During a recent conversation with one of our customers, I was asked to provide some information about how Interactive Intelligence products contribute, if at all, to the advancement of a greener future. I immediately remembered a presentation created by Adam Elkins, System’s Engineer at Interactive Intelligence, on this very topic. Adam has done considerable research in this area and has hands on experience in maintaining Board-based and IP Telephony Systems. His presentation demonstrates the obvious advantages of the “all-in-one” solution v/s disparate systems and also includes a detailed calculation showing how IP systems consume 1/10th of the power required in Legacy board-based systems. He explains what is known as “Moore’s Law”, which states that hardware becomes smaller and smaller at a consistent rate. This translates into our solution using less and less energy as hardware shrinks.
Additionally, I realized that not only are our products part of the Green Revolution, the underlying IP telephony technology inherently preserves our natural resources. Think about how we deploy IP phones to use power over Ethernet (PoE). Not only do the phones consume less power, it is easy to provide backup power or uninterruptible power supply (UPS) to a switch, as opposed to power outlets on a wall.
While I am just talking as an engineer about systems and technology, Heather Clancy, Award-winning Business Journalist, illustrates the broader impact that IP telephony has on being part of this greener future. She states that because IP telephony allows employees to work remotely rather than in an office setting, companies consume fewer materials and use less energy, both of which can be costly and inefficient, not to mention the productivity gains from remote employees. For more information on this astute article, please click here. Ms. Clancy summarizes: “Unified communications products are truly worthy members of the green technology spectrum. Not only do they cut down on unnecessary travel, they also promise to decrease electricity.”
I think I am just scratching the surface here. How else do you think IP telephony and unified communications contributes to a greener world? How can we be better and what are the possibilities? As we approach the 40th anniversary of Earth Day next week we should be seeking these answers.