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Salesforce IoT Strategy

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Salesforce is a large, disciplined development company. It's pretty good in marketing. It continues to innovate in all areas, from the main platform to applications, and the only criticism I would make is that it is sometimes an information overload. It reminds me of Oracle.

Lately, Salesforce has been working extensively on adding its AI product, Einstein, to each application domain to provide stack rank information and options. Since this is Einstein's first year, it's no surprise that the base layer is similar in all Salesforce disciplines.

In the clouds after the clouds, we see a version of the next best …. I think we could see some examples of that at Dreamforce.

Rapid development of applications

Back to the discipline. Salesforce has been paying close attention to applications these days, as well as boosting its platform. This is noticeable in the banking and financial sectors, as well as in the Internet of Things, but it is the differences in approach that are most interesting.

The IoT approach of the company is very different from what she did in finance. Salesforce recently announced IoT Explorer and the opportunity to quickly develop IoT applications. The application building tools are part of the platform. It's not really surprising that a more agile development arrives at IoT, but that reveals an interesting approach to the company's strategy.

IoT has a lot of moving parts right now, and the natural inclination for some might be to try to dominate the end-to-end process – from smart devices to connectivity to IoT platforms and finally to commercial applications. However, three of these four areas may not bring nickel for a company like Salesforce.

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Specialty vendors that Salesforce would find difficult to compete with dominant devices and connectivity. IoT platforms are a similar field, with companies like Amazon Web Services. Thus, Salesforce has not sought to compete and is committed to supporting leading platforms, leaving the business application area as the preferred location for competition.

Critical processes

By focusing on apps, Salesforce seems to be positioning itself as the key to capturing the value of upstream investments in devices and platforms. Generally, a company can make independent decisions about these areas, and the business applications company can work better with everything that is in place, and that is the strategy.

Given the state of the IoT market at the beginning, it makes sense to adopt an application development strategy. It is too early to have standardized applications that suppliers might want to buy, so having a set of fast and efficient development tools makes perfect sense in the world.

On the other side of the industry, there are financial and banking services – two mature markets with specific applications applications. Here, the strategy is less about new developments than the use of the platform to bring clean and efficient changes to process-driven operational systems.

In banking and finance, Salesforce can deploy its many platform-based tools, with partners such as nCino and Vlocity, to produce systems that span critical processes of an institution, such as loans and customer service.

Again, Dreamforce might have more to reveal here.

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Denis Pombriant is a well-known researcher, strategist, writer and lecturer in the CRM industry. His new book, You Can not Buy Customer Loyalty, but You Can Earn It is now available on Amazon. His 2015 book, Solving for the Customer is also available here. It can be reached at
denis.pombriant@beagleresearch.com.

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