The Big Bang Theory: IoT, Mobile & UC&C Colliding in Exciting Ways
Three important technologies are coming together to enable what is likely to become a much more efficient and engaging workplace – for businesses, their customers, and employees. That technology trio includes BYOD/mobile devices, the Internet of Things, and unified communications & collaboration.
Mitel President and CEO Rich McBee in a speech today at Mitel Next in Paris referred to this convergence as the big bang theory. And, he indicated, it’s already transforming life as we know it. During the Mitel presentation, Bob Agnes, president of the company’s enterprise division, introduced a video that talked about how a water heater with a sensor in a company’s maintenance could call an office manager’s mobile phone to tell him it is leaking, and then quickly connect that manager with someone in maintenance to address the problem. The video depicted a similar situation involving a data center overheating. And it talked about the potential for faster and easier setup of videoconferences. These use cases, Agnes said, are all demonstrations on display this week at Mitel Next.
Avaya also has been discussing this trend as well. Jean Turgeon, vice president and chief technologist for software defined architecture at the company, has emphasized how the convergence of connected devices, smartphones, and UC&C (along with the company’s underlying software-defined networking infrastructure) can enable better experiences. For example, office infrastructure can understand when a person had reserved a conference room and had a digital sign greeting that person and his guests, and had the conference equipment and room (including the videoconferencing gear, room lights and temperature setting) ready to go and tuned to that individual’s preferences. As another example, he mentioned that a parking lot surveillance system could identify bank or retail visitors, so personnel received notice they were entering the premises and have the necessary information ready to go to greet and serve them.
While it’s early days for such solutions in terms of implementation, many of these scenarios are possible today and probable in the not too distant future. All that is enabled by mobile technology, which IDC predicts will be used by nearly three quarters of the U.S. workforce by 2020; the IoT, for which various sources expect between 21 billion and 50 billion devices to be online by 2020; and unified communications solutions, which are increasingly moving to the cloud for better economics and can support conferencing, messaging, presence, screen sharing, and more.
Edited by Maurice Nagle