Simply put, the Internet of Things (IoT) is a network of Internet-connected physical devices, home appliances, and other items embedded with sensors, software, electronics, and actuators that is slowly affecting more than our personal lives. This system of interrelated computing devices is also gradually reshaping the business communications landscape, enabling organizations to connect intelligent technologies to other mechanical and digital objects to collect and exchange information. And with the advent of digital transformation in addition to the proliferation of digital devices, every organization will (sooner or later) have to create an infrastructure that fully supports IoT.
Voip-Info had the chance to speak to Ray Pasquale, the Chief Executive Officer at Unified Office, to discuss IoT infrastructure management and how businesses can benefit from adopting a more innovative and connected approach to monitoring and analyzing large volumes of data. Pasquale also helped highlight some market trends that are shaping the future of business communications and shares with us how Unified Office’s new IoT-based operational performance suite that can help Quick Serve Restaurants (QSRs) and other small to mid-sized businesses (SMBs) improve their operational performance.
The IoT Revolution
Many of today’s business sectors, including manufacturing, healthcare, food service, retail, and more, are adopting IoT into their communications stack in order to gain deeper insights into their customers (as well as their own) behavior and performance by harnessing large volumes of data and turning it into actionable intelligence.
According to Pasquale, machines, just like employees, play an important role in business. “Not only do people have important things to say, but machines do as well, and what they have to offer is often mission critical to a business,” said Pasquale. “[Machines] deserve the highest quality of service and the most reliable infrastructure.”
Given the importance of machines for day-to-day business operations and communications, it makes perfect sense that any and every organization should employ a reliable IoT infrastructure to give themselves an advantage in the market. By doing so, they can create new business models and adopt a more streamlined approach that can harness the power of data and further enhance their business performance.
Joining the growing list of tech giants and service providers who are taking advantage of IoT is Unified Office, a leading managed services provider that offers reliable cloud-based communications services and business analytics solutions. Unified Office plans to take full advantage of the potential offered by IoT to intelligently automate and optimize infrastructure environmental controls, thus improving business performance in the process.
“[Unified Office] is made up of people whose DNA come from companies that had to build network gear that had to withstand tornadoes, hurricanes, earthquakes, etc,” said Pasquale. “Our platform has become the basis for VoIP, UC, and now, with this announcement, we have enhanced our IoT offering running on this network. The beauty of this is that for customers like Dominos, who have already chosen us for voice, real-time analytics, and more, the IoT platform makes sense and is an easy transition or addition.”
Gearing Up for the IoT Revolution with Unified Office
Unified Office helps their customers by going beyond traditional connectivity, adding data analytics and “connected things” into their unified communications offerings. By committing themselves to helping small and mid-sized businesses, Unified Office can seamlessly deliver the highest quality experience and network availability by leveraging business VoIP communications technologies as well as a cloud-based infrastructure to help boost workforce productivity through reliable connections. One solution unique to Unified Office that helps businesses monitor and analyze crucial business information and also improve their decision-making processes is the IoT-based Total Connect Now Operations Performance Suite 2.0 (TCNOPS 2.0).
Unveiled this week at the IoT Evolution Expo in Orlando, Florida, Unified Office’s TCNOPS 2.0 provides customers with a universal view of the performance of their businesses. This cutting-edge platform not only manages and analyzes IoT data, but it can also dynamically (or automatically) control thermostats and other components such as refrigeration equipment, air conditioners, make tables, heaters, stove exhaust vents, security and video systems, safe doors, and other devices.
“TCNOPS 2.0 uses our highly reliable, broadband-based highest quality routing transmission network (HQRP) to deliver and report business critical information utilizing the same platform that is the foundation of our Total Connect Now VoIP business communications system,” shared Pasquale. With its predictive nature, TCNOPS has the ability to proactively spot underlying, often subtle changes in various devices on a customer’s network and proactively report on them before they either experience a critical failure or suffer a potential outage.
How Unified Office Empowers QSRs and SMBs with TCNOPS 2.0
According to Pasquale, TCNOPS 2.0 offers a lot of benefits for QSRs and SMBs. “We take a careful look at our customers and try to understand their pain points...and we noticed how folks in restaurants are really obsessive about taking temperatures and keeping things tidy, especially for maintaining compliance with local boards of health agencies,” shared Pasquale. “There is always the risk that an inspector can come in unannounced and shut the place down...plus there’s the risk of receiving bad press via social media or TV from unsanitary conditions or food-borne illnesses. We wanted to help with this, which is what motivated the creation of TCNOPS.”
“Our solution is actually predictive in the way we do things,” continued Pasquale. “We mine big data in real-time and then develop a risk profile for these elements, create audit trails, and set up alert notifications. We pride ourselves in offering predictive analysis that will accurately predict unit failure before it occurs, and are always striving to improve this analysis over time. Most other companies are purposefully built for and with industrial-grade sensors that incur large monthly-recurring costs...and because restaurants are price sensitive, they often shy away. With Unified Office, it is just as easy to layer on a TCNOPS layer on top of VoIP and UC services that we already offer.”
What makes TCNOPS 2.0 better from other services in the market is its ability for customers to easily make changes and control machines (and other systems) on their premises, either dynamically or manually based on intelligence gathered by the TCNOPS 2.0’s powerful analytics engine.
“Most IoT systems today simply monitor and receive IoT information,” Pasquale revealed. “Unified Office makes it possible for customers to automatically make changes and control machines and systems based on policy and intelligence. Alerts and notifications are sent to the local manager of a pizza franchise, for example, or to the regional franchise manager, or even national franchise group, so that they are always aware of the changes that have been made.”
The Key Features and Capabilities of Unified Office’s TCNOPS 2.0
- Unified Office’s TCNOPS is one of the IoT only solutions that was created from the ground up to solve pragmatic business problems for SMBs. Aside from monitoring and analyzing IoT data, TCNOPS also controls devices that are set to react to that gathered data.
- Unified Office delivers superior Voice over Internet (VoIP), unified communications (UC), and IoT services without the need for costly dedicated T1 access lines or MPLS tunnels through their Highest Quality Routing Protocol (HQRPTM) transmission network.
- Using the same highly reliable, secure broadband connection (HQRPTM), Unified Office delivers and reports business critical information as it uses the Total Connect Now business communications system, which provides high-quality business VoIP services.
- Beyond simple, real-time basic monitoring, Unified Office helps businesses eliminate component failure (before it becomes a problem) through the solution’s proactive and predictive analytics.
- Unified Office offers a cloud solution that is robust, elastic, and easily scalable, thus meeting the demands of many different sized companies.
What Unified Office Brings to the Business Communications Market
When it comes to communications for the modern workforce, Unified Office empowers today’s organizations by providing a combination of on-premise and cloud-based technologies that improve business efficiency and productivity. A trusted provider of SDN-based hybrid private cloud managed VoIP and UC services, Unified Office helps teams seamlessly connect and share information with scalable and reliable product offerings.
“There is no end to the Unified Office approach,” said Pasquale. “We are the kind of company that continues to grow and innovate, having embraced open source techniques into our solutions many years ago.”
On top of aiding Quick Service Restaurants (QSRs) to improve their customer service with TCNOPS, Unified Office is also helping other small and mid-sized businesses enhance their communications and operational workflows. “With Unified Office, we can answer as many calls as you can throw at us with the help of our software and AI agents,” shared Pasquale. “Callers are then put on the analytics screen monitor, where businesses can see real-time wait times and other indicators. This is an oversimplification, but generally speaking, this is what we do: mine data to produce speedometers.”
“We [Unified Office] invented a transmission over-the-top network, which is referred to as HQRP; and we have the patents granted for all of this so we have been able to take all of the Internet components (and inexpensive ones at that) and station them around the country, backing each other up,” added Pasquale. “It allows us to present hundreds of paths for the next call or video call...this network is something that the larger telecom companies and big names in the VoIP industry would die to have.”
Aside from TCNOPS, Unified Office has expanded to include environmental controls. “This is a fairly intelligent technology that includes quasi-industrial grade sensors that have been squished down to a price point that is affordable, and implementing this (which from us is just another few dollars a month) lets us monitor and provide reports by taking in data in real-time.” Another development that Unified Office customers can look forward to is the company’s announcement regarding AI, which will happen at next month’s IT Expo in Ft. Lauderdale.
About Unified Office
Unified Office is a trusted provider of SDN-based hybrid cloud managed Voice-over-IP (VoIP), Unified Communications (UC), and Internet of Things (IoT) services to small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs). Headquartered in Nashua, NH, the company aims to deliver high-quality services as well as enhance SMB workforce productivity and effectiveness by leveraging the latest in business VoIP, UC, and IoT technology solutions and cloud-based infrastructure.