Alexa for Business, Private Skills and Splunk

I was very excited to hear of the availability of Alexa for Business at AWS re:Invent 2017.

When the freely available and open source Splunk Alexa Integration was created in early 2016, it employed a little hack to make the skill private to the user and not published as a public Alexa Skill.Which is what you need when you are integrating with your own private Splunk environment.

This essentially entails running the Splunk Alexa skill under your own private development account.

Alexa for Business totally addresses this need with private skills.

I had an inkling this feature would be released by the Alexa team at some point, and it is now here.

So thank you Werner “Santa” Vogels and Team!

“… With Alexa for Business you can make these skills available to your shared devices and enrolled users without having to publish them to the Alexa Skills store…..”

“… When your skill is ready you can mark the skill as private, submit the skill, and then distribute it to your Alexa for Business account….”

We are here to help you with any setup and configuration of your Splunk Alexa environment that you require as well as custom development with the developer extension hooks built into the integration(look for “create your own dynamic actions in the docs“) that allow you to essentially achieve anything you can conceive of above and beyond the core functionality of mapping your voice intents to underlying SPL searches.

So please contact us so we can get you talking to Splunk.

Merry Xmas everyone and happy Splunking with your voice.

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Talk to Splunk with Amazon Alexa

What do you think the future experience of interacting with your data is going to be?

Is it going to be logging in by way of a user interface and then using your mouse/keyboard/gestures to view and interact with something on a display panel, or is it going to be more like simply talking with another person?

Introducing the “Talk to Splunk with Amazon Alexa” App

This is a Splunk App that enables your Splunk instance for interfacing with Amazon Alexa by way of a custom Alexa skill, thereby provisioning a completely voice based Natural Language Interface for Splunk.

You can then use an Alexa device such as Amazon’s Echo, Tap or Dot or another 3rd party hardware device to tell or ask Splunk anything you want.

  • Get answers to questions based off Splunk Searches
  • Ask for information, such as search command descriptions
  • Return static responses and audio file snippets
  • Developer extension hooks to plugin ANY custom voice driven requests and actions you want

The App also allows you to train your Splunk instance to the conversational vocabulary for your specific use case.

Vision

The ultimate vision I foresee here is a future where you can completely do away with your keyboard, mouse, monitor & login prompt.

Even right now there are use cases where having to look at a monitor or operate an input device are simply counter productive, infeasible or unsafe.Industrial operating environments immediately come to mind.

You should be able to be transparently & dynamically authenticated based on your voice signature and then simply converse with your data like how you would talk to another person… asking questions or requesting to perform some action.

This app is a step in the direction of this vision.

Demos

Echo

Dot

Advanced Usage Example

Go forth and talk!

This App is now available for download on Splunkbase.

Comprehensive usage documentation can be found here where the source code is also available.

I encourage feedback and collaboration particularly around creating custom dynamic actions to share with the community so we can organically grow the capabilities of this offering!

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