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Unified communications in the age of IoT


Kathy Gibson reports from CeBit in Hannover – Huawei has launched is enterprise cloud communication solution, bringing traditional office communication and the broader world of Internet of Things devices together on a single cloud.
The solution will run either on-premise on private clouds, or as a hosted solution on the public cloud.
Ma Haixu, president of Huawei core network product line, explains that organisations today have a need not only for people to communicate with one another, but also with the vast number of things that are expected to become connected in the next couple of years.
“We believe the future will be connected – but just connecting things together is pointless,” he says. “They need to be able to talk to each other.”
Simon Dai, chief technology officer: enterprise communication at Huawei, points out that connectivity has already moved well beyond the office to embrace IoT, and there there is tremendous potential for this area to grow even more.
“Once they are not just connected, but communicating with each other, the user experience and customer operation efficiency will be greatly improved.”
Among the problems arising from disparate systems and networks are an inconsistent experience, with isolated systems causing a poor user experience and difficulty in service acquisition.
They also lead to low operational efficiency, with high deployment costs, high operational costs and high management costs.
In addition, these systems tend to not be integrated with core business processes. “But we believe enterprise communications has to be integrated into the business processes,” says Dai. “We’ve been talking about this for years, but not managed to solve the problems yet.”
The new Huawei enterprise cloud communications solution offers these benefits:
* It is converged, providing a unified architecture and management;
* It is open, empowering communication capabilities to third-party applications, developing a connected network of people, things and organisation which enables business processes to be integrated and improves efficiency.
* It is agile and can expand rapidly without interrupting services. On-demand service subscription is available too.
Equipment like IP PBX and media gateway are provided in the cloud to support traditional office communications such IPT, videoconferencing, IM/presence and contact centre. New capabilities will allow a new range of devices like sensors or meters to connect into the cloud as well, and be integrated into the office communication network.
“Traditional communication is shifting to the next level from office automation to IoT,” says Dai. “This is where the true value is for businesses – not just IPT or video conferencing but a new world of collaboration and communication.”
Dai cites examples like the command and control centre for a safe city, education, healthcare, connected cars and others, spanning a variety of industries.
The communication system is built on an open platform, with open APIs and SDKs, and Huawei encourages third party vendors to add their solutions.