Shine Solutions has developed one of the first Amazon Alexa skills in the Australian market, through a partnership with EnergyAustralia.
The collaboration means the energy provider is among the first local organisations - alongside Transport for NSW - to feature on the smart speaker, which is due to launch in Australia next month.
From a partner standpoint, the launch will allow developers to build for Alexa and reach customers through voice-first experiences using the Alexa Skills Kit (ASK) and the Alexa Voice Service (AVS).
Operating as an intelligent personal assistant developed by Amazon, Alexa answers questions, plays music and reads the news, and will launch locally alongside Echo smart speakers.
For EnergyAustralia, the skill has been designed to provide easier access to accounts for customers, allowing users to better manage energy usage in the process.
From a technology perspective, the cloud-powered service can perform a variety of tasks in response to voice commands, such as bill and account queries.
“Alexa now provides EnergyAustralia’s customers with another way to easily engage with us,” EnergyAustralia head of digital and incubation, Tony Robertshaw, said.
“Our skill on Alexa will provide a more closely integrated customer experience and we are thrilled with the result. Shine has been instrumental in launching our first skill.”
The move represents an extension of Shine’s current partnership with EnergyAustralia, which spans more than 15 years in the local market.
“The Shine team delivered the outcomes we were seeking in an incredibly short timeframe and worked seamlessly with all the stakeholders involved,” Robertshaw added.
“EnergyAustralia has worked closely with Shine for over 15 years now – they are a valued digital partner.”
Founded in 1998, Shine specialises in the development of enterprise software, with expertise across DevOps, cloud managed services and big data technologies.
“Chatbot technology is certainly in its growth phase in Australia and the expected growth trajectory is significant,” Shine director, Luke Alexander, added.
“Voice-driven systems are becoming integral to our everyday lives. The potential for companies to forge closer relationships with customers through this technology is exciting – we are proud to partner with EnergyAustralia to help launch the organisation in this space.”
The partnership comes two months after Kate Burleigh was appointed as country manager of Amazon Alexa Skills across Australia and New Zealand (A/NZ), five months after vacating the top role at Intel.
In assuming the role, Burleigh will oversee the arrival of Amazon Alexa and Alexa-enabled devices across A/NZ in early 2018, designed to open up new opportunities for developers on both sides of the Tasman.