Samsung Installs Unified Voice, Data Platform, Hospitality TV in Ambassadors Bloomsbury Hotel

Samsung Installs Unified Voice, Data Platform, Hospitality TV in Ambassadors Bloomsbury Hotel

April 14, 2015

The Ambassadors Bloomsbury hotel in London has announced that it has installed Samsung’s unified voice and data platform as well as Samsung Hospitality TVs, according to Travel Daily News.

“Connectivity is a major part of our everyday lives, so it is important that when people arrive at any hotel that they are able to get the best experience possible. Our offering was a great match for what Ambassadors Bloomsbury wanted to do, so it is great to be able to help the hotel with its upgrade projects, and supply guests and staff with a fantastic experience,” Graham Long, vice president of the enterprise team at Samsung Electronics U.K. and Ireland, said.

The new system replaces an old PBX system, DECT radio and Wi-Fi network with a new system that offers integrated voice and data connectivity as well as Wi-Fi. Samsung also installed a new multi-function printer to support the hotel’s back office operations.

Using the new TVs, guests can order room service, view information about the hotel, check messages and pay their bills through a friendly user interface. It’s also possible to contact hotel staff on any device, anywhere in the building with a single number using Voice over Wi-Fi.

The hotel chose the system to improve their staff-to-guest communications while saving money on infrastructure costs. Even the management has been surprised by how well the new system works.

“Upgrading our systems has made me realize how poor our service was previously. Our Wi-Fi service for our customers and staff is now accessible everywhere and integration of mobiles into the system has given us a much better and lower cost method of communication with staff wherever they are,” Ambassadors Bloomsbury general manager Francisco Venture said. “This will result in better customer service.”

The new system shows how VoIP and UC can be tailored to specialist markets, such as in the hospitality industry.

Edited by Dominick Sorrentino

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Healthcare Provider Utilizes Cloud Call Center to Scale Up as Needed

As any human resources professional will attest, making sure everyone is signed up, on time, for company benefits is a lot like herding cats: it can be done, but it involves a lot of chasing down the strays. Add in the fact that just about everyone in America has to call in and make some sort of healthcare benefit decision every December, and you’ve got the makings of a potential disaster on your hands.

That might explain why a national healthcare benefits provider is moving 100 contact center agents from its premise-based call center system to the cloud. And the company helping make that seamless and smooth transition is cloud call center leader inContact.

According to a company release, “The flexibility of the cloud will deliver capacity to grow and the ability to scale up and down to meet the seasonal needs of the business.”

This healthcare service provider – which was not named, according to inContact company protocols – currently covers millions of members across the U.S. and is adding new members, while also supporting a broad spectrum of healthcare providers and insurance companies.

“Their current Automatic Call Distribution (ACD) system is time-consuming to manage and difficult to adjust for seasonal demand,” inContact noted. “The inContact cloud contact center solution offers an adaptable, easily scalable solution plus full multi-channel capabilities, giving members more choices and direct involvement in their benefits plans.”

Given the way healthcare is greatly expanding, the move makes total sense.

"The healthcare industry is constantly changing and we're able to help companies adapt and continue to grow," said Paul Jarman, CEO of inContact. "It's vital for organizations to have a flexible and scalable system to help deliver the most seamless and personalized service experience for the millions of members, providers and payers that they support, even as they grow." 

The complete inContact solution includes cloud ACD and IVR, CRM integration, Uptivity Quality Monitoring and network connectivity.

Edited by Dominick Sorrentino

PerfectServe Synchrony Could Bring New Levels of Communication to Healthcare

The communication technology available in today’s marketplace has removed the complexities of information flow by integrating many different products and services into comprehensive platforms. In the healthcare industry, where timely and efficient communication is absolutely essential, legacy systems have been responsible for impeding workflow, which has resulted in limiting the full potential of healthcare providers. A great example of this is the clinical communication processes that take multiple steps just to get in touch with physicians. A new solution introduced by PerfectServe, provider of health care’s only comprehensive and secure communications and collaboration platform, looks to facilitate the timely interaction between physicians, nurses and other care team members across the continuum.

PerfectServe Synchrony is an advanced communications and collaboration platform capable of delivering instant access to the right resources to coordinate care and immediately address patient needs throughout an organization. With healthcare professionals working at many different facilities as well as their own private practice, knowing where they are at all times and bringing together the entire patient care team as quickly as possible is a big differentiator.

Synchrony is able to identify and get in touch with the right patient care team member whenever a particular patient needs urgent care. This will eliminate the clinical communication challenges organizations face with existing platforms. In the past, time-consuming calls, callbacks and secondhand messages resulted in endless wait time before physicians were contacted. This platform has multiple modes of communication, including secure texting, email, voice mails and mobile applications for video and photo sharing.

It takes advantage of current mobile technology with a new app for physicians, nurses and other members of the team with tools for remote consults (including secure video) that can bring in the patient in the communication stream.

Some of the features and benefits PerfectServe Synchrony will provide include:

  • Automatically identifies and provides immediate access to the right care team members,   
  • Eliminates time wasted due to searching, waiting and repeated call attempts,
  • Reduces patient care delays,
  • Customized routing based on workgroup protocols, including role, call schedule and individual preferences            ,
  • Allows users to create personal algorithms based on where, when and how they work,
  • Delivers pertinent information by the preferred contact method, and
  • Allows care team members to execute schedule changes in real time via smartphone or web.

According to the company, MemorialCare Health System in Southern California will be its anchor client, which will help in further developing this technology with new capabilities as well as being the first to launch PerfectServe Synchrony later this year. This will be a great test bed for the technology, because MemorialCare has more than 200 care sites, and bringing all of these facilities and its employees under one communications system will prove the effectiveness of the platform.

As Scott Joslyn, Chief Information Officer of MemorialCare Health System, said “having one holistic communications platform across our highly integrated health care system helps us connect all members of the patient care team quickly, regardless of location.”

The company is going to make PerfectServe Synchrony for acute care nurses and other care team members available for pre-release in the third quarter of 2015, with general availability by the end of the year.

Edited by Dominick Sorrentino


ACD Offering Helps inContact Win New Client

April 14, 2015

As any human resources professional will attest, making sure everyone is signed up, on time, for company benefits is a lot like herding cats: it can be done, but it involves a lot of chasing down the strays. Add in the fact that just about everyone in America has to call in and make some sort of healthcare benefit decision every December, and you’ve got the makings of a potential disaster on your hands.

That might explain why a national healthcare benefits provider is moving 100 contact center agents from its premise-based call center system to the cloud. And the company helping make that seamless and smooth transition is cloud call center leader inContact.

According to a company release, “The flexibility of the cloud will deliver capacity to grow and the ability to scale up and down to meet the seasonal needs of the business.”

This healthcare service provider – which was not named, according to inContact company protocols -- currently covers millions of members across the U.S. and is adding new members, while also supporting a broad spectrum of healthcare providers and insurance companies.

“Their current Automatic Call Distribution (ACD) system is time-consuming to manage and difficult to adjust for seasonal demand,” inContact noted. “The inContact cloud contact center solution offers an adaptable, easily scalable solution plus full multi-channel capabilities, giving members more choices and direct involvement in their benefits plans.”

Given the way healthcare is greatly expanding, the move makes total sense.

"The healthcare industry is constantly changing and we're able to help companies adapt and continue to grow," said Paul Jarman, CEO of inContact. "It's vital for organizations to have a flexible and scalable system to help deliver the most seamless and personalized service experience for the millions of members, providers and payers that they support, even as they grow." 

The complete inContact solution includes cloud ACD and IVR, CRM integration, Uptivity Quality Monitoring and network connectivity.

Smart Auto Takes Step Forward with Consumer-Controlled Diagnostics

SK Telecom in Seoul, South Korea on April 13 released a new M2M smart car solution to regulate and monitor a car’s onboard computer and sensors with a mobile app and smart transmitter, called the Smart Auto Scan.

The device plugs into the computer’s diagnostics port and provides detailed information about how the car is operating, what maintenance might be needed and what is working well. Specifically, it includes 157 different codes for ways that the car can break down, 51 types of driving record, and 19 types of sensor information. It also has recorded vehicle condition monitoring, eco-index, and black box software, using T-map traffic information and an eco-mode that can provide a real-time fuel efficiency ranking.

The Smart Auto Scan feature consists of an exclusive scanner and mobile application set. The driver can easily use it once he or she sets up the scanner on the On-board Diagnostics (OBD2) port, and downloads the application. The scanner can be set up in gasoline and diesel vehicles with OBD2.

This is a simple application of existing diagnostics hardware built into all cars now in order to make service easier by having the on-board computer monitor all the car’s systems. By tapping into that system and making it available to consumers via web app, SK Telecom has taken a big step toward getting cars connected to the grid, and, eventually, to each other. One car will be able to tell another one is about to have a mechanical failure and take appropriate defensive action.

A pretty sweet setup, and just reinforces the nation’s dedication to leading the world in M2M technology development. 

Edited by Dominick Sorrentino

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New IDC Research Fellow to Focus on IoT

New IDC Research Fellow to Focus on IoT

April 13, 2015

International Data Corporation (IDC) announced today that Vernon Turner has been appointed to the newly created role of IDC Research Fellow focusing on the Internet of Things (IoT). In this capacity, Turner will collaborate with a team of more than 25 global IDC analysts focused on the IoT market. IDC views IoT as a critical opportunity that will play a key role in the digital transformation of industries. The worldwide IoT market is forecasted to grow from $1.3 trillion in 2013 to $3.04 trillion in 2020, with a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 13 percent.

“We view IoT as a significant innovation accelerator for future IT demand. As IDC invests in creating new research for the 3rd Platform of IT, we are making the commitment to dedicate one of our most senior research executives to this fast growing market segment,” said Kirk Campbell, President and CEO of IDC.

Turner was an early advocate for IoT. He and his team developed IDC’s groundbreaking research offerings that are in high demand. He has also been an active thought leader keynoting significant industry events, and is currently serving as a member of the Internet of Things World Forum (IoTWF) steering committee.

"While still in the early stages of development, IoT represents unparalleled opportunity. As the number of IP-ready devices explodes worldwide, the IoT is moving beyond concept to reality," said Turner, Senior Vice President of Enterprise Systems and IDC Fellow for The Internet of Things. "I am looking forward to dedicating the majority of my time helping IT leaders understand how to capitalize on this opportunity.”

IDC has eight dedicated subscription services, across multiple regions, covering IoT that have published almost 100 individual reports. These services and reports, as well as the worldwide analyst team, are featured on IDC's microsite covering IoT.

About IDC

International Data Corporation (IDC) is the premier global provider of market intelligence, advisory services, and events for the information technology, telecommunications, and consumer technology markets. With more than 1,100 analysts worldwide, IDC offers global, regional, and local expertise on technology and industry opportunities and trends in over 110 countries. IDC's analysis and insight helps IT professionals, business executives, and the investment community to make fact-based technology decisions and to achieve their key business objectives. Founded in 1964, IDC is a subsidiary of IDG, the world's leading technology media, research, and events company. To learn more about IDC, please visit www.idc.com. Follow IDC on Twitter at @IDC. 

Edited by Dominick Sorrentino

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Microsoft Makes Friends and Influences IoT at Hannover Messe

Germany’s Hannover Messe industrial trade show began April 13, and the news coming out is already pretty exciting. In three separate announcements, Microsoft has made it clear that it is determined to make its Azure platform as ubiquitous in the IoT as Windows is for PCs, across enterprise, consumer and industrial markets.

Microsoft hit hard in the manufacturing space thanks to a new partnership with Fujitsu Limited. The collaboration will seek to bring innovation and efficiencies to the manufacturing sector by combining the capabilities of Microsoft’s software and Fujitsu’s devices, IoT services and the company’s new Web OS, announced last week.

The new collaborative product is based in part upon how Fujitsu converted its semiconductor manufacturing operations into its Akisai Plant Factory, a facility designed for M2M integrations from foundation to weathervane, where the company combines modern agricultural techniques with state-of-the-art manufacturing and information and communication technologies to create clean room areas that produce lettuce that is low in potassium so it can be consumed by dialysis patients and people with chronic kidney disease.

“We are proud to partner with Fujitsu to enable the next generation of manufacturing business models and services enabled by IoT along with advanced analytics capabilities like machine learning,” said Sanjay Ravi, Managing Director, Discrete Manufacturing Industry, Microsoft. “Fujitsu’s innovation will drive new levels of operational excellence and accelerate the pace of digital business transformation in manufacturing.”

Not to be pigeonholed into an industrial corner, Microsoft is also launching a project with Miele & Cie. KG, a high-end domestic appliance and commercial equipment manufacturer. The first phase will be a proof-of-concept on how best to apply Azure IoT services to smart appliances and home cooking.

The new offering allows users to browse recipes on Miele’s website and choose from various meals, which triggers a download to the user’s mobile device of how to make the meal at hand and the matching program is loaded onto the oven through Azure. The oven is automatically programmed to cook the specific meal using the proper mode, temperature, cooking time and humidity.

“This assistance system incorporates temperature charts, times and the machine’s special features, such as adding steam, to create the optimum roasting, cooking or baking results,” said Dr. Eduard Sailer, Executive Director of Technical Affairs, Miele. “This allows people to get the best results out of their cooking appliances.”

The joint project is officially still classified as a proof-of-concept, but the partners were very optimistic about the project’s long-term possibilities.

The third big announcement out of the first day of the show is about how Microsoft is plotting to help our robot overlords take power.

Well, not quite.

Microsoft and KUKA, an industrial robot manufacturer, have together created the Intelligent Industrial Work Assistant, built, once again, with Azure built into KUKA’s automation solutions.  Precise movements and sensors allow the lightweight robot to work complex tasks, precisely and automatically, even while working with a human. The system was created by combining Azure, Kinect and the OPC-UA communication standard leads. The booth demo at Hannover illustrates the delicacy and skill of the unit by threading a tube into a small hole in the back of a dishwasher. As the task is completed, the robot’s movement data is transmitted to the Azure cloud, where progress can be monitored.

“Robots serve as the link between IT and production, between humans and technology,” said Dr. Christian Schlogel, CTO, KUKA. “It's exciting to be at the forefront of sensitive robotics and to create the technology to allow humans to interact directly, increasing efficiency and productivity.”

Edited by Dominick Sorrentino

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Expanding Business Process Outsourcer Heads to the Cloud

Ever since the economic slump that hit the world more than six years ago, a number of industries have taken it on the chin, but none more so than the retail sector. Folks didn’t have jobs or the disposable income that comes with steady work, so spontaneous shopping was out.

But the economic picture has brightened considerably since then, and retailers are seeing a nice uptick in business.

That might be one reason that a leading Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) with a number of retail clients has decided the time is right to move its business to the cloud.

inContact, a leading provider of cloud contact center software and contact center agent optimization tools, has just announced it’s been selected by a rapidly expanding BPO firm for more than 175 agents supporting multiple retail clients.

In a release, the company made clear why the transition is taking place: “This growing BPO [which has not been identified, as per inContact company protocols] is transitioning from a premise solution to the cloud, and needs an enterprise-grade cloud solution in order to customize their services and scale up or down seasonally based on the needs of different clients.”

There were a lot of factors in inContact’s favor for winning the business.

“inContact's industry-leading cloud contact center solution includes advanced multi-channel routing with the Automatic Call Distributor and Interactive Voice Response system that supports inbound, outbound and blended voice as well as email, chat, SMS, social media and CRM work items,” the company said. “The inContact Agent for Salesforce enables intelligent contact routing so that agents can manage calls and access historical customer data without ever leaving the CRM screen.” Such capabilities help strengthen the relationship between company and customers, which is why more are signing on.

"Working with BPOs is a prime opportunity for inContact because of their high growth model," said Paul Jarman, CEO at inContact. "They need a contact center solution that can adapt as they win new clients and quickly add new campaigns. The inContact cloud platform is a proven scalable and agile solution that easily adjusts to the flow of a BPO's business."

Edited by Maurice Nagle