Meeting rooms are expensive investments for any company. With Alexa for Business’s room utilization metrics, you can learn if your investment is paying off, and how your rooms are being used.

You can answer questions like “are my most booked rooms actually getting used?”, “what are my least used rooms?”, “which of my rooms have low attendance rates?”, and “which rooms are recovered most often?”

You can schedule these metrics to be delivered to your S3 bucket on a daily, 7 day, or 30 day cadence, or just download them from the Alexa for Business console when you need.

“Our Agency has been searching for simplified tools to inform us on how many meetings are occurring in our office and the associated length used in our conference spaces, but we have never had an easy way to get those kinds of metrics. Now, with Alexa for Business’ room utilization datasets, we are able to retrieve and visualize this data quickly and easily, allowing my business to better understand our meeting room usage and make better real estate planning decisions.”

– Michael Uccetta, VP, IT Director at EnergyBBDO

These features are generally available today in Alexa for Business in the US-East region and integrate with Office365 and G-Suite calendar systems. To learn more about how to enable them, read our documentation.