SFDC and CRM are two acronyms that always remain top-of-mind at Dreamforce. But in 2015, some common acronyms came to the forefront in a new way. Here are our top three concepts that came out of the show for us, and their implications for tech companies. We hope you’ll share what caught your attention at Dreamforce 2015, too.
IoT: More devices are getting connected
Ah, the Internet of Things. That thing we’ve been talking about for years now. Is it actually here yet? Well, not quite – it’s yet to become an everyday reality, but the technology to help us get the most out of connected devices continues to advance.
The Salesforce IoT Cloud looks poised to become a key component of making IoT a reality for many companies, providing the processing power to get data from any connected device into the systems that humans actually use to make decisions. It’s the first step in a larger movement toward a truly useful internet of things, and we’re excited to be a part of it (stay tuned for more information about how Jitterbit can help power the Internet of Things).
There are many ways the IoT could have a bigger impact. Using wristbands to change the lights at a Taylor Swift (or is it Ryan Adams?) concert is a fun way to make fans feel connected, but sending information about the fan experience to Taylor’s team through the wristbands could have even bigger benefits. For example, we could find out how fans felt about being part of the light show. And perhaps someday Taylor could use wearable data to figure out what song to play next to optimize the fan experience. That’s something that should be possible pretty soon, not just in our “Wildest Dreams.”
As Natalie Petouhoff of Constellation Research points out, “customer experience is the new business currency and the path to business growth is via the IoT Customer Experience Cloud.” Figuring out the best use of connected data for the customer is where the IoT is going – and Jitterbit and Salesforce are helping it get there. By connecting all of the different sources of data that inform business decisions, Jitterbit enables business decisions to become more accurate because they’re based on more complete data. That connects companies with a better understanding of the customer – something they can turn into successful experiences.
AI / IQ: More machines are getting smarter
Wired magazine thinks we’re “on the brink of a revolution in crazy-smart digital assistants.” Anyone who saw Satya Nadella struggle with Cortana on stage at Dreamforce may doubt that a little bit, but the Microsoft CEO did eventually get his virtual assistant to show him his most at-risk opportunities in Salesforce, demonstrating the power of finding your voice with computers as well as with humans.
As we gather more data from the Internet of Things, it will become increasingly important for all of that data to be parsed automatically. The more data we have, the less equipped humans are to analyze it – and the more we need intelligent machines to help out. Whether that’s by voice command, in bulk, or with some kind of AI, having computers intelligently review large amounts of data points and recognize the ones that require human attention is going to become more vital than ever as the IoT grows.
SalesforceIQ is a step in this direction for Salesforce, automatically surfacing important leads and suggesting meeting times with customers for salespeople. Look for additional intelligent services to become part of Salesforce soon, perhaps leveraging the volumes of new data that the IoT Cloud can process.
XaaS: More technology is being provided as a service
Accenture’s recent acquisition of CloudSherpas was big news at Dreamforce, and provides a proof point for the technology industry’s continued trajectory toward the as-a-service model. As companies expect more technology to be provided as a service, providers must move toward offering plug-and-play models and platform-based services with a focus on business results, not technical infrastructure, according to Phil Fersht and Charles Sutherland of Horses for Sources.
“Ultimately, the enterprise will need less IT programmers to develop out a SaaS platform, but will increasingly need process experts and transformational minds to help them make maximum benefit from the SaaS functionality,” they write. “The onus is shifting from back office engineering skills to middle/front office data science, design thinking capabilities.”
No matter how good your design thinking is, it still needs the right, reliable data to inform design decisions. That’s where Jitterbit can come in, delivering and combining that data and making it available in the applications that data scientists or designers rely on to drive decisions.
Did these three acronyms stand out at Dreamforce? What left a lasting impression on you?