We’ve all used LinkedIn, Twitter or Facebook with varying results to engage with partners, colleagues, prospects and customers, but a new service from UC software provider IPcelerate Inc., is turning that model around and making social networking a productive business tool.
Called Streamz, the application builds on the “bring your own device” trend, enabling collaborators to simply visually and audibly post content to a private and secure collaborative environment using their iPads and soon, their smartphones. Any authorized user can share content called streams containing forms, documents, videos, voice notes or images.
From within the app, on a stream-by-stream basis, content creators can decide who can view the stream and what the stream will include. Existing content can be attached or new content can be created from within the app. Creating a video, for example, is as simple as creating a new message, assigning access, choosing video as the medium, recording the video from the iPad camera and posting. No separate recording device or upload is required, shown below in a YouTube video.
IPcelerate CEO Kevin Brown explained Streamz is intentionally a “no manual, learn on-the-go” application, so that it can be used by anyone with a basic familiarity with mobile devices, messaging and social networks they use every day.
For example, a hospital can create a stream can be recorded by the doctor about patient care for review by the nurse or another specialist or visa versa. Questions or notes can be added by the recipients. However, the same application can extend communication to the patient, such as visually sharing discharge instructions. Not only does this help the patient and family remember what to do when they get home, but it also gives them a way to quickly reply with questions for the doctor. As a result, the hospital can reduce the likelihood of costly re-admissions.
Another example is an auto repair shop where the mechanic can video record the items needing repair and post it for the car owner, who can then review the video, ask questions or authorize repairs all within the same communication. A record of the video and conversation is preserved in the Streamz application.
In both cases, the use of video creates a visual record that can be much more impactful than a written report that’s open to interpretation, Brown noted.
Streamz also changes the conversation that channel partners can have with their customers, Brown said. They can discuss the business objectives reducing readmissions or improving customer trust and loyalty as in the examples above rather than the technical requirements. This also moves the expenditure from the tech budget to other budgets.
Streamz is an add-on module to IPcelerate’s IPsession suite, which is UC software with 30 embedded features. Streamz can be deployed on the customer premises, hosted by the VAR or as a cloud service housed in IPcelerate’s data center. It is licensed on a per-seat basis. Extending those licenses out to customers and partners also can be a revenue generator as in the example of an elementary school extending Streamz communication about homework assignments out to parents and students.
Presently, Streamz supports tablets using both the iOS and Android operating. Support for smartphones using iOS and Android is planned for fourth quarter.
Other IPsession add-on modules include IPstudio call recording; IPmonitor call monitoring; IPsession Mobile for iPhone, iPod Touch, and iPad users; IPfusion Integrated Development Environment (IDE) to create IP telephony applications; Personal Directory, which brings the smartphone directory to the Cisco IP Phone; and IPconcierge personalized experience for the desktop IP phone.