For many, the Internet of Things(IoT) within a Contact Center context remains a bit of a mystery. Just how is “everything connected to everything else” – and what does this have to do with Contact Centers or Unified Communications? This article explores the uses of IoT with some real-world scenarios;

Within Healthcare; a patient with sleep apnea uses an overnight ventilator at their home, connected via a SIM card. The onboard computer regularly reports on monitoring, usage, and equipment status via a data stream. Polysomnography takes place remotely via a network of supporting physicians, who can study the equipment outputs and make recommendations to both the patient – and the use of the ventilation equipment. In real-world terms, this is not only using IoT in innovative ways – but it is also saving lives. If the equipment detects irregular heartbeats or – in the worst-case scenario – heart failure – a series of automated instructions ensures that both emergency services and immediate healthcare is invoked. A Contact Center supports these cases through automation of tasks – and by coordinating the efforts of the medical experts – through availability, location, expertise, and proximity to the patient.

In another scenario for building security; break-in and proximity alarms are an excellent example of IoT in Facilities Management. Like the previous example, security equipment not only works as a deterrent but can also trigger events, actions, and reactions in real-time. With remote video equipment, a media stream can be automatically monitored by Contact Center operatives. Movement and break-in alarms can also trigger notifications to security services, local police, and other authorities.

With the right solutions in place, the routing engine which serves as a standard (voice) channel in a Contact Center is the perfect automation tool for IoT scenarios such as these. With IoT becoming more and more widespread, it’s easy to see how a Contact Center can become the core of what will be known as the Command Center of the future.