What are these tools that DevicePilot has integrated with?
Keith Reed, Head of Product, DevicePilot:
"Customer Relationship Management (CRM) tools enable companies to track and manage all aspects of their relationships with their customers, including raising customer support tickets for open issues and tracking them through to successful resolution.
We've just completed a big piece of work to give DevicePilot customers easy "zero-code" integration with the CRM tool that they already use, including Freshdesk™, FreshSales™, Hubspot™, Microsoft Dynamics CRM™, Oracle Sales Cloud™, Salesforce™, SugarCRM™, Zendesk™ and Zoho™. Whew, quite a lot of them!
What will this enable DevicePilot customers to do that they couldn’t do before?
These CRM tools are the heart of managing the customer experience and lifecycle for a modern business. If that businesses is deploying connected devices, it's natural to want to bring those devices into the same management framework, to enable service quality to be measured and managed in one place. In principle, the very "connectedness" of the devices should enable this. In practice however, CRM tools can't natively understand the streaming telemetry which comes from connected devices.
DevicePilot solves this problem by ingesting device telemetry, detecting changes in device behaviour and metrics (e.g. site uptime) and then triggering actions (such as "raise a ticket for a faulty device") in these CRM tools, using these new integrations. This makes it possible - for the first time - to include connected devices as part of the day-to-day management of service delivery across the whole company.
What areas of a business are set to benefit most from these integrations?
The business areas which benefit most are:
- Front-line support, aka Customer Service, who can move from a reactive mode of waiting for customers to complain, to a proactive mode where they are the first to know of any problems, and can often fix problems before customers are even aware of them.
- Second-line support, aka Operations, who now have a "single pane of glass" showing the service quality of the entire device estate, and can build business processes to automate problem resolution, driving up service quality.
- Product Management, who can measure and manage the overall customer experience.
Why did you want to add this to the DevicePilot service?
Modern businesses expect to be able to buy "best of breed" SaaS applications for each business area domain (CRM, sales, billing etc.) and easily integrate them together to run the business. Enabling our customers to easily connect their device estate to their CRM tool of choice gives everyone in their business better visibility and the power to manage and improve customer experience.
Are any other companies with a similar offering?
This is a world first for easy integration of connected-device Service Monitoring with popular business tools, and it's further evidence that IoT is becoming a true ecosystem where our companies can create complete solutions entirely out of off-the-shelf tools which integrate together easily.
Can you explain a little more about how these tools will integrate with connected devices?
Sure, let's use a concrete example of a DevicePilot customer who uses the ZenDesk CRM integration with DevicePilot Service Monitoring:
Winnow Solutions' nifty solution to reduce food waste in commercial kitchens puts a weigh scale under the kitchen bin, and an AI camera above it. Food that is thrown-away is identified and measured ("1.3kg of carrots") and that information fed back into future menu-planning, to reduce waste. Winnow operates across thousands of kitchens globally, in businesses ranging from IKEA™ stores to cruise ships.
The weigh-scale and the camera are of course connected devices, plus there's an Android tablet too for interacting with kitchen staff. These devices are connect locally using Bluetooth or WiFi, then via cellular internet connection to Winnow's application in the cloud. In the busy environment of a kitchen there is a lot that can go wrong, ranging from microwave ovens interfering with wireless links, to cleaners unplugging equipment. If a connection is lost, Winnow goes blind for that account.
Winnow uses ZenDesk™ as its CRM. Whenever a customer reports a problem this is logged with a support ticket, which can then be tracked through to resolution. Tools like ZenDesk also provide the ability to measure important business performance statistics such as "average time to resolution".
Before DevicePilot, it could take hours or days for a customer to report a problem, or for Winnow personnel to notice it by eye, during which time valuable data was lost. So Winnow configured DevicePilot to monitor every connected device, minute-by-minute. As soon as a problem occurs, DevicePilot automatically raises a ticket in ZenDesk, against the site where the device is located. This then triggers human intervention by the customer to resolve the problem locally. Once the problem is resolved, DevicePilot notices that the device is back online and automatically closes the ticket. So it's not spewing-out notifications (which would quickly be ignored), it's actually keeping the ZenDesk CRM automatically synchronised with Winnow's device estate, so that every ZenDesk user can see an up-to-date picture of the situation in each kitchen alongside the customer communications history.
You can hear more about this specific example from DevicePilot customer Winnow in this webinar.
Will customers feel the benefits of these integrations quickly?
This announcement eliminates the need to write code to integrate DevicePilot with CRM systems, meaning that it can be done in hours instead of weeks. Integrating two great business systems creates even more value in the combination.
All these integrations are available immediately, to all existing and future DevicePilot customers, at no extra cost.