Where next for the Mobile Personal Assistant?

Mobile Personal Assistants might be able to send messages, update your Facebook status and remind you to take an umbrella, but for most of us it’s not exactly changed the way we work. Wouldn’t it be great if they could help you with the more tedious aspects of everyday work life such as updating sales or ERP systems, while you finally have five minutes for a quick cup of coffee?

Enterprise Personal Assistants have the potential to dramatically improve productivity by allowing users to carry out a multitude of tasks simply by using their voice. No more clicking through menus or scrolling through copious notes on a small screen. Even updating various sales and CRM databases would be no more difficult than asking your current mobile personal assistant to text to your boss that the meeting went well. But speech is only a tiny part of the story.

Whilst voice recognition technology is changing how we input our requests with devices and software, it is NLI that gives devices the brains to be the back office assistant. Finding a phone number in an email and adding it to a contact or sending a promotional gift to a client and charging it to the right department, requires more than just a limited understanding of a phrase or command.

The ability to automatically carry out complex tasks needs an understanding of the organization, integration with the systems it uses and a close working relationship with the individual making the entry. With NLI providing the ability to reason, react and respond appropriately users could review their schedule and instantly retrieve all types of customer information such as last order placed, outstanding invoices or its latest share price.

Combine this with NLI’s ability to introduce cognitive thinking into the mix and the potential of the Enterprise Personal Assistant becomes even more attractive. If you’ve spent the morning working on one particular client account then the assistant understand this implicitly and displays only the appropriate information. If for the last 3 times you’ve always taken a client to a particular restaurant, the assistant will remind you to make a reservation. Of course in an ideal world they’d make the reservation themselves, but not many restaurants are ready for this…yet.

So the next time you’re running late for a meeting and can’t remember the name of the customer’s spouse, simply ask your enterprise personal assistant. If she can’t tell you then maybe it’s time for an upgrade.

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