From Unified to Ubiquitous Communications - Getting Business Done in The Hyper Connected, Hyper Contextual World

From Unified to Ubiquitous Communications - Getting Business Done in The Hyper Connected, Hyper Contextual World

August 23rd, 2017
David Walsh

(This is the third in a series of three articles regarding how the technology industry is being disrupted and who will be the winners and losers and how the winners are winning).

Unified Communications is no longer enough to support 21st Century businesses. In fact, “UC” as we knew it made sense in the transition from the analog to digital world, but as all businesses today must be digital to be successful, embedding voice, video, messaging and collaboration into how work flows makes more sense than simply connecting fixed, mobile, and desktop real-time communications services.

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As more and more millennials enter the workforce – the first generation born with a silver smartphone in their hands – it’s even more important for enterprises, and the Communications Service Providers, and managed services providers who support them to think much more broadly about what will replace the “phone systems” which are sophisticated and yet clumsy, expensive to maintain, and simply going unused except in a decreasing percentage of cases where legacy leaders insist on not making the change to cloud communications.

There is no turning back, and no way forward except to take the time to understand that changing behaviors among all generations in their personal lives are making their way into the world of business. Thus, those companies who can deliver more intuitive, more ubiquitous and not just “unified” communications services over transformed IP networks will win the day.

Let’s look at a very simple example.

Company A buys a service from Company B that helps control the air temperature and quality in Company A’s factory. Without a stable temperature, products cannot be successfully produced and packaged, and downtime can cost the company dearly.

In the old world, Company A might find out in a crisis that the HVAC has stopped functioning, would try to call Company B’s help desk, hope to reach the right person, and then wait to be connected to the right person to address the problem. In the meantime, Company A would contact their account manager at Company B, to complain about lack of response. Hours could go by, and even after a tech was dispatched to the location, confusion could ensue, with the truck getting lost, with the tech not having the right information, with the tech arriving without the proper parts, and more. Half a day or even a full day could be lost, causing considerable losses both financial and reputational to Company A.

Whether or not Company B’s desktop and help desk phones were connected to mobile devices, which is in itself a good thing, “unifying” those communications wasn’t enough to make getting business done more effectively.

 

 

Fast forward to Ubiquitous Communications. In this scenario, the machine controlling the HVAC, and monitors helping ensure that machine is working properly, identifies an issue based on automation and policy. The machine immediately triggers a message to Company B’s maintenance team, as well as the account manager for Company A, letting them know in seconds that there’s an issue that needs to be immediately addressed.

Ubiquitous Communications software, based on the policy and messaging trees already set up, instantly sets up a conversation between the team at Company B responsible for ensuring quality of service, and a truck is dispatched assuming the failure cannot be addressed remotely. The technician in the truck is served driving directions via GPS, as well as a code to get into the building and map of the building’s deployment, making it possible to immediately find and start repairing the equipment.

At the same time, an expert on the product is alerted in this group that there’s a fix underway, and stands by in the event he or she is needed to consult. In fact, the tech cannot immediately resolve the issue, so connects with the expert in seconds. The expert starts to screen share and show a visual of how to fix the system, which the tech follows, and within a very short period of time – problem solved.

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Meantime, the account manager is watching all this transpire from his mobile device, while at the airport, waiting to board a plane to call on another customer, and is given the heads up that the problem was identified, resolved, and done without the Company A even knowing there was a problem.

This is just one example of how Ubiquitous, embedded communications, baked into workflow, will fundamentally improve the way work gets done and problems get resolved. Keep in mind, too, that all the data from this “transaction” has been captured and made part of the data that can be analyzed to improve the product and process moving forward.

Nobody had to make a phone call.

The problem was surfaced and resolved without dialing a number; instead, work teams were connected via the communications cloud and supported with very practical, intuitive collaboration.

This is an “inside out” world, a disruption to clunky processes laden with cost and complexity, replaced with better business process enhanced with the ability to “reach a human” in an instant, not minutes, not hours, not days.

We saw this coming five years ago when GENBAND began investing in WebRTC (a standard and protocol which makes it possible for people to communicate via browsers and mobile apps without having to “dial a phone number”) – and four years ago we began to build Kandy, a platform purpose built for Ubiquitous Communications. Today, Kandy makes it possible to make magic happen, embedding RTC using APIs and delivering high quality communications that bridges the web and the PSTN with software.

While we also provide the best Unified Communications-as-a-Service platform on the market, which large Communications Service Providers (CSPs) appreciate since they are white labeling this platform as their own, we never stop listening to our customers and their customers – large global enterprises – pushing ourselves, investing in R&D that continues to improve the way people (and machines) communicate.

Of course, it’s awesome to enable voice, messaging, video and collaboration to flow regardless of the device or desktop, and we’ve been creating a ton of value in that arena.

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But we continue to believe that “beyond unified” there is “ubiquity” and that embedding everywhere – whether in apps, or autonomous vehicles, whether in distance learning or global trading, whether in field service applications like the one described above (which we co-created with SAP),  whether in precision farming or precision healthcare – is where the Exchange of Everything will become even more exciting.

GENBAND has been recognized as a “disrupter” for years, including by CNBC. We’ve disrupted the way networks work, as a leader in NFV and SDN. We’ve made it possible for networks to be transformed to digital highways, paving the way for digital transformation, for CSPs and the enterprises and organizations they serve.

Ubiquitous Communications, over the cloud, is the natural evolution of Ubiquitous Computing (or "ubicomp"). In fact, we could simply call it “Ubicom for Ucicomp” – mirroring the proven software engineering and computer science precedent, where computing can appear anytime and everywhere.

As is the case with Ubicomp, the underlying technologies required to support Ubicomp include the public Internet, private networks, advanced middleware, operating systems, mobile applications, sensors, microprocessors, intuitive user interfaces, standards, protocols, and more.

It’s the Exchange of Everything, Everywhere, and it’s embedded. It’s ambient intelligence, enhanced with always-on, ambient communications and it’s the future of distributed, mobile computing, location-based, contextually-aware, sensor-based, automated and artificial intelligence enhanced interaction.

We’re well beyond proof-of-concept, and in the realm now of scaling Ubiquitous Communications, following on the rise of cloud, virtualization and the inevitability of the long-term evolution which has now, for certain, arrived.

Networks? Transformed.

Services? Transforming.

Success? The real focus.

We invite you to experience Kandy’s Ubiquitous Communications services on steroids, and learn about the many use cases where we are fueling, which include some of the largest workflow deployments in the world.

Disrupt or be disrupted. Digitally disrupt by embedding RTC for better experiences, and thrive.

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