Embedded M2M Solutions Week in Review: Blossom, Google, Silent Herdsmen

November 22, 2014


The holidays are inching closer and the rush to prep for Turkey Day has not hindered news in the Embedded M2M Solutions Community one bit. It appears to be that time, that’s right; time for the week in review!

A recent study outlined some of the technologies set to really stir things up. Machine learning and device-to-device communication both made ABI Research’s list with another notable piece of the M2M space earning mention, LTE (News - Alert)-Advanced for the likelihood of an effect on the space. Read Steve Anderson’s full analysis here.

TMC’s (News - Alert) Steve Anderson reported an innovative way to ensure one’s plants are watered. Blossom’s smart watering system brings IoT power to lawn care by syncing with various weather services and through a smartphone app, the connected device makes watering the plants as easy as set and forget. It ensures plants are watered when they need it and at the optimum time.

Google (News - Alert) has entered the realm of the connected car. In June, it announced Android Auto with the intent to create better driving behaviors. Aside from controlling infotainement as well as text messaging it features voice driven navigation.  This week, Google released a new set of APIs—the first for Android (News - Alert) Auto—and plans on letting third party developers jump into the fray and add to Android Auto’s growing functionality.

To wrap up the week we travel to the other side of ‘the pond,’ Scotland to be exact where an interesting startup is changing the face of farming as we know it. This week, Silent Herdsmen released mySilent Herdsman, an app that through a connected collar allows farmers to monitor their herd’s health. It observes and reports if a cow is ill, pregnant or ready to be milked, for example. It then takes the data and through predictive analytics is able to aid farmers in more efficiently managing their herds.

From farmlands to your backyard M2M technology is just beginning. Only time will tell what we see this next, so check back with the Embedded M2M Solutions Community to stay in the know. See you next week!

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IoT Connectivity Solutions Week in Review: Airbiquity, Libelium and SanDisk

IoT Connectivity Solutions Week in Review: Airbiquity, Libelium and SanDisk

November 22, 2014

Growing in functionality and popularity, the IoT is only in the beginning stages of development as many innovate to get in on the action and in doing, ensure the projections come true. The IoT Connectivity Solutions Community experienced a flurry of action this week, so sit back and relax; yes it’s that time again, time for the week in review!

Early in the week, we saw Airbiquity give visitors to Telematics Munich a front row seat to its new connected user experience. The new telematics package is aimed at improving three key areas: driver assistance, driver efficiency and driver experience. Read the whole report here to see how Airbiquity is attempting to make distracted driving a thing of the past.

TMC’s Michael Guta reported on Libelium adding Telefonica cloud solutions to its Waspmote wireless sensor platform. With Cisco projecting the IoT to reach 50 billion connected devices by 2020, and a majority of these connections are forecasted for city infrastructure, Libelium is honing in on the smart cities space. Libeliums connectivity solutions can be used in various industries but the original aim is for system integrators, engineering and consultancy companies to be able to bring products and services to market faster.

SanDisk invested in the future of connected devices this week. The venture capital wing of SanDisk, SanDisk Ventures chose to invest in chipset developer Altiar. The exact amount is unclear, but it is public knowledge that SanDisk Ventures has $75 million it is prepared to invest in furthering the flash-based storage solutions.

We have all heard the eye-popping numbers associated with the IoT, billions of connections and trillions of dollars of revenue but where will this occur? To many, a connected future is a foreign concept, so to offer some illustration one should look at some of the key industries experiencing disruption. These include manufacturing, medicine and retail. Read the full analysis here.

The IoT Connectivity Solutions Community is a hub of all things IoT so stop by to stay up to date on all the happenings in the space. The weather may be cooling, but it is really heating up in the IoT. See you next week!

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Call Recording Week in Review: OAISYS, Twilio, LiveVox and More

Just because the holiday season is right around the corner doesn’t mean companies are slowing the pace on call recording innovations. The call recording industry has seen another very active week, so let’s take a moment to look back on some of the week’s highlights.

Call recording in the contact center is essential, not just for regulatory compliance and quality assurance, but for agent training and evaluation as well. This week, Indian IT company Ecosmob announced the global availability of its new contact center software for enterprises of all sizes. Among its many enhanced features, the new solution includes advanced Automatic Call Distribution (ACD), callback, multi-level Interactive Voice Response (IVR), configurable call scripts and messages, answering machine detection, call monitoring and voice logging, whispering and barging, progressive dialing and real-time and standard reports.

Another big name in the contact center world, OAISYS, was involved in a new and improved call recording solution announced this week that is sure to make waves. EarthBend unveiled version 8.1 of its OAISYS line of call recording tools. The new version promises to bring greater power to call recording operations, as well as to contact center management in general. The new version of OAISYS offers a boost to the Talkument Navigator user interface, as well as integration enhancements for Microsoft Active Directory, and even specific optimizations for those who are using OAISYS alongside ShoreTel systems.

Also this week, software and cloud-based communications platform provider Twilio announced the launch of its Elastic SIP Trunking to give enterprises more flexibility with their communications solutions by using the power of the cloud. Included in its new offerings will be augmented call monitoring technology for businesses and contact centers. By using the cloud, the company is able to deliver a globally-resilient SIP Trunking service with unlimited capacity.

Contact centers handle all sort of private information like customer addresses and credit card numbers, and therefore it is vital for businesses to keep that data secure. LiveVox, a cloud contact center solutions provider, opened a new data center in Toronto this week, which will give Canadian clients greater access to the company’s suite of security features—such as ACD, predictive dialing, IVR call recording, business analytics and compliance. With the new center, LiveVox intends to better serve Canadian-focused organizations and provide them better data and user protection within the country.

Gryphon Networks, meanwhile, announced a new call recording system to help financial institutions and debt collectors better meet compliance regulations. The Gryphon Core Phone for Consumer Debt Collection gives these companies a relatively simple way to meet the requirements set forth by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), which in turn sets for the rules of the game as far as consumer debt collection services go.

There is plenty more call recording news where that came from, so be sure to check back here regularly for all the latest happenings in the space. 

Cloud Call Center Week in Review: Genesys, Verint Systems, SAP, Contact Centers Company, T-Mobile

November 22, 2014

Contributing Writer

A contributor to Cloud Contact Center discussed this week the importance of knowing customers' expectations. Rory Thompson, TMC's Web editor, discussed a Genesys webinar that provided some details about the ever-evolving contact center market. The webinar showed that a majority of call centers support voice, email, Web chat, and social channels and that a much smaller percentage use SMS and video. All those modalities combine to show that customers demand each channel and that businesses must respond by providing those channels or else they could be left behind.

The overall point here is the call centers must be aware of their customers' intentions to make sure they respond in appropriate ways. However, there is more than simply providing contact channels; data collection is also important. The intelligent call routing software from Verint Systems called Kana Enterprise makes sure that the correct call center agents attend to the situations they are best able to handle. The software uses analytics to determine the nature of calls and screen potential agents based on their past interactions with customers. This workforce optimization can make call centers more efficient and keep customers out of long waiting queues.

SAP is also working on the analytics side of the equation by developing its SAP Customer Engagement Intelligence Solution that combines SAP enterprise customer data with customers' buying behavior. The platform is geared toward the improvement of advertising and should make its way into social media platforms such as Facebook where consumers spend a lot of their time and, therefore, where ads can be most effective.

One other company that appears to have a clear vision of its future is Contact Centers Company (CCC), a subsidiary of the Saudi Telecom Company that operates in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. CCC recently announced that it has opened up a call center that contains an all-female staff, targeting the underrepresented female population in the country. The call center in the city of Riyadh addresses lifecycle management concerns for female customers. It currently has 134 employees and intends to expand by about 200 to 250 positions within the next year.

Lastly, heading back to the U.S., TMC reported on the state of a call center job fair that recently took place in Salem, Oregon. The T-Mobile job fair saw a reported 150 people in attendance vying for 75 openings at a call center in Salem. The fair, TMC notes, has become an annual event for the global telecom. It has seen people lined up out the door at these events. This year, T-Mobile reportedly offered jobs to 20 people on the spot and intends to offer several more positions to applicants in the coming weeks.

Call Center Services Week in Review: HHS, APAC, and PaidSupport are in the News

The call center industry had a good week, what with the second round of sign-ups for the Affordable Care Act, and all the calls that go along with that. We have some of the week’s highlights.

The Department of Health and Human Services said that more than one million people had visited healthcare.gov as of November 17 and its call center handled more than 200,000 calls over the weekend. In order to get people on the health insurance rolls, there were hundreds of different enrollment events around the country. These events were held at public places where people were allowed to go and browse the healthcare exchange website and make a purchase if they felt they were ready to pull the trigger. “The first 48 hours went very smoothly,” Lisa Rubino, a senior vice president at Molina Healthcare who oversees the company’s exchange business, told Modern Healthcare. “We didn’t see many of the glitches we saw last year,” she said.

Overseas, a recent report on the Asia-Pacific Contact Center Applications Market found that in terms of employment and revenue numbers, the contact center industry in the Asia-Pacific (APAC) region has been pretty strong. There was growth in the number of contact center seats, and revenues are expected to grow the next few years. The APAC contact center applications market earned revenue of $676 million in 2013 and is expected to earn $1.1 billion in 2020, a CAGR of 7.2 percent.

Closer to home, a company called PaidSupport has announced it has revamped its website to allow its customers to make money from their customer support departments. “With a marketplace that is getting more crowded by the day, customer service is the one area that businesses can set themselves apart,” PaidSupport founder and CEO Michael Szerencsy said. “With billions being spent annually on customer service, it is time to turn the tables and start offering, and making money, on the service options that your customers want and are willing to pay for."

As there is news happening constantly, be sure to check back often for the latest updates.

Real-Time Communications Week in Review: Aspect Software, GENBAND, HP

Real-Time Communications Week in Review: Aspect Software, GENBAND, HP

November 22, 2014

It's been another week of major developments and huge news coming out around the field of real-time communications. Constant growth in the sector has ensured that there's been no shortage of news to discuss, and that poses a problem for many, specifically, how to determine how all these advances fit together into a coherent whole that can prove valuable for enterprise users? With a weekend now at hand, it's a great time to take a closer look at how this all fits together, which is just what we'll do with our Week in Review coverage!

First, GENBAND's Web-based real time communications (WebRTC) evangelist, Chris Vitek, offered up a look at the future of real-time communications, particularly as seen through the lens of GENBAND's own developments in the field. GENBAND's array of real-time communications services, ranging from cloud-ready EXPERiUS to the browser-based GENCom, offers up a variety of new tools for putting real-time communications to work from the developer to the end user.

Next, we got a look at Aspect Software's move to bring in early adopters for its own WebRTC-based platform, the Aspect RTC Platform. Aspect RTC can be put to work in a cloud-based model, as part of an on-premises licensed solution, or as a hybrid model of the two. Under the early adopter plan's provisions, users will focus on embedded audio-only uses, or on audio and video conversations using the Web or mobile apps, and other features will come into play as well.

GENBAND's Kandy made the next piece of news happen, as the software drove a recent all-nighter event for the New Jersey Institute of Technology (NJIT). The NJIT event brought in students to compete for a variety of prizes—cash, tablets, even remote-controlled drones—as students worked on the best way to put Kandy to use in a 24 hour period. One of the winners was “Heliograph,” an app that allowed a driver having car trouble to send a wide-scale distress call to area tow truck drivers.

Then HP stepped in with the next bit of news, noting that partnerships were key in supporting telecommunications firms' move to network functions virtualization (NFV). While there have been some major advances of late in the NFV field, it's still much more than a matter of just buying the right software and throwing it on an x86 server. Given HP's leadership in the x86 server space those words had particular weight, but HP's recent partnership with GENBAND drove the point home.

Finally, we had a look at the Web browser in general, and wondered if, indeed, the Web browser was on borrowed time. For mobile, this may prove to be the case as new reports suggest that users spend 86 percent of time on native apps as opposed to just 14 percent on the Web itself. There are still a great many uses for the Web—just consider the desktop market—but with more users turning to mobile devices, it may well be only a matter of time.

That was the week that was in real-time communications, and it was clear there was a lot to handle this week. With advances on several fronts and a major trade show concluded, there was certainly no shortage of events. Our global online community was right in the thick of it, bringing back all the latest news for us to consider. So be sure to join us back here next week for all the latest, and every weekend as well for our Week in Review coverage!

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