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Salesforce is bringing its cloud service to the Apple Watch. With other enterprise cloud service vendors follow suit?

Salesforce is bringing its cloud service to the Apple Watch. With other enterprise cloud service vendors follow suit?

Salesforce was among a number of mostly consumer-focused application developers to announce it would support the recently introduced Apple Watch.

Apple this week revealed more details of its smart watch, which will range in price from $349 to over $10,000, and announced support for a range of mobile apps including Twitter, Instagram and Uber.

Salesforce, which already partners with other wearable device makers including Philips Healthcare and Google, is keen to bolster its analytics and mobile strategy by supporting the device which, despite widely varying opinions on the product’s success (or the success of the smart watch category as a whole), seems likely to sell well according to most analysts.

“With the excitement around the forthcoming Apple Watch, it’s becoming clear that the cloud, social, mobile and data science revolutions are converging on the wrist,” wrote Raj Mistry, senior vice president of solutions engineering at Salesforce in a blog post.

“Wearable devices present a tremendous opportunity for businesses to connect with customers, partners, employees and even products in a whole new way.”

Mistry said Salesforce for Apple Watch will consist of several key components launching in April, the first being support for the company’s analytics cloud, enabling watch wearers to interact with data dashboards directly on the device and query via voice search for reports.

Salesforce1 on the watch will enable organisations to deliver tailored notifications to salespeople, service agents and other personnel, so they can respond more quickly in very dynamic situations (i.e. delivering customer service in a large, mobile setting).

Last year the firm launched Salesforce Wear Developer Pack to provide enterprise developers with a sample code, documentation, demonstrations and reference apps built on the Salesforce platform for a growing list of wearable devices including smart watches, wristbands and augmented reality platforms like Google Glass and Oculus Rift. Now that SDK will be expanded to include support for Apple Watch.

Mistry said people shouldn’t underestimate the potential of wearables to strongly impact the enterprise: “While many will consider how consumers will benefit from the new Apple Watch, we want to emphasise our excitement around how Salesforce for Apple Watch can help you connect to your customers like never before.”

It’s unclear whether the Apple Watch will be as successful as other iOS devices have been in the enterprise, but the growing popularity of wearable devices in business settings (particularly in the healthcare, manufacturing and AEC sectors) and interest from enterprise cloud service vendors does raise more questions about what kinds of risks (security, privacy) their presence poses to organisations, how they could impact corporate networking and datacentre infrastructure, and whether other enterprise cloud service vendors will follow suit in branching out to support Apple’s latest mobile gear.

According to ABI Research the enterprise wearables market will hit US$18bn by 2019.

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