Polycom and Ekahau Partner

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Rich Tehrani
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Polycom and Ekahau Partner

As the world becomes more interconnected (read: smaller), the need for increases in productivity grows exponentially. The reason is simple. The more countries get into the act, the more competition each company has to deal with.
 
Thankfully, technology comes to the rescue once again and to that end I would like to point out that WiFi telephony makes companies more productive in more ways than one. We all understand users can use a wireless LAN phone to hook into a PBX so as to not miss important phone calls. This is similar to why most of us have cordless or cell phones at home. Today however I came across WiFi telephony news which will make companies more productive on multiple levels.
 
In my utopian view of the business world, a large enterprise will be able to track all their important assets –human and other. Meaning, not only does a watch company need to know where their latest batch of watches are in the production cycle, they also need to know where employees are.
 
Is the marketing team in the conference room named “little hand?” Are the sales people on the road? Are technicians at customer’s offices, etc? Tracking is the future. And if this sounds big brotherish, I am sorry. This scenario will play out regardless of our personal feelings on the matter. If you wanted to protest the growth of technology into our personal lives you had the chance when you got your first Blackberry. :)
 
I got to thinking about tracking when I learned Polycom and Ekahau have teamed up to put location awareness into WiFi telephony devices. I have known the Ekahau team since around 2002 and they are recognized leaders in location-enabling WiFi networks.
 
Polycom is another company I have known for a long time. It seems like decades. There are few companies as entrenched in IP communications (or conference phones) as Polycom. They work with virtually every communications equipment/software company from Interactive Intelligence to Broadsoft to Microsoft. Their phones are everywhere. It seems regardless of industry event I go to, Polycom has a presence.
 
So what is this big news? The Ekahau Real Time Location System (RTLS) will be integrated into Polycom SpectraLink 8000 Series Wireless Telephones.
 
It would seem in the future, all WiFi phones (including those of the dual-mode variety) will have to be location aware. Not only for productivity reasons, I see this happening as security becomes more important. If a WiFi telephony user dials 911 and we have the technology to know where the person called from, it seems the logical end to the story is all WiFi telephony devices will be location aware.
 
In fact as the technology becomes more well-known, we can expect lawmakers to mandate these devices have location awareness built in.
 
If this doesn’t happen, I would imagine the government will endorse this technology by embracing it themselves. Corporations will follow suit.
 
So enhanced inter-office asset tracking is coming to an enterprise campus near you and whether you choose to embrace the technology or not is up to you. Just remember one thing. Soon you will be able to run but not hide. :)


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