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A deeper brand experience with Drupal and Alexa
An example of how you can integrate Drupal with Amazon Echo to stay up to date with news, blogs, and content of all kinds while building a deeper brand experience.

A deeper brand experience with Drupal and Alexa

"Alexa, play some music!" 

This is one of the most widely-used Amazon Echo commands and the same holds true in my home. When I wake up: "Alexa, play some music." When I am making dinner: "Alexa, play some music." As you can imagine, my Amazon Echo has firmly made its way into my life over the last several months.

I'm not the only one: voice-assisted devices are making a huge impact on the lives of millions of consumers worldwide. To keep up with this trend, companies are developing their own methods of leveraging the platform to accomplish their goals. Local firms like Hydro Ottawa have recently released an Amazon Echo Skill and most major news outlets, like the Ottawa Citizen, have also followed suit.

This big push with voice-assisted devices has inspired me to understand how they work and how I should combine my usage of Amazon Echo at home with my day-job of creating award-winning Drupal websites and portals.

The answer: Ottawa Business Journal.

My team here at OPIN Software created the new OBJ website some time ago, and it has had a huge impact on the community. The new site creates a rich, engaging experience for its readers. To further contribute to this improved experience, I created an Amazon Echo Skill for the Ottawa Business Journal that allows the publication's latest stories and updates to be read to users through voice commands. Here is how it works:



When we ask Alexa for our Flash Briefing (utterance), this voice command is converted into code (intent), which is then sent to the OBJ's Drupal website (endpoint). Once Drupal has this information, it can respond with the latest news from the OBJ database (response). The Amazon Echo then reads that response to the user.

Taking advantage of every method and opportunity for consumers to engage with your brand is essential to staying relevant and building a deeper brand experience. Although I have only done this with one website, obj.ca, it proves that we can connect Amazon Echo to any Drupal website. This means the sky's the limit on what we can send through a Skill and what we can integrate.

You can find the OBJ Skill on Amazon.ca or through the Alexa app.

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Steve Lavigne is the Director of Technology at OPIN. He oversees technical delivery across all projects and teams and provides guidance and approval on countless high-profile enterprise projects. Steve is a Forty Under 40 recipient and the founder and president of local non-profit Kids & Code.