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Immersive customer experiences & the manufacturers who are benefitting from them

May 1, 2023
"Having a differentiated digital customer experience is a key component to staying competitive and driving revenue."

Recently released research from Google Cloud found that manufacturers who provide immersive and personalized customer experiences (CX) are outperforming their peers in terms of revenue, profits, and e-commerce sales. Interesting stuff. We wanted to learn more, so we connected with Simon Floyd, Google Cloud’s director of manufacturing and transportation industries. Take a look…

Smart Industry: How are manufacturers who provide immersive and personalized customer experiences outperforming their peers? 

Simon: Manufacturers are realizing that having a differentiated digital customer experience is a key component to staying competitive and driving revenue. The way today’s buyers, including B2B and B2C manufacturers, research, shop, and purchase products is evolving. Expectations for more personalized products, services, and experiences—as well as unanticipated events and sudden demand shocks—are driving change and creating opportunities for companies to transform. 

Our recent Google Cloud survey found that manufacturers with a mature digital customer journey saw 13.5% increase in revenue and a 14% increase in profit in the past 12 months. These manufacturers created personalized customer experiences that incorporated the latest cloud technologies, such as artificial intelligence (AI), augmented reality (AR), and integration with consumer applications like smart home devices, for example. 41.% of respondents to our survey had already implemented AR/VR to stay connected in real-time with their customers. 

Additionally, the data reinforced that customer experience and cloud maturity is strongly correlated. The amount of data that can be analyzed in the cloud is where value is being generated, as manufacturers can now analyze large data sets and drive improvements across the enterprise. More than 50% of the most mature cloud users stated they are extremely effective at applying predictive analytics and data-driven insights to inform experiences and operations vs. only 11% of the least mature cloud users.

Smart Industry: You focus on connecting siloed assets and improving data visibility from the factory floor to the cloud.  What are key benefits with this approach? 

Simon: The benefits of a fully connected factory are endless. Historically, to be more productive, factories would add more space, equipment and people to create more product. Now, we have tools that can make a factory more efficient—maximize utilization of their machines, upskill their workforce and take advantage of smart automation. A big part of that is connecting the dots between a machine and its data and the actions the enterprise will take. By connecting operational technology and information technology, manufacturers can unlock new levels of automation, reduce anomalies and errors on the factory floor, and reduce the amount of time that a machine is down. 

Smart Industry: What's going on the metadata / metaverse? 

Simon: We've been delivering augmented-reality experiences in Google Earth, Maps and Apps on Android which combine real and virtual worlds with data, and we have a deep understanding of customers' needs to deliver next generation experiences and how to power the experience with AI.

There are common themes that define the industrial metaverse for enterprises: private and secure, designed to enhance collaboration, backed by real-time data, 3D visualization providing data context and increases understanding.

For example, we have partnerships with Teamviewer, which is delivering industrial use cases on Google Cloud, and Renault, which is connecting their factories (running on Google Cloud) to visualization and collaboration apps in 3D to create a metaverse.  

Smart Industry: What are some methods for ultra-low latency detection on vast amounts of data?

Simon: Anomaly detection can help manufacturers identify and address potential problems before they cause disruption, damage or downtime. By monitoring data from sensors and other sources, customers can identify unusual patterns that may indicate equipment failure, quality issues, or other problems. With integrated alerting, maintenance engineers and factory supervisors can take preventive action early on.