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Chicomm Blog

Unified Communications for a Rapid Response from the Right People

Posted by Tom Treichler on Tuesday, July 26, 2022

Unified-Communications-for-a-Rapid-Response-from-the-Right-PeopleWhat good is intelligence if it isn’t able to be shared?

That is the principle underlying the idea of unified communication.

Whether it’s a public safety system, a commercial system, or a standalone system, intelligence gained through radios, cameras, and other automated systems needs to be easily shared across multiple devices. 

What is unified communication? And how does this principle apply to different sectors?

Unified Communication

A unified communications solution allows for instant communications using push-to-talk (PTT) over any device and network. Users can create shared workgroups and also immediately communicate one-to-many on multiple devices.

Push-to-talk has become a mainstay in public safety, security, manufacturing, and other settings where time is of the essence. 

How are manufacturers using this technology to streamline their operations?

Manufacturing Efficiency

The core of this type of technology is unified workgroup communications. That is a way to connect networks of data and intelligence to a group of employees to communicate instantly over devices.

This White Paper, Making the Case for Unified Communications in Manufacturing gets into the details of how a state-of-the-art communications platform connects front-line workers with enterprise team members to keep everything moving smoothly.  

It provides critical communication when you need it. 

Let’s say a piece of equipment goes down, something is going to stop production and cost millions, or even billions, of dollars. As soon as intelligent systems detect that, the people who need to know get instant communication saying, “Hey, this compressor's out in this area of the manufacturing plant.”

It lets the right people respond quickly to improve and correct that situation.

In an era of increased digital capabilities that includes digital supply chains, robotics, Internet of Things (IoT) applications, machine learning, and advanced analytics, unified communication breaks down the silos and helps people, processes, and machines become more connective.

Connecting Across Devices

One thing that companies can do to make this happen is to adopt a communications platform that connects front-line workers, who often use two-way radios, with enterprise team members, who are often using mobile devices like smartphones. 

When those devices are seamlessly connected, the communications technology provides the connective tissue that holds it all together. This is called communication interoperability.

Critical messages can go out using push-to-talk (PTT), intelligence-driven data, text message, or from a video surveillance system using data analytics. The information and data that team members need shows up so they can act quickly.

It also reduces downtime and increases worker safety and productivity.

Unified Communications for the Hospitality Industry

This type of smart system is not just for manufacturing. It also is a must-have technology for the hospitality sector. It serves the mission of providing excellent hospitality and customer service. 

It’s all about unifying your communications coverage capacity. A hotel gets five-star reviews based on their response to guest requests like needing towels, fixing an overflowing toilet, or responding to an electricity outage. 

The hospitality industry also needs to be able to respond to threats to safety and security. Any place where people come together needs to have clear, instantaneous communication in case of emergency.

Simplifying Communication in Education

At its very basic level, unified communications takes one group and unifies them. I’m going to take my teachers and they’re going to talk to the buses. They will use a push-to-talk (PTT) communication device and unify it with voice communication.

But you can build from there. 

Maybe only the principal needs to know when the bus breaks down. The teachers don’t need access to that day-to-day communication. So when a bus breaks down, that driver uses their PTT to talk to the administration who then sends someone out to fix the bus.

It can also be used where everyone is unified and listening to the same transmissions, but only the ones who are critically involved will respond.

Understanding Workflows

These types of solutions make it easier to create workflows, a chain of communication that determines who gets what information when.

That’s where we talk about Orchestrate, cloud-based software that helps you create workflows. It’s a way of creating an automated process so the right people get notified. For example, if I need a maintenance person and I don't need building and grounds, I can create a workflow that arranges that.

Focus on the Mission

Unified communication is another set of tools to help organizations working in any sector overcome the barriers to communication, increase efficiency, manage crises and emergencies, and keep everyone safer. 

When people are secure in the knowledge that the right intelligence is getting to the right people on their chosen devices, we’re all in a better place.