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Amazon Web Services (AWS) is launching new services and features at a rapid pace, so we take a quick look at developments on the Alexa front, a new single sign-on service and an expansion of the hybrid cloud service offered in partnership with VMware.

Alexa for Business is a new AWS service that makes it easy for companies to voice-enable their offices with Alexa, giving workers an intelligent assistant. It works with Office 365, Microsoft Exchange and Google G Suite.

The service can help to automate tasks like starting conference calls, con`trolling conference room equipment, scheduling meetings, keeping track of tasks or reordering supplies.

Alexa for Business also supports a large and growing list of new skills and integrations from companies like Salesforce, Concur and Splunk that extend Alexa for Business’s functionality into the popular applications and devices customers already use in the workplace.

And, of course, companies can easily tailor the new service by building custom ‘private’ skills that integrate with a customer’s existing IT applications and office systems. By using tools such as the Alexa Skills Kit and the Alexa for Business APIs, customers can set-up and manage Alexa devices, enrol users, and assign skills.

Next up is AWS Single Sign-On (SSO), a cloud service that makes it easy to centrally manage access to multiple AWS accounts and business applications. It enables users to sign in to a centralised user portal with their existing corporate credentials and access all of their assigned accounts and applications from one place.

SSO is integrated with AWS Organizations to let users configure and maintain permissions automatically. It also includes built-in SAML integrations to many business applications, such as Salesforce, Box and Office 365.

Meanwhile, AWS and VMware are expanding their hybrid cloud service, VMware Cloud on AWS, and adding new capabilities that focus, in particular, on assisting customers with disaster recovery. They also improve and expand application migration capabilities and add on-demand capacity.

The strategic relationship to deliver VMware Cloud on AWS was initially announced a year ago, with the on-demand service enabling customers to run applications across vSphere-based cloud environments with access to a broad range of AWS services.

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