The prevalence of the Internet of Things (IoT) in every aspect of day-to-day life has increased significantly over recent years. In this article, we look at the role that IoT can play in an organizational context and how this marries your unified communications (UC).
What is the Internet of Things?
The Internet of Things (IoT) refers to the interconnection of computer devices embedded in everyday objects via the Internet. Put simply, everyday consumer and industrial objects are being built with computer chips embedded into them. The chips collect and communicate data to one another when permissible. It is almost as if these objects are “talking” to each other via a closed Internet connection.
How Does This Tie in With Unified Communications?
Every IoT device is network-enabled, meaning that it can transmit information, either to other machines or to people. On a basic level, this could be as simple as a heart monitor in a hospital that can send information via SMS, or any other messaging application, to the nurses to alert them of a critical issue with a patient. On a more advanced level, the monitor could take the patient’s heart rate, combine that data with other measurable and relevant data, run the necessary analytics, then this data to the relevant staff members depending on the nature of the analysis and the action prompts.
IoT and the Contact Center
Organizations and consumers alike would benefit from an increased convergence of unified communications and the Internet of Things that can lead to more proactive—verging on predictive—customer service solutions. The idea is that IoT objects will detect performance issues and be able to alert the manufacturer to these issues without the customer even being aware. For example, if a fridge detects an issue with its thermostat, it would be able to message the manufacturer and maybe even schedule an automatic call to the customer to arrange a service. This streamlines the organization’s operations while also providing benefit to the consumer by fixing problems before the consumer is even aware of them. In the future, we may well see not just customers contacting call centers but their devices too.
Improved Fleet Management
Integrating unified communications (UC) into fleet management software would mean that fleet management control could receive immediate, real-time information on the status of its deliveries. This integration would allow for automatic corrective recommendations to be sent to fleet management control as and when necessary, which would improve the overall timing and accuracy of shipments.
The Creation of Smart Workplaces
The addition of IoT devices to the workplace would allow multiple workplace locations to share 3D printers, security systems, door controls, and so on. Additionally, the ability to monitor these tools centrally would save money by negating the need for duplication between locations.
Integrating unified communications into the Internet of Things would also heavily aid business intelligence by allowing for the seamless movement of data streams between IoT devices and the wider business. This intelligent data can then be used to improve future communications strategies. For example, in a factory or warehouse, IoT could deliver data that can aid in the automation of certain processes or the allocation of specific tasks. This provides value to the organization by freeing up resources, including human capital, to be allocated elsewhere, adding value to manufacturing operations, and delivering vital business intelligence that supports the end-to-end improvement of these processes and the business as a whole.
All in all, it would seem that the Internet of Things has a significant role to play in the organization of the future, making every aspect of the organization simply function in a “smarter” way.
Gill is writing on behalf of the SCTC, a premier professional organization for independent consultants. SCTC consultant members are leaders in the industry, able to provide best of breed professional services in a wide array of technologies. Every consultant member commits annually to a strict Code of Ethics, ensuring they work for the client benefit only and do not receive financial compensation from vendors and service providers.