It’s that time of the year when Salesforce persuades almost unbelievable numbers of people, (said to be 170,000), to come to San Francisco for its annual Dreamforce event. It’s no longer possible to classify attendees as customers, developers, even pure CRM professionals as the pervasive nature of Salesforce Technology at the center of Enterprise capability has broaden the roles and interests of the attendees. The packed exhibition halls offer a scale and diversity of exhibitors that more closely resembles an Industry Trade show than a vendor show; yet everything on show runs on, or integrates through Salesforce technology including IoT!
Salesforce is certainly not new comer to IoT, but what is new to the Industry generally, is the Salesforce views on what IoT can do for an Enterprise, and how to get started. It’s a carefully crafted approach that matches and compliments their other technology, and the working practices of the ‘core’ Salesforce delivery staff in their various Enterprises.
The IoT keynote introduced the Salesforce point of view and proposition for IoT, with a series of following sessions used to build the details with deployment examples from two, three or four customers as proof points. Here are the Salesforce IoT key message statements presented;
- Behind Every Device there is a Customer;
Salesforce IoT products, tools, and deployment all relate directly to those activities that in some way, or other, will create a better customer experience.
A statement that positions Salesforce with a simple, clear, and well-defined Business focus in what is otherwise a very broad, often technology defined, marketplace. The focus allows Salesforce to align IoT with their core Business proposition, customer base, and Industry experience and is a contrast with the majority of the IoT market which aligns with machines and process improvements.
- Events, and Data, make IoT Business Valuable
Salesforce defines IoT value as any ‘real-time’ event triggers that create data inputs rather than limiting IoT to the often-used conventional definition referring to data from Sensors.
Whilst this may not fit necessarily fit with the popular Industrial IoT categorization, it does Salesforce to make use of a wider range of Enterprise sources as ‘IoT’ inputs. Salesforce IoT capability is able to make effective use of inputs from all of the nine principle areas of ‘engagement’ to be found in ‘Systems of Engagement’. Some of these sources, such as Social, are clearly of great value to the Salesforce IoT Customer focus in 1).
- Deploy from Salesforce Cloud Engines Business Value
IoT pilots, and small-scale deployments, have been hard to business justify due to the need for a unique complex processing
Creating IoT event data from simple low-cost deployments is not difficult, but making use of the data has often been a barrier to any real success. The premise that IoT will support ‘real-time’ read and react capabilities that deliver new business value has been difficult to deliver without expensive investments in complex Event Engines. Salesforce IoT works in association with, and fully integrated to, Salesforce Clouds offering a familiar development environment and full integration with other Enterprise activities. The standard Salesforce benefits of starting small at low cost and scaling up enable practical IoT projects to be quickly tried and tuned.
- Salesforce MyIoT Personal Toolset Eases Delivering Initial Value
A new product to facilitate rapid deployment of ideas as fully functional implementation using a highly business intuitive user interface.
In designing the MyIoT product Salesforce expect to encourage any Salesforce professional to be able to deliver a proof of concept as a genuine fully functional solution this breaking down the barriers to wide spread innovation. MyIoT implementations are fully functional and can be used to address the smaller project, or to prepare for a large-scale deployment.
- Updated Salesforce IoT Product Sets For Scale Up
Updated versions of Salesforce IoT Explorer Edition and Salesforce IoT Enterprise Edition complete Salesforce IoT product range
- Significant Experience and Trained Advisor and Partners
Salesforce has grown its support and training capabilities to align with the expected increase in interest that the above will create.
Dreamforce provided a significant number of Case Study sessions on different ways that Salesforce had created business value for customers in a wide range of Sectors. In addition there was a dedicated Salesforce IoT Trail area to showcase partners covering Business Consulting, System Implementations and supporting Products to extend functionality.
Salesforce has been very active from the early days of the IoT market and clearly has gained a lot of practical experience that has been used in defining its IoT market positioning and products.
Cloud deployment models, the shift towards Systems of Engagement, including Machine Learning and Augmented Intelligence, all combine to require a IoT data and event management. Add Digital Business market disruption driving increased focus on customer centric activity and Enterprises are going to need to look very careful at their IoT strategy.
With the clarification of direction and product updates plus the existing investment in Salesforce existing salesforce customers should look carefully at the Salesforce IoT proposition.
Salesforce IoT Overview
Salesforce ‘Behind every device is a Customer’