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Integrating Applications to Boost Experience
I love, and have always loved, integrated applications. To me, this has always been one of the most exciting aspects of our business. And while we all tire of over-hyped marketing blasts about the cloud, I believe application integration may be the most exciting aspect, possibly one that is not hyped enough.
I recently spent some time cleaning up apps on my phone in anticipation of several upcoming trips. I, like most of you, am a big fan of the car service Uber . As I was updating my profile in the Uber app, I noticed an option to link my Uber account with Spotify, the streaming music service.
Why in the world would I want to link a music streaming service with a car service app? I mean, there are good cloud integrations and then there are, well, stupid ones. Just because you CAN integrate two services together, doesn't mean it's a good idea.
I had never used Spotify, so I skipped over that setting and finished updating my info. But being the ever-curious person that I am, I eventually googled "Spotify integration with Uber."
What I found was quite interesting. The Spotfy integration allows you to control the music during your Uber car ride. I know that doesn't sound like a big deal, but close your eyes and think of all of the horrible -- let's just call it noise -- you have been forced to listen to in a traditional cab ride. Makes you shudder a bit, doesn't it?
Wouldn't it be so much nicer to build your own playlist to listen to on your journey, appropriate with the time and place? Get pumped up for that big meeting downtown, or mellow out as you head to the airport. It's your choice.
I admit this is a bit gimmicky. You don't really need to control the music in your short car ride. But guess what I did? I downloaded Spotify, signed up for a free month, and linked it to my Uber account. And while I haven't even taken an Uber ride yet, I have already grown to love Spotify.
This Spotify/Uber integration experience really illustrates a few points of cloud application integrations:
But this post is about more than the riveting story of how I changed my music streaming provider. It really speaks to the present, and future of our world in communications technology.
As a consultant, I strive to help my clients leverage technology to gain advantage in the marketplace. One of the biggest points of leverage is in the ability to integrate applications to drive productivity and enhance the customer experience. The Uber/Spotify case study is the perfect example of a truly inspired integration.
To move the example into our world, I wonder if any cloud-based contact center providers are talking to Spotify? What if you could hear your own playlist when you were placed on hold? Wouldn't that affect the customer experience? And wouldn't that be a huge selling point to prospective contact center customers?
We have seen a massive amount of change in the last two decades, but we haven't even scratched the surface yet when it comes to integrating applications. The real magic, the real transformational explosion that has been predicted during this period in time will not come out of products or technology, but by the convergence (dare I use that word?) of applications.
As I evaluate cloud communications for my clients, the first question asked of a provider now is, "Do you integrate with XYZ application?" What was often an afterthought or an optional component has now become a critical component of selecting a new partner.
So even as we argue about what the cloud really means to business , the answer is found in the ability to easily and quickly integrate applications. And perhaps the less obvious ones are the most powerful.
"SCTC Perspectives" is written by members of the Society of Communications Technology Consultants, an international organization of independent information and communication technology professionals serving clients in all business sectors and government worldwide.