You know the old adage; it’s not what you know but who you know. Here’s some good news. What you know about who you know is about to increase exponentially. New technology is making it possible to know a lot more about the people you connect with, including where they are,  what they are doing, the best way to communicate with them, and their preferences and interests.

The technology called context-aware computing is the ability to leverage information – location, presence, users’ needs, social attributes and more – to improve the quality of a customer interaction. It also can enhance employee productivity and collaboration.

Context-aware computing took a big step forward this week with the announcement of our Plantronics Developer Community. Developers can use our software development kit (SDK) to create context-aware applications. The applications will be able to anticipate or take action to provide better experiences through the information generated by the intelligent Smart Sensor™ technology inherent in our headsets, such as the Voyager Pro.

Here’s how a new context-aware application combined with a smart headset could enhance customer relationship management. A call comes in on your mobile phone from a prospect. However, the information you need is on the CRM system on your desktop computer. You need to go to your desktop, pull up your CRM system and look up the company. The result is time lost on your part and possibly an annoyed prospect on the other end of the line. It would be far more convenient when the call comes in on your mobile, if your headset were to capture the number, communicate with your PC as you approach it and pull up the prospect information within seconds.

This is the type of application you’ll be able to integrate into your businesses processes. We’ve already partnered with several companies who are using our sensor technology in current applications.  One is Five9, a cloud-based call center software company, integrating our call control Spokes™ software into its Automated Call Distribution routing function to more intelligently route customer calls based on the contextual presence of its customer service Subject Matter Experts. If an agent – maybe even a home agent — is responding to an urgent customer request on a mobile phone, or moves away from a station, the Plantronics headset automatically sets the Five9 agent status to “not ready,”  ensuring that all calls are routed to the best available agent.

Think about the possibilities with context-aware computing. When a call comes in, you can be armed with what you need to know about the customer or prospect even before you say hello.