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JLL Introduces Its Own Version Of Alexa For Office Users


Real estate services firm JLL is entering a realm previously occupied only by tech giants.

On Tuesday, the Chicago-based real estate giant revealed that it has teamed with Google to create its own voice assistant, like Amazon's Alexa or Microsoft's Cortana, GeekWire reports.

JLL's version is called JiLL, designed specifically for office workers and only available through a smartphone app, as opposed to a smart home device such as the Amazon Echo or Google Home.

Through JiLL, office workers will be able to book conference rooms, schedule maintenance requests, send messages to coworkers and other related activities, GeekWire reports. Though it will be powered by the Google Cloud platform, JLL believes the assistant can outperform Amazon and Microsoft's attempts at suiting their assistants to office life because it comes from a real estate company.

“We understand teams because we understand where you sit; we understand your cost center; and we understand your organization — who you report to, who works for you,” JLL Chief Digital Product Officer Vinay Goel told GeekWire. “We know the floor plans, and we know where the printers are.” 

Goel joined JLL last year to head up its JLL Labs division, from which JiLL is the first product. Before then, he had worked at Google for 11 years, most recently in its Google Maps division. 

For now, JiLL is only in internal testing, but JLL plans to roll it out to select clients in the coming months, targeting the fourth quarter of this year for a full launch. Eventually, it hopes to incorporate integrations in the same way Alexa has "skills": companies can fit their internal ticketing and communication systems with JiLL's voice to provide fuller coverage of the assistant's abilities. Microsoft 365 and Google's G Suite will eventually be integrated as well.