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By: GUEST AUTHOR Karen Fredricks, Tech Benders
Karen is the author of thirteen books on CRM and the Act! lynda.com training videos. She is the founder of the Virtual Act! Users Group and holds quarterly webinars focusing on CRM best practices. Her goal is to make companies more efficient, productive and profitable through best CRM practices.
In the late 90’s I owned a computer school in Boca Raton, Florida. If you are a Seinfeld fan you can equate Boca with the fictional “Del Boca Vista” and be able to accurately picture my clientele. It was around this time that Dragon Naturally Speaking voice recognition arrived on the scene and my clients all clamored to use it. Back then you had to “train” Dragon to recognize your voice by reading hours of data into the system. Trust me, the results were not pretty. It soon became apparent that phrases like “it was a dark and stormy night” came across as a jumbled mess but phrases like, “Gosh darn it, that’s not what I meant!” came through loud and clear.
It became apparent to me that to be successful with voice recognition you had to speak in a complete monotone; my only truly successful client was a psychiatrist that made Ferris Buehler’s teacher sound animated.
I was so traumatized by my foray into voice recognition that I did not dip my toe back into that treacherous water for literally twenty years. When I did it was with my Xfinity television remote and I found it to be amazingly accurate. I soon ventured into the uncharted territory of both Google and Siri; I found Google to be a bit more precise but I have to admit I like Siri’s sense of humor. My car has Apple CarPlay so I can now demand that Siri read out my voice messages, compose a text and get me driving directions. I suddenly developed a new respect for voice recognition!
The icing on the cake came when I received an Amazon Echo Dot a few months back. I started by asking “Alexa” to play the Hamilton soundtrack; no problem. I then ventured out to a rather obscure band I like; without hesitation Alexa started playing the Dirty Heads.
I tell her to add items to my shopping list, take notes and basically boss her around. Alexa is awesome: unlike my kids she doesn’t talk back and makes my life a whole lot easier!
Alexa got me to thinking about my other favorite software, Act!. Imagine how nice it would be to hear my current list of Activities or lookup someone’s phone number. Well my friend, I am happy to say it’s h-e-r-e! (Cue drumroll). Act! now integrates with Alexa. Need to find out what your calendar looks like? Ask Alexa!
By now you might be wondering exactly how the Act!/Alexa integration works and more importantly how much it costs? The cool part is that the integration comes absolutely free with your Act! Premium subscription. As in $0.00 USD. If you have an Act! subscription and an Amazon Echo device, you have the ability to connect Act! to Alexa.
Excited about the new Act!/Alexa integration and want to know more? Check out my latest blog on Act!, “Introducing Act! v20 – What’s Not to Like?”