Microtrading helps clients to unlock the potential of their IT infrastructure. To that end, we’ve detailed some of the key features of Microsoft’s Cortana, and the applications they could have to your business.
The most obvious benefit of a virtual assistant is voice command. If your business requires you to travel regularly, virtual assistants can, in a safe and legal way, allow you to transform what is often ‘dead time’ into something far more productive with plenty of hands-free functionality.
Dictate notes to Cortana and save them to OneNote
Cortana is the scribe on hand whenever and wherever you need it. If you have ideas, memos or a stream of consciousness you need to capture for later use, simply dictate it to Cortana and it will be saved directly to OneNote. This is particularly useful if ideas come to you when you can’t reach for a pen and paper, but it’s also an excellent way to catalogue and store ideas safely, instead of losing that one scrap of paper that had the answer on it. These notes can also be easily and immediately accessed by any colleagues that need them.
Direct answers to questions
Finding the answers that you need can be time consuming. Your colleagues may not know the answer and, depending on what you enter in a search bar, search engines may deliver multiple conflicting answers to your question. Cortana delivers content that answers your questions quickly and directly.
When you ask Cortana a question, it will typically show you the answer via a listing of web links; you then open optimised search results in your browser. However, there are plenty of questions that Cortana can answer directly, without immediately directing you to the internet. Instead, you get your answers in Cortana’s pane with a partial list of search results for further research.
Create reminders and set alarms using your voice
Once “Hey Cortana” is enabled on your devices, you can use your voice to save reminders, set alarms and create meetings and appointments within your calendar.
Commands such as “Hey, Cortana, remind me to check the status on my invoices on Monday at 9am” will result in a reminder being sent at the specific time and date. This might not seem like much, however, it could prove to be a lifesaver, ensuring nothing ever goes amiss.
Check your calendar for Cortana’s handywork
Cortana can automatically create events for your calendar based on emails you receive. A good example of this is flights; it will add the flight information that you receive in a flight confirmation email to your calendar. However, it is worth bearing in mind that this feature only works on emails sent to an Outlook.com account or to Outlook users – different email services won’t work.