Internet of Things (IoT) has been the most popular of the new
technologies this year, featuring as a key area in most of the Digital Business
conferences. Let us investigate on how this technology can help Microsoft Dynamics
CRM (CRM) customers. Let us quickly define the IoT and learn a bit of the
background before we delve into the possible usage of it.
What is IoT?
According to Gartner, The
Internet of Things (IoT) is the network of
physical objects that contain embedded technology to communicate and sense or
interact with their internal states or the external environment.
speaking, IoT is a concept of connecting Internet enabled things (sensors or
devices) with each other or with applications to exchange data and provide
When is it available?
The technology is available NOW! IoT is helping businesses
drive efficiency and generate ROI (Return on Investment) making the most of
their existing technology investments. Gartner predicts that by the end of this
year (2015) there will be 5 billion connected devices. Companies like Tesla, Ford, Hilton
etc., are providing better customer experiences using IoT. Not surprisingly,
Microsoft has its share of play in this Digital Business revolution in the form
of Microsoft Azure IoT services and you can certainly use a range of products
from Cortana to PowerBI in building a complete solution.
Despite the challenges like privacy & security, IoT is
expected to join the Nexus of forces (Mobile, Data, Social and Cloud) and
have a significant impact on the businesses. Industry verticals like
Healthcare, Transportation, Retail, Manufacturing, Energy/Utilities and Public
sector are using the connected devices to gain real-time insights into their
IoT – CRM
IoT helps organizations gain rich insights into real-time
data and provide personalized customer experiences. Jim Heppelmann, CEO of PTC
says “The whole relationship with the
customer is changing because companies are now able to stay in touch with the
product after the initial sale. The product, in a sense, becomes a sensor for
the relationship with the customer. Companies can gain amazingly detailed
insights into the customer relationship by collecting and analyzing product
usage data to understand how the product is performing, how much is it being
utilized, which features are being used, and which features are not. Because
products are now connected we can stay in touch with the customer throughout
the entire lifecycle of the product. This creates tremendous potential for
cross-selling and up-selling”.
Sample IoT – CRM Use
devices help expectant mothers / seniors / people suffering from chronic
illness report their health condition and call for any emergencies. CRM can
help track the patient’s medical history and if required, notify the care
car can alert the driver of any repair required and upon the driver’s approval,
it can send a service request to CRM. CRM can help schedule the service job and
also arrange for a valet to pick-up the car.
can use the customer’s interests to highly personalize the customer experience
across touch points like car dashboard, game console, appliances etc., Example: Johnnie Walker campaign
While the technology is available, the challenge is in identifying
and designing solutions that help customers’ businesses take advantage of the
smart technology. Key is to ensure that the human element is not ignored but is
supplemented with technology to improve efficiency.