Artificial Intelligence has key role in Internet of Things

Need to bridge gap between data and context, says electronics giant Schneider

Emmet Ryan

Technology Correspondent @emmetjryan
5th October, 2016
Schneider wants to make the IT and IoT worlds converge. Pic: Pixabay

Finding a way to adequately serve firms in the internet of things (IoT) space is the next area customer relationship management (CRM) providers need to target, according to electronics giant Schneider Electric.

“We want to make the IT and IoT world converge with a lot of customer context. If you have a lot of data generated without context, you cannot sell to a customer in a great way. It’s about connecting the dots so you better know the usage of buildings and devices,” Christophe Blassiau, senior vice president for customer experience and CRM at Schneider told the Sunday Business Post.

Blassiau made the comments at Dreamforce, Salesforce’s annual gathering in San Francisco which is attended by 170,000 people.

Tony Wells, senior vice president for marketing in North America with Schneider, said he expected artificial intelligence (AI) to play a pivotal part in bridging the gap.

“Being able to take the velocity, variety, and volume of this data being generated and being able to make sense of it is crucial. AI is going to play a role to work out what data really matters. There’s a huge amount of value that can be extracted from data but it has to provide benefits to customers and to us as a brand,” said Wells.

“If we can get to a point with AI which can tell us which data streams are telling us what, it will make a difference. Otherwise, there is a lot of data out there now that turns into white noise.”

In addition to the focus on IoT, Blassiau said he had seen customer demands change substantially in recent years due to developments in CRM software.

“We are seeing more self-service. It is clear that we need to be open 24/7 for them. That means we have to expand our capabilities on the web in terms of content and service provision,” he said.

Wells said this increase in customer demand had also presented challenges and opportunities from a marketing perspective.

“Customers aren’t coming to the company they buy from first when they are making a purchasing decision, they are usually 70 per cent of the way down. For us it’s about finding the right salesperson who can call on that salesperson and respond to their inquiries as quickly as possible,” said Wells.

Follow Emmet Ryan live on Periscope (action81) for analysis before and after Wednesday evening’s keynote at Dreamforce.

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