'The Internet of Things' and Salesforce.com
Steven Spielberg presented the 'Society of future' in 'Minority Report' where mutants foresee all crime before they occur, helping Precrime division to arrest suspects before the act of crime. In 2011, Los Angeles Police Department embarked on an experiment known as 'Predictive Policing', involving data crunching to determine where to send officers to thwart an impending burglary; this experiment was named as one of the best inventions by Time Magazine.
'Predictive Policing' and 'Society of Future' seem to have arrived with the idea of devices becoming more talkative than humans i.e the advent of Internet of Things. As per forecasts, by 2020, Internet of Things(IoT) could include between 30 billion and 75 billion connected devices ranging from smart bands, toys, TVs, washing machines and photo frames to medical devices, earthquake sensors and aeroplanes. Anything and everything that can be connected, is likely to be, in the next decade.
The challenge and opportunity for Customers and Systems Integrators will be to make sense of all the data being gathered by the machine to machine mesh and leveraging technology to create a secure and integrated environment. While creating the next level of customer service gets even more challenging with the connected devices revolution, opportunity lies in identifying and investing in suitable tools and processes that will support proactive listening as these devices start conversing.
How does Salesforce.com fit in the scheme of things?
Salesforce has evolved from being only a CRM product to a complete Digital platform with comprehensive Sales, Service, Marketing, Portal, Analytics, IoT and Mobility offerings on its Salesforce 1 platform.
Salesforce1, has incredibly flexible APIs that facilitate sending and receipt of information from the devices connected to it and trigger events such as sending a personalized marketing message, calling a customer, or initiating replacement of parts.
Salesforce has recently unveiled the next iteration of the B2B marketing automation service under the 'Sales Cloud' umbrella, features made possible by Salesforce Pardot. 'Sales Cloud Engage' will take customized ad campaigns a step further by breaking down the borders for prospect and client data within the Salesforce platform. Salesforce 'Engagement Studio' will help sales and marketing professionals build adaptive campaigns with real time adjustment to different types of behavioral responses.
Salesforce 'Service Cloud' provides a platform for listening and acting on information from connected devices. Salesforce has now created new hierarchy called 'System of Intelligence' over and above 'system of records' and 'system of engagement'. Salesforce service cloud supports 'intelligent workflow' automation by pushing tasks based on skills, 'intelligent workload' allocation and 'intelligent' omni-channel collaboration in a manner that the earlier customer context is not lost as the customer switches between channels.
Salesforce 'Wear' is helping design and build wearable apps that connect to Salesforce1 Platform. The platform is now compatible with an extended list of wearable devices, besides Google Glass, ARM, Fitbit, Apple Watch, Myo from Thalmic , Salesforce now runs additional support for Epson Moverio ( Smart glasses), Jawbone UP (Fitness tracker), Meta Glasses (3D smart glasses), Oculus Rift (Virtual reality headset),Vuzix M100 Smart Glasses ( Android based wearable computing, communications and display system). This new offering from Salesforce holds the greatest potential in helping businesses provide innovative ways of servicing their customers.
Customers are creating Social Machines using Salesforce Connect for Facebook and Twitter. 'Toyota Friend' is built on Salesforce1 platform that allows Toyota's cars to use social networks to communicate with their owners - for example, sending alerts when key maintenance tasks are due besides providing a dedicated social networking community for Toyota car owners.
With only 7% of consumers saying that customer service experiences they have with companies typically exceed their expectations, there is a huge opportunity for us to encash on the capabilities offered by Salesforce.com.
And as the popular quote goes in 'Minority Report-'Sometimes, in order to see the light, you have to risk the dark'- How about taking the challenge to build a network of connected devices for the future on one of the best of breed products?