Salesforce is getting in the Internet of Things market
Salesforce is getting in the Internet of Things market with IoT Cloud, announced at the company’s Dreamforce customer conference in September. IoT Cloud is designed to help businesses connect with and respond to their customers using connected devices. Basically, companies all over the world can create real-time interactions, proactive actions for sales, service, marketing or any other business process, delivering a new kind of customer success.
Salesforce IoT Cloud is a platform that connects billions of events from applications and devices allowing customers to leverage IoT data and make better decisions. IoT Cloud also monitors and absorbs billions of events every day from a variety of sources including social networks, blogs, websites, mobile devices, and more.
IoT Cloud is powered by Thunder, a real-time event-processing engine built on Salesforce’s Heroku Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) cloud and leveraging open-source Big Data engines Apache Spark and Apache Storm. The platform essentially connects everything to Salesforce including smartphones, sensors, windmills, and turbines. Additionally, Thunder allows Salesforce customers to personalize how products and services are sold, marketed, and managed.
Basically, IoT Cloud can pull data together to develop profiles of customers and devices. It can trigger actions based on rules as data changes in real-time — for example, taking a specific action to engage with customers after a specific period of time. At the same time, businesses can respond to customers and employees through Salesforce’s other services, such as Sales Cloud, Marketing Cloud, App Cloud or Community Cloud.
One of the pilot customers for Salesforce IoT Cloud is electrical giant Emerson who is using the platform to monitor and respond to problems with both residential and commercial internet-connected thermostats. Instead of waiting for customers to call when something goes wrong, Salesforce’s cloud helps Emerson learn about their problems proactively so that it can offer help before the phone rings.
Salesforce says IoT Cloud will pilot in the first half of 2016 and roll out generally later in the year, and pricing will be announced at that time. However, the degree to which Salesforce can leverage its large base of customer relationship management and marketing applications to establish a dominant position in the IoT environments remains to be seen.
One thing is for sure – the IoT market is set to offer great opportunities. The number of connected devices is projected to top 75 billion by 2020, according to a Cisco study, and a recent McKinsey report sets the economic impact of IoT applications at $11.1 trillion annually by 2025.
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