‘Mitel or MI-o-Tel?’ – Adding a Voice to IoT

T. Banting

Summary Bullets:

  • Mitel is offering a cloud-based platform that integrates Internet of Things (IoT) technology with call routing and call control applications.
  • Hub One is working with Mitel to voice-enable IoT devices at Charles De Gaulle airport and provides text-to-speech alerts on the opening of defibrillator cabinets.

At its Elite conference in San Antonio last week, Mitel disclosed details of its platform that integrates IoT technology with call routing and call control platforms. Utilizing IoT APIs that plug into its interaction engine and business rules engine, Mitel demonstrated how IoT can be integrated with real-time communications to literally give IoT devices a voice. On stage, Mitel showed how Amazon Alexa, mapped to Mitel’s AWS-based cloud service, could trigger mass notification messages to interested parties. While this specific demonstration sent out multiple notifications of bad weather alerts to those attending a picnic (very pertinent given San Antonio’s weather!), Mitel’s IoT infrastructure is being utilized in perhaps a less frivolous way at France’s largest and most important airport – Charles De Gaulle (CDG).

Hub One, an exclusive Mitel partner, is deploying 130,000 cloud-based IP phones across CDG and working with Mitel to voice-enable a network of IoT devices in use at the airport. On the exhibition floor, Mitel replicated CDG’s alerting system used to detect the opening of an automated external defibrillator (AED) cabinet. Leveraging Ascoel IoT door sensors, an alert is triggered when the cabinet is opened; a JSON file is then sent to Mitel’s environment detailing sensor type, location, and type of event. Mitel’s solution then sends a text-to-speech alert to endpoints (such as phones or mobile devices) to notify interested parties such as medical teams and emergency services. Mitel is also exploring how it can work with other partners (Orbiwise, Arrow, Loriot, and others) to develop its IoT and real-time communication solution. For example, CDG currently tracks maintenance equipment (such as fuel trucks, catering trucks, and trolleys for baggage) in conjunction with LoRA GPS sensors to ensure services are optimized for aircraft at the gate. It is envisaged that new workflows could be ‘voice-enabled’ to provide notification services to gate crews, engineers, and ground staff.

Mitel is also developing its Cloud API Platform to leverage Amazon Web Services and micro applications to help reduce development time. Mitel has also developed an API gateway to let developers access call control and other collaboration and communications applications, which will ultimately utilize a new visual scripting environment and catalog of Mitel and third-party services. It is exciting to see how Mitel has the potential to offer organizations an environment to create customizable workflows much in the same way IFTT and Zapier can be used for home automation in the consumer world today. This unique approach is highly differentiated, and will place Mitel in an enviable position relative to its peers; indeed, Mitel’s rivals in the space (e.g., Avaya Zang, Cisco, and ShoreTel) currently seek to leverage developers with coding expertise in conjunction with their ‘communication platform-as-a-service’ offerings rather than business leaders with workflow expertise.

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