The technology world today is readying itself for the reality of the “Internet of Things,” or “IoT.” While it’s happening right under our noses, most people are oblivious to it. It’s the networking of ordinary things – appliances, cars, handheld devices, medical and athletic monitoring devices, televisions, industrial machines and more – to one another- to build a new kind of networked world. Appliances and cars can schedule their own maintenance appointments when they perceive there is a problem. Medical devices can monitor vital stats and communicate the information to healthcare professionals. Products in a warehouse can conduct their own inventory automatically.
The interesting part of this is how it will eventually benefit customers and not only businesses thanks to integration with modern call center on demand technologies. In a recent blog post, Cisco’s (News - Alert) John Hernandez calls it “the Internet of Customers.” At an IoT event organized by Cisco in Chicago last month, Daniel Debow, senior vice president of Emerging Technologies at salesforce.com, provided some insight into how the “Internet of Everything” concept could augment customer interaction.
“Daniel recognizes that behind every one of these billions of connected devices, there is a customer,” wrote Hernandez. “In the real-world, it’s a scenario where the Cisco network coupled with Salesforce Service Cloud delivers proactive service through connected devices to benefit customers.”
In theory, a company’s call center on demand solution, which is the foundation for its customer support, will also be an important “node” on an Internet of Things business model. A product experiencing technical trouble – think an appliance or a digital device – will literally notify the company’s cloud-based customer support center solution when there is a problem or it’s time for scheduled maintenance. It then becomes beholden on the customer support representative to initiate outbound contact with the customer to schedule it. Hernandez says the IoE concept may even entirely transcend human involvement.
“This, for example, would be car engine alerting the service department or proactively reaching out to the customer when in need of repair,” Debow told Hernandez. “This can be the printer noting it is low on ink and, based on your usage, automatically orders replacements for next-day delivery. The customer is then informed with ‘your ticket is closed.’ The best customer service experience is one that never has to happen. This is the radical transformation of customer service and support that is happening today and will only grow in the future.”
Cisco Distinguished Systems Architect, Kevin Shatzkamer, is presenting during a panel session at M2M Evolution conference today titled, “Integrating Real-Time Machine Data into Your Business Processes,” that looks at the ways organizations are adopting machine-to-machine solutions and how they can achieve new levels of efficiency, deliver new and improved services and products for customers, and create new revenue streams.