Amazon's Alexa and Microsoft's Cortana voice assistants will soon communicate with each other, the two companies announced Wednesday.

Amazon and Microsoft announced their plan to integrate their devices, the Amazon Echo and Microsoft Cortana, later this year, an Amazon statement released Wednesday said.

"Alexa will be able to talk to Cortana, and Cortana will be able to talk to Alexa. You will be able to turn to your Echo device and say, 'Alexa, open Cortana,' or turn to your Windows 10 device and say, 'Cortana, open Alexa.'

Alexa customers will be able to access Cortana's unique features like booking a meeting or accessing work calendars, reminding you to pick up flowers on your way home, or reading your work email -- all using just your voice. Similarly, Cortana [pictured, left] customers can ask Alexa [pictured, right] to control their smart home devices [or] shop on," the statement said in part.

Microsoft has made Cortana an integral part of its Office and Outlook programs, and has encouraged outside vendors to offer services for its voice-activated products.

Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos first approached his counterpart at Microsoft, Satya Nadella, about enabling their assistants to communicate in 2016, the technology website ZDnet reported Wednesday, citing their joint interview in the New York Times. Bezos said he had not contacted rivals Apple or Google about adding their respective digital assistants to the collaboration, but would be open to their participation.