Welcome to Part II of a multi part blog series on the Internet of Things (IoT)!
The internet of things is here to stay. Convergence of ordinary objects with internet protocol technology all but ensures this fabric of connectivity will be a future fixture of everyday life.
One other technology that has made itself ubiquitous in the telecom industry is voice over internet protocol (VoIP). In the late 90’s, a shift began. Bulky, expensive, difficult to manage phone systems began to slowly be replaced by VoIP technology. Businesses could take advantage of VoIP to grow more cost effectively. System management became simpler, no longer necessarily requiring a phone-specific administrator. The convergence also allowed for a simplified, single network.
As IoT grows, the following question is becoming more common: How do these two technologies integrate and what does it mean for business?
Today, unified VoIP communications allows users a vast array of functionality. Mobile convergence, calendar integration, and voicemail to e-mail are all common features today. What additional functions might be possible with IoT? Imagine the following scenarios:
· A user is running late for work. His / her connected car alerts the VoIP phone system that a conference call scheduled on the embedded bridge will need to be pushed back to account for the delay. An updated invite is sent out to participants.
· An outbound sales rep is paid on the number of outbound calls made per week. The VoIP system totals the number of calls per week and sends the reports to the company accounting software, ensuring the rep is paid for the correct number of calls.
· A refrigerator takes an inventory of all its current items. The connected appliance then sends a list to a shopper’s phone informing him or her what exactly is needed from the grocery store.
In reality, these features are likely a decade away from real world deployment. IoT systems were in place as early as 1982, but the underlying infrastructure could net yet support it. As IoT technology develops, a clearer picture will evolve of how phone systems will integrate. End user requirements will ultimately drive the functionality piece of the puzzle.