Smart Speakers are dumb without Integration and APIs

You can only imagine what voice activation could do for businesses looking to digitally transform., but it cannot do it without APIs and integration.

Ann Marie Bond Ann Marie Bond

Even as human interaction grows more and more digital (Zoom, Teams, etc.), there is another conversationalist entering the picture in a big way: Voice-activated technology through smart speakers.

As of this year, a total of 53 million users will have a voice assistant or smart speaker. That’s double the number in US homes since 2018, just for residential use.

But even as smart speakers get better at hearing and responding like a human being, in many ways this is just a smart-looking façade. Once you get below the surface, they are not living up to their potential. Why? Because they don’t connect deeply enough to the systems that can improve the user experience from convenient to life-changing.

You can only imagine what voice activation could do for businesses looking to digitally transform. They could optimize and leverage voice-activated tech with integration to push edge systems into the next advancement, accessing the free flow of interconnected data via speech recognition.

When you call your bank or cable TV company and have to give your name, address and account number three or more times before getting through to the right person, it’s often due to lack of system integration between different departments, back office data and account information.

The idea that voice activation and speech recognition technology alone can build bridges between edge/legacy applications and innovative technologies like IoT, the cloud, and analytics is a little premature.

So, what can be done to speed it up?

APIs: The future of speech recognition?

Speech recognition APIs allow businesses to access the same tech available to households. Here’s a list of the top ten according to

Each API has different benefits. But, what are some examples of how voice recognition can benefit a business when combined with pervasive integration?

Consider customer relationship management (CRM) and enterprise e-source planning (ERP) systems. With voice-activated controls that link to back-end systems, authorized users could get access to customer information by voice instead of keystrokes. This would be gold to executives presenting or traveling, turning mobile tech into an arsenal of potential.

Voice could empower employees, reduce risk of last-minute emergency messaging, and give your workforce the keys to the data that matters – even when they’re not at their desks.

Business owners could instantly personalize data feeds, streaming valuable information in real time such as:

  • Project update news
  • Status reports
  • Critical alerts
  • Sales invoicing

Speaking to the cloud

What about the cloud? Before you’d only be able to “visit” the cloud and view your cloud data through specific applications like OpenStackApache, and CloudHealth; with an integrated system of voice-activated technologies, you can “speak” to the cloud and access cloud-based information right away, even from your mobile.

Enterprises such as hotels, cruise ships, amusement parks can turn Siri or Alexa into a virtual concierge designed to provide additional value to the customer with easy access to products and services.

Imagine your guest could simply ask: “Hey, Alexa, what time is checkout?” or “Hey, Siri, this is room 214, please bring my car around,” or “Hey, Google, find pizza places near me.”

The possibilities are endless.

Learn more about webMethods and find out what can be made possible by using integration and APIs for voice recognition.