Deutsche Telekom plans to drive cloud car dealership software into retail sector

Deutsche Telekom announced plans to extend cloud-based customer experience software into the retail market after a successful deployment at car dealerships in Germany and elsewhere.

The operator said its Customer Experience Management Automotive (CEM Automotive) is an offshoot of its connected car strategy and the first product developed in conjunction with CRM and cloud computing company Salesforce. The cloud-based software has already simplified car dealers' operations by enabling them to access basic services via mobile phones, the company added.

Two Germany-based Mercedes dealers were among the first to try CEM Automotive, which allows staff to check vehicles in storage yards, book in new vehicles, and document any damage via their mobile phone camera. Dealers are also able to add pricing information and transfer orders straight into their systems via cloud software.

One of the Mercedes dealers explained that the CEM Automotive software has cut down on errors made when entering the details of cars brought in for servicing, and boosted customer experience by allowing the dealership to be proactive in terms of alerting customers when services are due.

Deutsche Telekom said the software has attracted high levels of interest from car dealers in the U.S., China, Brazil, Mexico and Taiwan, and that its T-Systems Multimedia Solutions division is now preparing to adapt the service for use by retailers.

Customer-facing elements including a Bluetooth-based sensor information system will be transferred to the broader retail version of the software, Deutsche Telekom said. The beacons have been used by car dealers to enable potential customers to quickly access details of vehicles in the shop front on their smartphone and book test drives.

Deutsche Telekom stated that the beacon set-up could be used to connect retailers' physical stores with their online presence, for example enabling stores to detect when customers arrive to pick up goods ordered online. Retailers could also use the software to identify their most loyal customers, and send details of special offers straight to their smartphone.

For more:
- see Deutsche Telekom's announcement

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