Student Hackers Take Avaya Aura Developer Platform To New Heights With Elevator Hack

A few weeks ago we gave you a sneak peek of a hackathon happening at Michigan State University that would be using our Avaya Aura Collaboration Environment. At the time, we were hopeful that one of the teams would choose to build an Avaya CE-powered app. We’re happy to report that one of the hackathon’s nine teams did, using our middleware to build software to improve on-campus elevator services.

Normally, students or staff who get stuck in an elevator on campus would pick up the phone inside the car to call a third-party answering service, which would re-route the call to the on-campus emergency contact center. That was expensive and slow.

Taking the Avaya Aura Collaboration Environment, the team – made up of Nick Kwiatkowski, Elizabeth Henderson, Troy Murray, and two students – came up with a solution that would bypass the third-party service, routing calls directly to the on-campus contact center. Using Avaya Aura CE’s capabilities, the team only had to write 100 lines of code to accomplish this.

“This service allows us to consolidate and save money – and use the existing Avaya services we already were using,” Kwiatkowski said in an email interview.

Other than the learning curve for one of the programming tools, the team described the hacking process as easy, as several people on their team were already proficient in Java.

Avaya Aura CE was “a lot easier to use than we expected,” Kwiatkowski wrote. “Coming from the Java world, we know how tough it can be (and in our previous experience using the TSAPI and DMCC APIs). This was a walk in the park. We are really excited to how this product continues to evolve and add additional features as time goes on.”

The team’s hack is now in its final stages of testing. Once ready, an Avaya number will be installed on all elevator phones and officially deployed around campus. Afterward, the team plans to make the code available on the Github open-source repository under an Apache license.

When asked whether they had other ideas for using the Avaya Aura CE, Kwiatkowski said,  “Lots. (We) just need more time to play with them.”

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