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Cisco and Salesforce.com: IoE and the Next Generation of Customer Service

- August 4, 2014 - 0 Comments

The networked connection of people, processes, data, and things that we call the Internet of Everything  (IoE) continues to increase its pervasiveness in the workplace and at home. As a result, business leaders are adapting to meet the changing expectations of the enterprise, their customers and the consumer market.

This isn’t the far-off future. It’s now. Organizations are revolutionizing business processes today. The Internet of Everything is dramatically impacting the performance of innovative businesses.

IoE is real and beneficial and can take many different forms, depending on the unique issues or opportunities facing an enterprise.

In a recent post, Chris Botting talks about how Customer Collaboration connects IoE to consumers.

I had an opportunity to really look closely at some of these impactful uses of IoE as we prepared for a two-day media, customer and partner event exploring tangible examples of IoE in action in Chicago last month. Along the way, I developed another perspective about business applications of IoE. In many cases, IoE becomes the Internet of Customers.

As a panelist at the event, Daniel Debow, senior vice president of Emerging Technologies at salesforce.com, provided great insight into IoE’s role in this amplified customer interaction.  He suggests that IoE is providing the roadmap of the next generation of customer service while transforming the entire service experience.

Daniel recognizes that behind every one of these billions of connected devices, there is a customer. 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.

I think of Daniel as a visionary. I see him broadening the definitions of “customer” and “support” when he is envisioning the IoE experience, enabling new ways for organizations to plan for realizing the benefits connectivity provides.

“The next iteration of the Internet of Everything will not only connect human users with technology, but will include proactive services initiated by Things – entirely independent of human interaction,” Daniel says.

“This, for example, would be car engine alerting the service department or proactively reaching out to the customer when in need of repair. 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.”

We used a demonstration at the event to illustrate how a fictional medical equipment company, “MedImage,” would leverage the IoE to receive real-time failure reports from deployed devices, such as MRI machines. When the IoT then needs to connect to people, Cisco Customer Collaboration and Salesforce Service Cloud technologies can help provide proactive customer care and a fantastic customer experience. The demo shows an enhanced customer interaction model with remote representatives delivering expert guidance through streaming video within a customer mobile application.

This interaction model demonstrates the ability to:

  • Get the information customers need when they want it
  • Leverage the best customer service representatives in a way that is scalable
  • Align representatives to specific products and business lines for increased efficiency

Although this was a demonstration for the event, real-world companies are doing it, right now. When you begin to witness how IoE transforms sales, service and marketing, it’s clear that the opportunities for the IoE to create impact are significant. IoE is indeed creating new models of interaction and efficiency.

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