Business Cloud News

Internet of Things flat iconic illustrationSalesforce has launched its Internet of Things (IoT) offering with IoT Cloud, which promises to convert machine to machine conversations, digital content and customer information into useful intelligence that sales staff can act on.

The IoT Cloud is powered by event processing engine Salesforce Thunder, which will allow customers to personalise the way they sell, service and market. Development partners include processor maker ARM, Etherios, Informatica, PTC ThingWorx and Xively LogMeln.

The service was unveiled by Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff at the company’s Dreamforce conference in San Francisco. “Salesforce is turning the internet of things into the internet of customers,” said Benioff. The IoT Cloud will allow businesses to create instant one-to-one proactive actions for sales, service, marketing or any other business process, Benioff said.

According to Salesforce, its ‘massively scalable’ cloud computing architecture can ‘listen’ to the connected world and make sense of the billions of events each day from all sources. The connections with wearables, windmills, telephones and turbines – and all other devices – can be contextualized by Salesforce’s own real-time rules, it claims. The IoT Cloud aims to give business users intuitive, point-and-click tools to define rules and logic for events that can trigger actions among the users of Salesforce’s customer relationship systems.

The rationale is to glean information reported by devices – such as the numbers of hard braking movements by drivers of a car fleet – in order to monitor and manage customer cases. Machine intelligence, such as vehicle braking data, could help Salesforce users negotiate from a position of superior knowledge with their customers.

According to Salesforce’s figures there will be 75 billion devices connected to the Internet by 2020, with the volume of data growing exponentially each year. The McKinsey Global Institute estimates that IoT applications have the potential to make $11.1 trillion worth of economic impact per year by 2025.

The challenge is to make sense of all that data, said IoT market watcher Gary Barnett, chief analyst at Ovum. “IoT deployments only bring value when organisations can act on the information their IoT networks generate,” said Barnett, chief analyst, Ovum. “The ability to make sense of that data will be a key factor in turning it into action.”

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