Apple's Siri, Other Search Apps Could Save Businesses Big Bucks

A report from EasyAsk found U.S. businesses could save up to $800 million daily through Siri-like search applications.

Organizations in the United States could realize more than $800 million daily savings in wage costs alone with the help of Siri-like search applications, according to a research report titled "Improving Performance in the Workplace With Voice-Enabled Natural Language Solutions" from language technology specialist EasyAsk. Apple€™s Siri application works as a virtual, intelligent concierge that responds to users€™ questions to find services and information through more natural and human responses.

The study, which documented how workers are accessing information and how performance in the workplace can be improved with Siri-like solutions for the enterprise, found 49 percent of respondents said they believe a voice-enabled natural-language platform would make it easier to perform their jobs. Moreover, 47 percent said it would add value to their company's revenue and/or profitability, and 55 percent said it would improve customer experiences and satisfaction.

Of those who were familiar with Apple's Siri, 54 percent agreed that a Siri-like tool on a mobile device, tablet, laptop or desktop that connected to business systems and applications would make it easier to do their jobs.

With voice-enabled natural-language technology, nearly 40 percent anticipated saving 31 minutes to more than two hours each day, with 63 percent anticipating saving some amount of time each day.

This could be a huge savings for businesses, as the report found nearly three-quarters of the time a worker has a new business question they cannot answer, they interrupt their colleagues to ask questions, and 42 percent sometimes have business questions that cannot be answered by their existing applications. Compounding the amount of time lost is the fact that 53 percent said they have to wait up to half a day to more than 10 business days for others to build reports for them.

Although more than half of respondents said they have two to six devices (including laptops, desktops, mobile phones and tablets), suggesting access to a wide range of applications is already available, just 7 percent of workers go to business applications alone, even though 57 percent know what application to ask for answers. Sixty-five percent said they believe they have the necessary technical skills to find the answers, and they just need the right search application to solve the issue.

Independent research company Market Tools executed the survey in the first half of 2012, collecting 420 responses within the United States across a range of roles, industries and organizational size.