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Getting to Customer Value with The Internet of Things

Posted by Sumair Dutta on Mar 2, 2015 7:13:51 AM

The Internet of Things (IoT) is a major topic of discussion. Analysts, technology companies, governments, and more are voicing their opinions on the upcoming IoT revolution. The folks whose opinion is most pertinent, the organizations deploying Internet connected products and services, and their customers, are actually evaluating if IoT truly holds the promise that we all think it does.

We recently hosted a discussion (Access on-demand, registration required) with a panel of leaders in service and IT tied to IoT and its impact on service value, enterprise value, and customer value. Service value refers to the operational and financial advantages delivered to the service organization while supporting a product or set of products. This extends to more effective reactive service, more intelligent predictive service, and the activation of self-service opportunities. As a result, organizations see lower service costs and can be more efficient in allocating service resources.

Enterprise value comes from the use of remotely captured product performance or usage data by non-service business functions. Product design and engineering are usually the functions that leverage this information the most as they look to modify or improve their products to deliver a higher level of quality and reliability. Sales and marketing can also view this data to see what features are most used by customers. This assists with improved relationship management with existing customers and enhanced awareness opportunities towards features or capabilities that customers value most.

IoT also delivers enterprise value by unearthing new revenue opportunities. With knowledge of customer usage patterns and preferences, organizations can deliver:

  • New revenue-generating services
  • Provide variable performance-tracking contracts
  • Transform their existing interaction models and move toward renewable consumption-based models.

So what’s in it for the customer? This is a very interesting question that really needs to be addressed when considering an IoT strategy. Does the customer care about the service and enterprise value delivered for the additional effort expended. Effort can come in the form of retooling of equipment or in headaches around data access and security. Quite often customer value gets ignored in the entire discussion.

In fact, one of the IoT panelists highlighted the focus on customer value to be a best practice when considering IoT investments. Service and enterprise value are then delivered as a consequence of that focus on customer value. Therefore, it’s important to know what customers truly value. Do they want higher reliability or do they want more flexible usage models? In our research around IoT in manufacturing and industrial organizations, respondents have told us that the following areas resonate most when their customers are approached about a remote monitoring service:

  • Increased uptime of asset - 49%
  • Increased quality/reliability – 17%
  • Faster resolution due to self-service – 14%

With this is mind, it becomes much easier to structure products and services wrapped around the technology of IoT to deliver value to the customer. For instance, it enables more performance-oriented service contracts that take customer needs and preferences into account. It can also shape the information provided back to the customer regarding the best use of their purchased investment. In fact, 61% of organizations we poll indicate that they provide their customers with access to product or equipment performance data via reporting or customer portals. Quite often, this data is sold as a service.

With the appropriate value delivery channel in place, it becomes easier to work with customers to expend effort around IoT. Most of this effort will come in working with their IT teams to ensure security, privacy, and IP protection. It also enables the creation of a revenue model that pays for the investment in IoT.

Want more on IoT? You're in luck.

1 - The webcast/discussion mentioned above is available on-demand. The participants on our webcast will be present in person at the TSC Smarter Services Symposium next week (see bullet 2)

2 - We will be running an IoT-focused workshop at our upcoming Smarter Services Symposium taking place next week in San Diego. Contact me ( if interested in joining.

Topics: Service Strategy, enterprise value, Internet of Things, customer value, Perspective, service value, enabling technology, IoT

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