What does a Smart City look like? We’re defining it with a new partner

The city of the future is a Smart City, emboldened by technology that folds in government, industry, and consumers. For this to happen, it needs a strong foundation—an infrastructure that can withstand heavy traffic, particularly during times of crisis.

At Avaya, we’re partnering with 22 Capital Partners to prototype the Smart City platform in the Gramercy District in the Washington, D.C. area. 22 Capital Partners approached us as they were looking for a partner with distinctive technical knowledge. Specifically, they wanted automation capabilities for the infrastructure to make it easier to deploy and manage. We’ve already been working on Smart City projects with our customers, such as the City of Taylor, Michigan, which has laid the groundwork for a Smart City Platform.

Now, with 22 Capital Partners, we’re taking it a step further.

The right foundation means a stronger city

Our building blocks for the Smart City are similar: we want to pull together public safety, smart healthcare, smart education, smart retail, and smart banking and make it accessible to citizens. The key to our partnership is that we are so closely aligned to build this next-generation infrastructure foundation to evolve and deliver best-in-class services. It’s a lot like the literal foundation for the city of Dubai: Dubai is built on sand. Without the proper foundation, it would not still be standing. But with the proper foundation, they’ve built a world-class city with skyscrapers—and the world’s tallest skyscraper to boot.

It’s the same with the Smart City of the Gramercy District, taking a creative approach to building a foundation with infrastructure. This will allow for a more secure infrastructure, mitigating cybersecurity threats and gaining agility while lowering capital and operating expenses. Communications and networking infrastructure need to be automated to simplify deployment, particularly as the Smart City expands to include all the consumer devices that will connect wearables and IoT applications, including smart appliances.

To build the Smart City foundation that 22 Capital Partners and Avaya have envisioned, we’ve rolled in Avaya’s Software-Defined Network (SDN-Fx) technology, Contact Center, Unified Communications, Customer Engagement and Avaya Breeze™ software solutions. 22 Capital Partners’ Smart City Platform, 22 CityLink, uses our foundation to keep pace with the demand for mobile, social, and cloud-based services within the Smart City, from citizens, the government, and industry alike.

The future of the Smart City means convenience—and safety

As we continue to move forward with the Smart City platform, the goal is to provide a consistently good experience for users with a holistic approach to turnkey virtual networks and applications. At Avaya, we have the ability to deliver across various verticals and provide the opportunity to implement smart buildings, allowing consumers to experience it live, not just as a demo or prototype. That’s what the Gramercy District is doing: going live to allow all who are working, living, shopping, and playing within the Smart City to experience its power firsthand.

And it’s not just for play. The Smart City of the future can have life-saving implications. For example, in a crisis situation such as an auto accident, it can integrate a 911 call with other components, like electronic road signs to warn of hazards and SMS alerts to citizens. It can gain control over city cameras to feed data to the emergency response team—or even allow the caller to cede control over their phone camera to provide a video feed. The outcome of this is a safer city: when you dial the emergency number, the smart device provides the exact location to first responders. Meanwhile, the dispatch center can push video on how to perform CPR, for example. It brings systems together for the safety of citizens and uses the power of analytics to suggest alternate routes to travelers who have installed the application, using an API from a mapping application.

Ultimately, it will provide a completely different digital experience than what consumers are getting today. Whether it’s for play, work, living, or an emergency situation, the Smart City of the future will attend to citizens’ needs while ensuring their information is secure and providing uptime that means they can use the applications regardless of what is happening around them.

For that, we’re excited to see what 22 Capital Partners will build on the foundation of Avaya networks.