SCADA and Interaction Recording
Updated: May 22, 2019
By Tom Goodwin
The Internet of Things (IoT) and the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) are capturing the attention of many industries today to handle growing technological needs. Whether it is location-based advertising (IoT application) or a manufacturing execution system (IIoT application), the main ingredient is data - and lots of it.
The growth of the IIoT stems from the integration of machine to machine (M2M) systems and Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition (SCADA). SCADA systems have been around for many years, and have provided valuable information for maintaining operational efficiency. The combination of SCADA, M2M, and IoT has produced a powerful tool that allows disparate data from many sources to be collected and quickly analyzed.
Interestingly, the evolution pathway of communications recording within organizations runs parallel to that of SCADA and IoT fusion. What began as call logging progressed to call recording, then to interaction capture and data integration. Keeping pace with the growing volume of data and the need to capture and analyze it, interaction capture has evolved from basic logging to the synthesis of multiple streams of data with analytics.
Looking ahead, the uses and trends of both SCADA and interaction recording are bending these two-parallel evolution paths into new, closely-linked relationships.
The current trend for software solutions is to move into hosted online environments (AKA “the cloud”). The advantage of using hosted environments is that it allows for organizations to focus time and resources on their business, rather than having to invest in supporting the systems crucial to their work. SCADA systems are now being hosted in the cloud, providing data to the business via network connections. These organizations take advantage of wireless and IP networks to drastically lower costs without losing functionality or useful data.
Recording communications data and interaction storage is following the same trend. Increasing recording capabilities, thanks to IP networks, are accomplishing the same tasks as before, but from cloud-hosted servers. For both SCADA and interaction recording systems, the use of hosted environments and virtualization brings a synergy of resources that can be shared with both systems.
Increased Analytics - More Insight from the Data
Everyone recognizes that “Big Data” is here to stay, but more importantly, organizations are moving from simply crunching numbers into charts and graphs towards gaining insight into the when, what, where, why, and how of the data. Recording communications and other interactions brings depth, color, and context to what would ordinarily be “just numbers” collected by dispatch, contact centers, and SCADA systems. By bringing more data and information from multiple resources, reaching deeper and richer insights is possible; including understanding how customers may respond to events or occurrences, how to handle outages and high call volumes more effectively, and even for training agents.
Gaining more insight from data can result in growth of actionable intelligence, and in the case of SCADA that means shifting to automation. For example, based on usage data, an electric utility company might deploy an automated reduction of power output to customers during late night hours that generates customer calls and emails in response. By using contact and dispatch center interaction/recording information, the voice of the customer can gauge results of automated actions, and help determine decisions regarding future automation frameworks.
The confluence of SCADA and interaction recording data can bring new capabilities, new insights, and cost savings to organizations.
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About the Author - Tom Goodwin is the Vice President of Marketing at HigherGround. His background in telecommunications and data networking has been augmented with work in data analytics and automated reporting prior to joining HigherGround. Click here for more information on Tom and the rest of the HigherGround team!
HigherGround, Inc. provides best-in-class, reliable data capture and interaction storage solutions that enable clients to easily retrieve critical information. Our interaction recording and incident reconstruction solutions transform data into actionable intelligence, allowing optimization of operations, enhanced performance, and cost reduction.