Using Sensor Data to Connect with your (B2B) Customer

There's an increasing cadence of blog posts, white papers and general discussions about the use of sensors to collect information on the consumer.  From capturing more data from the customer's smart phone to the use of network connected wearables, we're learning a lot more about our customer through the near real-time collection of sensor data.    Within the customer experience space, we're just scratching the surface of what will become a revolutionary change in the way we engage with our customer.  Most of the discussion right now is in the context of the consumer.  I want to take a moment and switch the context over to the business buyer (B2B).

The Internet of Things (IoT) and continued line of business system integration is producing literally mountains of valuable data that smart businesses can use to deliver better value and a better experience to their customers.   This is commonly termed Industry 4.0.

B2B sensor data usage examples 

I work with a firm that provides end-to-end business security solutions.  That includes access control, video surveillance and intrusion detection.  Each IP based system device (camera, motion sensor, keypad, etc.) collects a tremendous amount of valuable information about the customer's business processes, employees and customers.    That information is used in the service delivery of managed security services.  It can also be used to better interact with the security customer.  We can be responsive (proactive) in our preventative maintenance and service service delivery.   

ThyssenKrupp Elevators uses sensor data in its 1.1 million elevators to predict service failures and proactively schedules service calls.  The jet engine division of Rolls Royce leases engines to the airlines on a fee per engine flying hour basis (per per hour).  They use sensor data to take over monitoring & maintenance of their engines, thereby relieving the customer of that burden.  This 'skin in the game' approach truely has Rolls Royce acting as a committed business partner to its customers.   

Can that data be used to better engage with the customer?

You bet.  Customer sensor data is extremely valuable for uncovering customer insights that can then be woven into the customer experience.   By understanding customer intents you can be predictive in your messaging to the customer.  As organizations mature from their legacy content management platforms to integrated customer experience platforms (CXP) we'll see more attention placed on mining for customer data from many different sources, including sensor data.  We're not too far out from seeing commercially available connectors from IoT aggregation data services to CXPs, marketing automation platforms and CRM systems.  


Microsoft just launched its Azure IoT Suite, which is a set of technologies for monitoring and managing 'Internet of Things' types of devices.  It includes aggregation, orchestration/processing and predictive analytics functionality.  

Amazon just launched a service called Kenesis Firehose, which enables device makers to stream data straight into Amazon Web Services (AWS). 

Bebaio, which I've mentioned previously, is an end-to-end platform that bridges the gap between IoT sensors and CXPs, marketing automation platforms and CRM systems.  

Look for more options to surface as this space matures.