All over the world, people connect to the Internet to find information, interact with their counterparts and work. But people are not the only consumers of the Internet: objects also use it. In the manufacturing and energy sectors, machine-to-machine interactions are widespread. They allow machine tool operations to be monitored, failures to be reported and maintenance alerts to be sent. BCPIA provides information about Internet Of Things and its purpose.

Added to this are today’s everyday objects, which connect to the cloud to form the “Internet of Things”. BI Intelligence estimates that 1.9 billion terminals are already connected to the Internet of Things.

For the time being, the main sensors and terminals of the Internet of Consumer Objects are activity trackers (Nike FuelBand, Fitbit, etc.), the Google Glass carrying computer and British Gas connected heating systems.

Sports equipment manufacturer ASICS uses Salesforce to develop its “Support Your Marathoner” website: it displays support messages that are sent to runners on screens scattered throughout their course when the tag contained in their shoes is detected.

The Internet of Things is growing rapidly. According to forecasts, it could include between 30 and 75 billion objects in 2020: connected bracelets, toys, camera frames, medical devices, earthquake sensors, aircraft….

What is its purpose?

Its potential is almost unlimited. An example? Thanks to the Internet of Things, your products can automatically provide maintenance reports and self-diagnosis.

Hard drives, cars, aircraft…: devices connected to the Internet of Things are able to identify their potential failures or detect them as they approach the end of their life. They can then send a report directly to your CRM system.

Instead of simply breaking down, intelligent products identify their failures, send them to technical support and start the resolution process (ordering a spare part, replacing the object, etc.).

And all this before your customer even notices the problem!

Why is everyone talking about the Internet of Things?

The Internet of Things is revolutionizing the business world, and especially the relationships between companies and their customers. Why? Why? Because this technology creates a new channel of interaction.

Like the Internet, this technology offers huge opportunities that are open to you. Cisco, the network management giant, predicts that business opportunities related to the Internet of Things will amount to $14.4 trillion worldwide over the next decade. More specifically, this represents an opportunity to increase global business profits by approximately 21%.

What fuels its growth?

The answer is simple: everything is in place to make the Internet of Things work.

The biggest change in enterprise technologies in the last 5 years has been the advent of smartphones, which has made it possible to use the Internet without a desktop computer. According to Gartner, almost 1 billion smartphones were sold worldwide in 2013.

This exponential growth has led to the explosion of the cloud and cloud applications (CRM, e-mail, etc.), accessible everywhere from devices connected to the Internet. Today, it is possible to access business applications wherever you are and without going through a corporate network.

The last pieces of the puzzle? Social networking technologies, as well as the adoption of interaction and community networks. All this allows you to receive information, collaborate with your counterparts and ensure that relevant information is delivered to everyone.

By publishing and unveiling their programming interfaces (APIs), platforms such as Salesforce1 ensure that the Internet of Things is integrated into your CRM (among other software systems), allowing you to fully exploit its potential, wherever you are and from any terminal.

What impact on your business?

Until recently, customer relationships were based on face-to-face or telephone contacts. The long and indirect chain of communication between producer and customer included store staff, sales representatives and repair and complaint services.

But the Internet of Things has revolutionized all this. Customer information such as:

how and where they use the products purchased
what they use them with
if their product is working properly
can be sent automatically to your CRM platform in real time!

In short, the Internet of Things helps you better understand your customers with details that you would not have been able to detect before.

A direct line to information

The most significant change? Today, you can collect and analyze your customers’ information in real time, without human intervention and without volume limits.

This allows you to base your product design and marketing strategies on more accurate and fresh data. Example: If one of your products does not meet with the expected success, you can react by being better informed. Indeed, determining if your product is irreparably defective or if you simply need to change your marketing strategy is much easier if you have the most relevant information.