This year's Dreamforce conference featured no shortage of technology news. Announcements included enhancements to the user interface for the Salesforce CRM platform to Salesforce's presence in new vertical markets such as healthcare and financial services.
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But the most significant development for users may have been the announcement of Salesforce's foray into the Internet of Things with its IoT Cloud. The cloud delivers product or service data so that companies can glean insight about customers and trigger actions that can improve the customer experience based on that data.
The IoT Cloud is still in its infancy, but consider these kinds of examples: Salesforce envisions a future where airline passengers who are on delayed flights can receive alerts about an alternate connection while they are still in flight, or a car service alert turns on in a car and triggers a maintenance appointment for a customer that checks when he or she is available to bring in the vehicle, all in real time.
Salesforce partnerships will be key to the success of the IoT Cloud. The CRM provider is tapping key partners to pilot IoT. So, for example, Microsoft is using the IoT Cloud to process Office 365 user data.
Brent Leary, principal at CRM Essentials, a CRM consultancy, discussed how this partnership is significant for the IoT Cloud and the Salesforce ecosystem as a whole.
Microsoft has "billions of events that are driving usage around Office 365," Leary said. "They are using Saleforce's IoT Cloud to help with understanding what customers are trying to do and, in real time, trying to improve the experience of the customer in hopes of not only improving the experience but also extending the lifetime of the customer using Office 365.
"The fact that these two big companies are working on this kind of initiative and using each other's services. Azure on the Microsoft side and IoT Cloud on the Salesforce side to create better experiences at scale for customers, I think it's just the shape of things to come," Leary said.
For more, check out part one of this podcast above, and for part two, click here.
Dreamforce conference 2015: All the news
Salesforce on the IoT cloud