At this week’s Salesforce1 event in Anaheim the keynote was given by Maria Martinez who spoke about ‘running your business from your phone’ using the Salesforce1 mobile app and the efficiency that type of capability has brought to her business. There was also a great demo of ExactTarget, including setting up a geo-fenced promotion for Sony games, whereby a user was able to gain trophies simply by entering a mall. This type of process can lead to higher user engagement in their games, which was obvious from watching the event play out. Even more impressive was that the setup was done in around 5 minutes.
We spoke with attendees from several major automotive manufacturers, who gave us their perspective on how IT is run today and where it is going for large enterprises like themselves. One of the most common pains for these business is that their dealerships are not connected to corporate, leading to manual activities like checking a portal to get updates on pricing and offers. Dealerships must also run their finance departments separate from their corporate parents, partially because they don’t have their systems integrated.
Integration in this case is a way for automotive businesses to modernize legacy systems and processes. On the flipside, these companies are also forward-thinking and looking to jump on the Internet of Things. Just about every manufacturer is building technology into their vehicles and looking to connect their cars with customers, partners and the business. By connecting vehicles back to the dealership or corporate parent, maintenance can be streamlined, dealerships can sell more ancillary products, and the vehicle owner can see how their car is doing from anywhere in the world with a swipe and a tap. Connecting vehicles using integration is the future and promises to provide a better experience to all parties through the use of technologies that already exist.
The automotive minded attendees we spoke with said this long time stalwart in the manufacturing business wants to modernize their business processes and take advantage of new ones in development now. Given the capabilities of the Salesforce platform shown at Salesforce1 Southern California, when combined with integration, the only limit to manufacturing innovation is how far they want to go on the open road ahead of us.
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