Steve ForcumApril 03, 2019

Digital Mixology – Chapter II – A More Reactive Enterprise with IoT

In our last Digital Mixology session, we learned how Artificial Intelligence creates super-powered agents. Smarter businesses use AI to predict why customers are calling, bring solutions to the surface in real time, and deliver incredible business value. What if the non-human elements of your business could also be imbued with a sixth sense? Infrastructure that can instantly react to changing conditions is exactly what our recipe for digital transformation calls for and the ingredient required is the Internet of Things.

A variety of sensors coupled with connectivity embedded in just about every device sold today means infrastructure has the ability to detect and report changes in temperature, motion, noise, the presence of water, or any other stimulus. This omnipresent monitoring increases the speed of response and recovery. In fact, I’ll start today’s tutorial with a true story that illustrates how I’ve used the Internet of Things in my home.

A Nerd Parent is a Better Parent

It should be no surprise that I love gadgets and technology. Throughout my home, I have installed Amazon Echo smart speakers, Phillips Hue smart lighting, and Samsung SmartThings home automation. Why did I install all of this technology you may ask?

I made the decision to make my home smarter after a really bad storm which resulted in over 4 inches of standing water in our basement. It rained like cats and dogs overnight and instead of going downstairs to turn on our sump-pump, thus avoiding a preventable disaster, we slept through the storm. Thousands of dollars in damage and the irreplaceable loss of countless family memories drove me to take action. To ensure this never would happen again I installed a series of moisture detection sensors throughout the house. If water was detected by a sensor a newly installed smart valve would instantly shut off the water line into our home, all of the lighting in the house would turn blue, and I received a phone call to wake me up or notify me if I wasn’t home.

This, however, is not the most creative use of IOT in my home. Would you believe that IOT helped me be a better parent?

While mixing a cocktail one evening, I discovered that sometime over the past couple of weeks someone had consumed all of my good rum and replaced it with water. After identifying “persons of interest” in the theft, i.e. my son and his friends, I became determined to ensure this did not happen again. I installed a sensor on the cabinet door which when opened turned the lights in the kitchen red and sent me an SMS notification. Proud of my nerd Dad skill, I demonstrated this new solution to my son.

How did this solution work out? A week later as my wife and I were at eating dinner at a local restaurant my phone blew up. My son, having discovered the Achilles Heel in my technology, was in the kitchen repeatedly opening and closing the liquor cabinet door. Smart kid. Adjustments were made.

Response to changing conditions is not just something that benefits a parent or a homeowner. Businesses are acutely aware of the cost of downtime. One of my customers, a regional casino, shared with me their downtime estimate to be roughly ~$1,000,000 of revenue lost per hour of downtime. That is certainly a flashing light scenario.

See Something, Say Something?

When conditions change in your organization a high-pressure race begins to recognize, react, and respond, and ultimately recover.

Before businesses can react to a change in the environment, the issue must first be reported. The time spent in the recognition cycle is generally where the largest amount of revenue is lost during an outage because most businesses struggle just to recognize that something has changed in their environment. Moving from recognition to reaction requires human intervention, and users frequently do not report a change – because well, we’re only human. Human nature leads us to avoid involvement at all costs. Typically users will go to great lengths to avoid getting involved, opening tickets, acting as a point of contact for something outside of their normal responsibilities, etc. How does your business eliminate the dependency on human nature and develop a sixth sense?

The answer is technology, specifically IOT sensors. Unlike humans, when a sensor detects a change that breaks pre-programmed guidelines, it reacts immediately. This continuous monitoring and instantaneous response can close the recognition window almost immediately.

Avaya, as the leading provider of Unified Communications and Contact Center solutions, does not manufacture IOT sensors. In a previous post, you learned how Avaya is partnering with the best and brightest to deliver solutions with the A.I.Connect program. The A.I.Connect program is the key to delivering this ingredient in our Digital Transformation recipes. Our friends at Arrow Electronics have created an IOT platform named “Arrow Connect.” Arrow Connect sensors, which are smaller than a pack of chewing gum, can be installed in your environment to monitor changes in:

  • Motion
  • Object Orientation
  • Temperature
  • UV Lighting
  • Sound (decibel levels)
  • And much, much more

As a member of the A.I. Connect family, the Arrow Connect IOT platform is fully tested and certified to work with your Avaya solutions.

While moving through the recognition phase of the recovery cycle faster is crucial, that improvement alone does not help close the lost revenue spigot. To close the spigot you must also address the reaction phase of the recovery cycle.

Your Organization’s Sixth Sense

Today’s enterprise depends on humans for both the recognition and reaction phase of the recovery cycle. While detecting an outage is slow, often times the reaction phase is slower. Sensors can imbue your enterprise with a sixth sense, but Avaya Breeze is another key ingredient in our recipes for digital transformation. Avaya Breeze rapidly reacts to the reported stimulus by gathering the right resources and automating tedious processes to deliver true value and stop the revenue loss bleeding.

Just as a conductor directs the various sections of and orchestra on when, how loud, and how quickly to play their instruments, Avaya Breeze conducts the orchestra of your enterprise. In the enterprise orchestra, sections of instruments are replaced by infrastructure, applications, data and communications groups. Instead of reading sheet music, Avaya Breeze uses pre-defined workflows to instruct the enterprise orchestra to react to these changes. An event, such as the temperature rising in a commercial refrigerator, triggers Avaya Breeze to marshal resources which may include opening a ticket in your CRM, dipping into a knowledge base of articles for potential solutions, and assembling the right staff to react to this issue on an audio and video conference bridge.

If your enterprise communications solution is missing a few functions such as conferencing or text messaging, you have a choice. You could build more infrastructure to add the necessary functionality or harness the power of Avaya OneCloud. Avaya OneCloud CPaaS enables you to add specific features and functionality without the need to build infrastructure for limited use functionality such as SMS, IVR, or proactive conferencing. Businesses that use Avaya OneCloud CPaaS find increases in speed of deployment, lower cost of ownership with consumption-based pricing, and simplicity in ongoing innovation.

Eliminating the shortcomings of human nature from recognizing and reacting to changes in your enterprise is crucial to digital transformation. Automating reaction processes to gather resources and streamline tedious tasks delivers true value to your organization, and harnessing the power of the cloud to add functionality to your on-premise communications solution closes the lost revenue spigot faster than ever before.

Want to learn more about Arrow Connect, Avaya Breeze, or Avaya OneCloud CPaaS? Visit our website or contact your local business partner.


Steve Forcum

Steve Forcum, an Avaya sales engineer, can explain complex technology in simple terms. Forcum is a trusted advisor to many of the largest businesses in New England and beyond. He has developed a platform of engagement, interacting with customers, partners, and other followers on all forms of social media.

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