The adaptive digital factory

The adaptive digital factory - Omni-device customers and manufacturers

Dr. Setrag Khoshafian,

The Internet of Things (IoT) is digitally transforming the customer-manufacturer relationship – big time!

From appliances, to connected home sensors, to connected vehicles, to city lights, to wellness devices for networked care – to name just a few - manufacturers are now connected to the end customer like never before. These manufacturers are learning how consumers are using their devices and gathering enormous amounts of product data and customer usage data – often real-time.

When the customer/device interaction patterns are discovered through mining Thing Data, the resulting impact on future releases of connected products can potentially revolutionize product innovation and the customer experience.

But more than that, since devices are constantly connected, contextual, increasingly smart, and relevant, they are also revolutionizing Customer Relationship Management

“Things” are becoming channels to improve the customer experience as well as to cross-sell and upsell products and services.

As we have pointed out in a previous post, Omni-device is really a specialization of omni-channel that leverages IoT. Four essential omni-device capabilities provide significant potential in optimizing and transforming the always-connected customer experience through IoT:

  • Customer-Device Interaction: Manufacturing and technology companies are realizing the tremendous potential of smart connected devices for applications in homes, vehicles, and industrial applications. For example, GE is adding “if-then” smarts and intelligence to connected appliances to let consumers indicate what they want to do with the appliance (e.g., turn it off after 20 minutes or send a text when the oven heats up). The connected devices provide both sales and marketing opportunities.
  • Devices as Channels: IoT devices are also becoming channels. Just as a mobile device or a browser handles customer service, IoT devices can be used to promote products, services, cross-sell, or upsell. For instance, automobiles connected through 4G LTE connections can offer Wi-Fi as well as vehicle diagnostics and maintenance opportunities. However, this connectivity also provides opportunities for advertising, sales, and marketing in a way that’s convenient for the consumer.
  • Connecting With Manufacturers: The third use case for omni-device is about connecting the consumer with the device manufacturer. With the emergence of connected products, manufacturers are now much closer to the consumers. Sensors are providing fantastic feedback on how the device is being used and what the consumers prefer. There are, of course, healthy discussions and concerns around privacy and security. But this connectivity and continuous sensor feedback is definitely transforming the relationship between manufacturer and consumer.
  • Extending Manufacturers’ Ecosystem to Optimize the Customer Experience: The consumer is constantly on the move and connected through their devices. This includes their offices, cars, and homes. Because of this, manufacturers are establishing new, innovative relationships with other merchandising channels to conveniently cross-sell or up-sell to the customer. For instance, OnStar now provides AtYourService, which offers consumers options such coupons for coffee, gas, restaurants, and retail that factor in geolocation as well as the context of the customer.

Learn more:


  • Industry Group: Industrie
  • Thème: Mobilité
  • Thème: Internet des objets
  • Défi: Excellence opérationnelle

About the Author

Dr. Setrag Khoshafian is an author, speaker, and leading expert on the Internet of Things, digital process automation, and digital transformation. As Pega’s chief evangelist and VP of BPM technology, he provides valuable insight on business transformation and innovation to our clients.