More and more manufacturers are rolling out a new generation of products that can push crucial sensor data up to the cloud. The Chief Economist of General Electric, Marco Annunziata, explains in a TED Talk how remotely monitoring a machine’s performance will drastically change how products are utilized, maintained, and supported after deployment. Annunziata gives an example of a jet turbine that transmits its diagnostic data to the cloud in real-time, so that technicians located anywhere can view key metrics about the turbine's status and be alerted of a problem before the plane even reaches the gate. GE is on the forefront of this trend, and it’s helping to build the “Industrial Internet” of highly integrated and data-driven industrial products that virtually live in the cloud.
Who can benefit from cloud-enabled machines, and how might they take advantage of this new data source? The product development firms will surely benefit from this information as they monitor performance and improve the technology, but the beneficiaries don’t have to be limited to one group.
Resellers of these industrial machines can also leverage this kind of information when managing relationships with their customers. If resellers have the supplier’s permission to access the data, then all they have to do is make it relevant to their organization. For example, a reseller of MRI machines may not be concerned with developing the next version of that product, but they will be very concerned with whether or not the machine's performance is meeting their clients' expectations. By integrating this data into their CRM System, resellers may one day have the ability to:
Know when a product unexpectedly fails, and be prepared with a solution for the disgruntled customer
Track product usage in real-time and compare it with customer satisfaction
Store relevant information about the customer’s products directly in their CRM profile
Cloud-enabled products have some impressive capabilities that should beckon everyone involved in their value chain to answer the following questions:
Do the products that you sell have the ability to push their data up to the cloud?
How is the data relevant to your relationships with your customers?
Would it be valuable for your business to have access to this information? If so, what’s holding your organization back from making this valuable solution a reality?