Image of two colleagues reviewing how their group can take advantage of The Internet of Things.

Integrating to the Internet of Things

Updated January 1, 1 . AmFam Team

Getting a handle on how your business can leverage The Internet of Things means becoming an industry expert in the field, right? Wrong! Take a look at these helpful ideas that get you up to speed on the Internet of Things in no time at all — you’ll soon have a better understand of how industry leaders are shaping the future of IoT.

Improve your customer service with these Internet of Things solutions.


Imagine selling a copier that orders its own parts. Your customers wouldn’t have to interact with any salespeople, and there would be no interruption of service when a component needed to be replaced. For many forward-thinking small businesses, that scenario could become the norm, thanks to the Internet of Things (IOT), which promises to revolutionize the sales cycle.

The Internet of Things refers to the concept of connecting any device – from consumer goods to industrial machines – to the Internet. By 2020, it’s estimated that anywhere between 50 billion to 75 billion objects will be communicating via the Internet, according to both Cisco Systems and Morgan Stanley (Opens in a new tab).

When it comes to your small business’s sales team, Giles House, CMO at CallidusCloud (Opens in a new tab) believes the Internet of Things is a game changer. “The big opportunities are in boosting the customer experience and being connected to that customer in real time,” he says.

“With the Internet of Things, small business salespeople will have the potential to know a lot more about their customers and how they’re using the products and services that they’ve purchased,” says House. With that information, it can become much easier to find new opportunities and sell products.

With more and more companies seeing the value of our heightened connectivity, we’ve uncovered some of the cutting-edge business tools that leverage the Internet of Things. While it’s important that you do your own research to determine what tools work best for you, these suggestions may help get you started.

Oracle

Promising less risk than its competitors, Oracle IOT facilitates seamless communication (Opens in a new tab) between all elements of the IOT architecture. Oracle enables real-time response and data capture from millions of device endpoints, so you can deliver new services faster and more efficiently.

Salesforce

Salesforce IOT Cloud (Opens in a new tab) allows you to be a more proactive small business owner, by providing you with the data generated by customers, devices, sensors, and other partners. This helps you respond in real time and build a memorable customer experience.

ThingSpeak

This open data platform (Opens in a new tab) boasts plugins, data visualizations, and the ability to integrate your data with a variety of third-party platforms, systems, and technologies, including other IOT platforms such as ioBridge, and mobile and Web apps such as Twitter.

Thanks to the IOT, your customers can look forward to a whole new level of engagement. “It’s really going to force us to think more strategically about the way we sell, not to mention the role of the sales person and the information they’ve got access to.” Let an American Family Insurance agent (Opens in a new tab) review your business policy (Opens in a new tab) as you consider integrating your business into The Internet of Things. With customized coverage that matches your business needs, you’ll feel great knowing that you’re protected.

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    Factor in repair costs now

    Because real estate investing as a landlord requires the space to be “habitable” upon tenant occupancy, you may need to make certain repairs or upgrades before renting the property. As a result, you’ll want to add the total cost of these repairs into the purchase price.

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    Class B neighborhoods

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    How to Calculate the Cap Rate for an Investment Property

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    Figure the acquisition value

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    Calculate one year’s rent

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    Account for half a month’s vacancy

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    Factor in operational costs

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    • Less operating costs: $9,300
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    Divide the NOI by the total value of the property:

        $13,700 
    ---------------------  =  0.0685 or 6.85 % - That's your cap rate.
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    The capitalization rate for this investment is 6.85 percent annually. If another property under consideration returns a higher cap rate like 8.23 percent for instance, you may want to explore opportunity with the higher annual yield in order to maximize your profit potential.

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    Generally, a cap rate between 8% and 12% is considered good. However, an optimal cap rate is really going to depend on several factors including location, risk and current rental income. For example, in high-demand like big cities, a cap rate of 4% may be considered good.

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