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Salesforce IoT Cloud heralds new emphasis and partnerships

One message came through loud and clear to the 150,000 attendees at Salesforce's Dreamforce 2015 conference in San Francisco: The company is ready to tackle the Internet of Things (IoT).

This episode of BizApps Today digs into the company's intentions with its new Salesforce IoT Cloud offering. The fact that Salesforce is partnering with rival Microsoft on IoT Cloud shows that Salesforce wants to achieve interoperability within its growing cloud ecosystem, said Lauren Horwitz, executive editor at SearchCRM and SearchContentManagement.

"For example, Salesforce's IoT Cloud uses Microsoft technologies to make mobile device data available to Salesforce users," Horwitz told Fran Sales, host and site editor of SearchCIO and SearchCompliance.

Salesforce wants to achieve interoperability within its growing cloud ecosystem.

Salesforce's IoT maneuvers signal a change in that will ripple out. In a clip of an interview done at Dreamforce, consultant Jeff Kaplan told Horwitz that if Salesforce puts its weight behind a concept like IoT, the high-tech industry pays attention.

"When Salesforce believes something is that important that they're going to brand it, then we all are going to see an entire ecosystem of folks following their lead," said Kaplan, who runs THINKStrategies in Wellesley, Mass.

In the video, Horwitz also talked about Salesforce's desire to build user-friendly applications, such as Salesforce Lightning.

Predictive analytics need a format

BizApps Today also checks on why employing predictive analytics doesn't guarantee good business decisions. The fault may not lie with the data itself, but instead with the way the information is presented, said Ed Burns, site editor at SearchBusinessAnalytics.

Burns attended the Predictive Analytics World show in Boston, at which attendees heard from the chief data scientist at Hopper in Cambridge, Mass., a mobile app that predicts airline fares. Predictive analytics may enlist intense science behind the curtains of an app or software, but that modeling doesn't help end users make a decision.

"It ultimately needs to get boiled down to something that's really actionable and interpretable to the end user," Burns said.

He also discusses how McGraw-Hill Education in Columbus, Ohio -- which sells educational technology to school districts and colleges -- promotes the need for knowing what actions a company will take as part of any predictive analytics results.

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