The Internet of Things is disrupting everything from city infrastructure to automobiles and healthcare to telecommunications. In the latter field, service providers need to take a holistic view of the sectors in which they operate, and automate sales processes to deliver across the board on convergent services including connectivity, support, data analytics and device management. They must ensure that backbone processes such as automated monitoring, predictive maintenance, recommendation engines based on artificial intelligence (AI) and AI-driven sales are built into their strategy. And they need to understand that data and a thorough appreciation of what customers truly want can be the cornerstones of success in IoT sales automation.
Automation in Internet of Things (IoT) means understanding data…
The value of data for business has long been understood. There’s even a discipline – infonomics – which focuses on the science of data collection and analysis. Neither is it anything new that service providers take advantage of the data they collect. Nowadays, information is produced in such massive volumes that automation is really the only way to handle the processes of collection and analysis that are necessary for monetization. Such data, properly treated, can be sold on or used to automate connectivity and device management, software updates provisioning and maintenance, among other things.
…but customer focus is also vital for automation and IoT success
What some businesses forget, though, is that the customer in today’s digital, high-speed market has changed. Understanding and acting upon this is where organizations could really capitalize on automation in IoT by focusing on convergent services and bundling tempting offers. Perhaps a customer isn’t so interested in a smart car – buy maybe they could be persuaded by a package that not only takes care of insurance, roadside assistance and maintenance automatically, but is also tailored specifically for their circumstances. And what of smartphone buyers? They once focused only on the hardware aspects of their purchase, but are now much more likely to select their handset based on the potential of applications and services, and the openness of both to third-party offers.
On the customer-facing front, businesses can also benefit from the automation of onboarding, agreement management, tailored offers, integration and “one-click” simplicity. For customers are no longer willing to accept long-winded processes that must be repeated every time they switch between a purchase, the helpdesk, device management or billing queries. What’s more, they know they don’t have to accept this. The service provider which can deliver all of this and more seamlessly – for which automation is essential – will truly shine in terms of customer experience.
Ideal IoT automation products and solutions
Solutions such as Comarch IoT Solution Management help organizations to deliver end to end automation across convergent IoT services. Yet whichever provider your business chooses, it’s essential to remember it’s impossible to gain the full benefits of sales automation by focusing only on connectivity. Tailored quotes and offers, customer onboarding, reporting and analysis, agreement monitoring and storage and customer self-management must all be integrated if IoT sales automation is to deliver to its fullest potential. Only when all of these come together symbiotically will your organization and your customers have the tools to optimize costs, reduce errors and deliver full sales history transparency – not forgetting customer satisfaction.