The potential uses are almost unlimited, but here's an example: by taking advantage of the Internet of Things, your products can carry out maintenance reporting and diagnostics on themselves.
From computer hard drives to cars and aircraft, devices with Internet of Things capability can sense when components are exhibiting faults or when they near their expected end of life – and can report this information back to you, directly into your CRM system.
Instead of waiting for a device to just stop working, smart products can identify faults, communicate them to technical support and initiate actions to resolve them – from ordering replacement parts to requesting a completely new device.
All this can happen before your customer is even aware of the issue.
The simple answer is that everything is now in place for the Internet of Things to work.
The biggest single change in business technology over the last five or so years has been the rise of the smartphone, unchaining internet access from the desktop. Almost 1bn smartphones were sold around the world in 2013 alone, according to Gartner.
This has led to the explosion in the use of the cloud and cloud applications such as CRM and email which can be accessed anywhere, using these Internet-enabled mobile devices. Business people can now access the business applications they need without being restricted to corporate networks and specific geographical locations.