VOSS: Offering a Single Point of Integration for UC
Rob Moore, VP Global Services, VOSS Solutions
Increased automation to improve business effectiveness, accuracy, and reduce costs is a massively topical conversation for us with all our customers. I’ve been working for VOSS and with our UC management customers for over 13 years, and during that time, we’ve implemented a significant number of application integration projects to implement effective automation to business processes that automate the end-to-end provisioning and management of a wide range of UC applications and the ever-growing list of third-party applications that enterprises are coming to rely on.
Recent examples include integration with ServiceNow to automate a number of typical day-to-day move/add/change requests, like resetting pins and passwords. In this example, a user would open a ticket (via email) to ServiceNow and the VOSS-4-UC management system would pick up this ticket, recognize the ticket type (password reset) and automatically kick off the transactions to complete this action and then update the ServiceNow ticket. The following graphic shows the information workflow as part of this complex integration.
Another recent example involved ActiveDirectory and the onboarding of new staff. When a new user is added into ActiveDirectory, they are assigned a specific user “profile” such as office worker or executive. With ActiveDirectory being integrated into VOSS-4-UC, we are able to pick up the addition of the new employee and, based on information contained in ActiveDirectory, make provisioning decisions about what UC applications and services this individual should get and automatically provision that user with a device, number, and UC-related services such as voicemail or setup as a contact center agent, and then issue a welcome email back to the individual with instructions on how to use their services.
Interestingly, if I look back 12+ years ago, we didn’t get a lot of requests for integration. So, what’s changed?
There has been an explosion over that time of both third-party applications but also advances in authentication and authorization requirements and available applications to enable it. LDAP isn’t new and neither are technologies to enable Single Sign-On, but as the breadth of applications we use on a daily basis has grown, the demand for a single directory and authentication method has as well.
Amongst the proliferation of available applications users have access to, enterprises need to make access to these applications easy while maintaining centralized access control.
However, integrating a wide range of applications can be a challenge with no single API standard, lack of a common development framework, and many applications not having an API at all.
This is where VOSS has real tangible benefits. VOSS-4-UC provides a flexible framework with a number of available drivers to enable application integration including SOAP, JSON, Command Line (via SSH or Telnet) and a GUI Orchestration driver, to enable integration into applications that have no API interface of their own.
The framework itself is highly adaptable and can be customized to meet the specific management use cases of the application being integrated.
For example, in the ServiceNow integration example described above, custom workflows with associated transactions were created to match the events and actions needed to be taken by the VOSS-4-UC management application based on the specific ServiceNow ticket types being created along with subsequent ServiceNow ticket status updates directly from VOSS-4-UC.
A key benefit to be gained from using VOSS-4-UC as the center piece of your UC infrastructure and management solution is due to the wide range of API integration options coupled with the flexible development framework. At the heart of this technology is our dynamic API driver. When integrating to many applications ( JSON for example), the VOSS dynamic API driver will “absorb” the API of the integrating application through information exchange and dynamically create an internal representation of the application’s API and make it available within VOSS-4-UC – allowing for either the creation of overlay menus/screens or even as an available RESTFul API to another third-party application - essentially allowing VOSS-4-UC to act as a common API gateway.
An additional benefit is that any workflow created on top of this API can auto-generate a new API representation of that specific API function. As an example, VOSS could combine multiple third-party application API actions into a single workflow which would, in turn, present back a single API call to enact that new workflow. This capability can greatly reduce the amount of development work needed to complete an application integration and automation project and subsequent maintenance work in the future whenever the application needed to be updated – helping future proof the overall solution.
In summary, VOSS-4-UC provides substantial benefits to organizations looking to centralize the control and access to UC applications and services, and drive costs out of the organization through application integration and through the automation of service fulfillment and day-to-day operational activities within the UC application and surrounding application environment.
By leveraging the flexible VOSS-4-UC framework and API integration options, businesses can:
- Integrate UC deep into business processes to deliver value
- Simplify business processes through automation
- Deliver new user experiences and behaviors
- Provide better overall visibility and control of services and costs
- Improve ability to rapidly adapt to the business’s changing needs
For more information on how VOSS can help your organization with UC Management and automation please contact us.