The Internet of Things are things that communicate with things. Unified Communications are people that communicate with people. However, to optimise business processes, things and people have to communicate with each other, in a way that both understand. Therefore IoT and UCC have to merge.
Take proactive remote maintenance as an example:
The IoT platform receives data from things that are connected to it. Based on business rules, the platform can calibrate and change settings by communicating with the thing, so that it runs perfectly. However, sometimes a human has to intervene if a task can't be performed automatically. Ideally, the human now gets an alert in their standard tool integrated into their normal process, i.e., a chat window opening in their UCC tool. In this chat window the machine tells the user in natural language what it needs. The person can then call the customer directly from the same tool, phone number already pre-set because the tool knows which customer the machine belongs to. The person can also respond to the machine in natural language, i.e. by giving it certain commands. They might type "Please switch off, wait until the temperature is sub 25 degrees, then restart and provide status".
We're not quite there yet. However, technically, this is all possible. UCC and IoT platforms are equally software and cloud based. Vendors of these tools will have to agree on standards, protocols and APIs and implement these - and soon we will be able to really talk to machines.
Once this has happened, significant further process optimisation will be possible and controling industry 4.0 applications will be so much easier.
Please contact us if you have any questions or ideas on this.