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Melanie Turek
Melanie Turek is Vice President, Research at Frost & Sullivan. She is a renowned expert in unified communications, collaboration, social...
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Melanie Turek | November 16, 2012 |

 
   

Bringing Context to the Call

Bringing Context to the Call Headset manufacturers are looking at analyzing user data to improve not just their products, but the user experience as well.

Headset manufacturers are looking at analyzing user data to improve not just their products, but the user experience as well.

Headsets are fast becoming a critical part of any UC solution, since soft phones and conference calls demand both high-quality audio and hands-free flexibility. To drive adoption, leading headset vendors have been updating their products at a rapid rate, adding features ranging from multi-device support and longer battery life to advanced calling capabilities such as call control, caller ID and voice recognition.

Still, the Holy Grail in unified communications is context: getting users the information they need when they need it, and enabling action that's relevant to the task at hand. To that end, some headset manufacturers are looking at analyzing user data to improve not just their products, but the user experience as well.

For instance, Plantronics' Smart Sensor technology, integrated into its Voyager Legend device, senses when the headset is on or off and makes decisions based on that information about whether to connect a call automatically, or announce the call and wait for a voice or touch-tone command. Since the Voyager Legend also supports streaming audio, the sensor pauses that feed when a call comes in or when the headset is off. And when users put the headset on, the device will automatically transfer an ongoing call from the handset to the headset.

Partners are helping Plantronics develop contextually-aware solutions by integrating the vendor's headsets with communications and collaboration applications, social media, CRM, sales force automation, analytics, and other business apps. To aid in that effort, Plantronics has launched a developer program that lets partners download its SDKs and access Plantronics engineers and documentation. As with most partner communities, the goal is to deliver more holistic solutions for customers while sparing them the costs and hassles associated with doing the integrations themselves; and to offer the participating vendors sales and channel opportunities.

(An entirely unrelated but still useful capability of the Voyager Legend is the Find MyHeadset Android app, which helps locate a misplaced device...can they develop that for my TV remote?)



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