The Chicken and the Egg: Golden State, Hampton Creek and the IoT at #DF15

The Chicken and the Egg: Golden State, Hampton Creek and the IoT at #DF15

Which came first, the chicken or the egg? It’s an age-old question. But in an increasingly connected business landscape, you might switch up the old dilemma to ask, Which comes first, customers or data?

It’s a tough question, but with two big new announcements around Dreamforce, Salesforce is giving us more ways than ever to look at data – and win new customers. The first is the Salesforce IoT Cloud, which enables users to examine data from the IoT thanks to a fast new data processing layer called Thunder that’s built on Heroku and uses several other technologies, including Spark (large scale data processing), Storm (real-time data computation from Twitter), Kafka (messaging service from LinkedIn), and Cassandra (scalable open source database from Facebook). Now, broken devices can create their own support tickets, or real time traffic alerts can reroute drivers on the go, among other use cases, all mediated by the Salesforce IoT Cloud.

But there are many more potential uses for this connected technology, which has huge potential to become an integral part of how businesses operate. And the IoT is not just for businesses with physical products – the concept of the IoT applies to any company that is affected by any kind of real world signals, from weather to traffic to noise levels. When the data from any device or sensor is associated with the right connected opportunities in Salesforce, companies can trigger appropriate actions and make better customer decisions.

Getting Smarter with Data

Some of these data-driven decisions will increasingly be automated thanks to Salesforce’s other big announcement this week: SalesforceIQ, smart technology that not only updates Salesforce based on actions from other systems (like marketing automation) but also adds on a smart layer that can help do things like suggest the best times to meet with a prospect based on calendar information, or remind salespeople when prospects don’t respond to emails or meeting invitations. It’s partly a way to get more information out of a salesperson’s busy inbox and into Salesforce where others can use it to drive good decisions.

Could Salesforce IoT Cloud and SalesforceIQ mark the end of manually entering data into Salesforce, ever again? Not yet (sorry, everyone updating Dreamforce prospect details by hand right now). But more information is needed to enable better decisions, so these announcements are both great news for anyone looking to connect new data sources with existing systems. Of course, these platforms on their own won’t handle all the information that companies need to keep customers happy – that’s where Salesforce integration (by Jitterbit!) comes in. Stop by our booth (Moscone North 1733 and 1735) anytime during Dreamforce if you have questions about how the IoT or automation could help your business.

Yolking It Up 

Back on the chicken and egg front, Hampton Creek CEO Josh Tetrick gave a keynote at Dreamforce yesterday that explored his company’s creative innovations in food science. With Hampton Creek, you don’t need a chicken or an egg for a good meal – the company works on identifying plant proteins that have similar properties to eggs and using them to create new plant-based foods, including mayonnaise, an egg substitute, and cookies, that taste as good as or better than the “real” thing.

In an internet-of-things world, we have more sources of data than ever before. Whether it’s weather warnings, connected cows or mayonnaise taste tests, we need fast and easy ways to find and make sense of information from any source. Salesforce is helping us do that very effectively, but adding other applications into the mix will always bring better results – without putting all your eggs in one basket.

Winning Ways

steph-curryAny commentary on Day 1 of Dreamforce 2015 wouldn’t be complete without a mention of the inspiring keynote featuring Rick Welts and Bob Myers of the Golden State Warriors. These two put all their eggs in one basket – the Warriors basket – and it paid off with an NBA Championship. They shared some secrets of success, which include going all-in with a team that feels connected, and creating a culture of success that applies to everyone, from superstars to equipment managers.

Some standout tips from the session included encouraging a culture of risk-taking (if you’re going to make an omelet…), rooting out bad apples (bad eggs?) that spoil the rest of the bunch, and making every single aspect of the fan experience remarkable – recognizing that the experience goes far beyond whether the team wins or loses. By making it a priority to create a cohesive team of hardworking people who get along, the Warriors leadership actually set themselves up for success better than they had if they’d focused on winning alone.

So, those were some of our highlights from the first day of Dreamforce this year (check out Salesforce highlights here). What kept you most interested yesterday? What are you looking forward to today? Share with us on social and don’t forget to attend one of our sessions or demos today.

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Images courtesy: United Soybean Board & Keith Allison