Gartner researchers liberally sprinkled Internet of Things (IoT) throughout the firm’s Top Ten Strategy Technology Trends for 2020 – and for good reason. IoT is central to the emergence of the so-called edge computing, a technical term for anywhere sensors that capture real-time information.

This data could be from the connected cars we drive, inside the wearables tracking our fitness, or across the equipment companies we use every day.

While Gartner shared a sweeping vision of IoT’s growing role across industries, I saw how IoT can help companies manage an everyday occurrence like equipment breakdowns in this video interview at the SAP TechEd event. It shows how bringing IoT into service and repair can make all the difference in company productivity and customer satisfaction.

“Companies can use IoT to automate service processes, manage scheduling to make the best use of people and equipment, and speed up repairs to meet service-level agreements,” said Elvira Wallis, senior vice president and global head of IoT at SAP. “This can reduce downtime and increase customer satisfaction.”

Less Time Wasted with a Greater Productivity Boost

In her video demonstration, Wallis demonstrated how companies could continuously collect and share real-time information from equipment using SAP Leonardo IoT, SAP Field Service Management, and SAP Edge Services. With this data, organizations can anticipate vulnerabilities and provide service before parts break down – preventing costlier or even catastrophic failures. There is less time wasted all around as service providers with a 24/7 view of equipment data can more efficiently plan, schedule, and complete on-site services. This keeps businesses up and running.

Mobile Speeds Up Response Times

Whether they are distributed through texts, phone calls, or emails, typical service incidents share limited information beyond the customer’s important, but often superficial, description of the problem. Injecting IoT-based data into the conversation can give an entire network of field technicians more details about exactly what is happening with a piece of equipment during a specific timeframe.

“SAP Leonardo IoT automatically triggers a service call based on certain rules on the IoT data, which the field service technician can view through the SAP Field Service Management mobile app,” said Wallis. “There’s no guessing because the technician can see what’s going on inside the equipment where there’s a problem and decide on the fastest way to resolve it. Maintenance and repair teams can make sure they have the right spare parts when they travel to the customer’s location. Both provider and customer can save money with faster problem-resolution time. That can include fewer road trips and repair hours.”

Not long ago, experts saw widespread IoT adoption roadblocked by too many challenges. That is rapidly changing. Combined with machine learning, robotics, and other intelligent technologies, IoT is part of a growing trend that revolutionizes customer expectations. Uncertainty will continue to rock businesses. However, sooner or later, all equipment breaks. With a real-time view into what is going on with any machine, IoT offers companies precious embedded intelligence. After all, the faster a company fixes a problem, the happier the customer experience will be.

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