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Salesforce unveils IoT cloud service backed by ARM

Steve Rogerson
September 17, 2015
California CRM company Salesforce has unveiled an IoT cloud service powered by its Thunder real-time event processing engine. The service connects billions of events from devices, sensors, applications and more to Salesforce, enabling companies to unlock insights from the connected world.
The aim is to let Salesforce customers personalise the way they sell, service and market. ARM, Etherios, Informatica, PTC ThingWorx and Xively LogMeln have joined the Salesforce's ecosystem to accelerate the adoption of the service. And companies such as Emerson and Pitney Bowes are looking to connect with their customers using the cloud service.
"Emerson is reinventing customer service," said Todd Finders, CIO of Emerson Climate Technologies. "By integrating our connected comfort products and services with customer data in Salesforce in real-time, we will be able to address our customers' needs in a proactive, personalised way."
The servicewill let businesses connect data from the IoT, as well as any digital content, with customer information, giving context to data and making it actionable, all in real time. Thunder, built on a scalable, modern architecture, can listen to the connected world, ingesting billions of events a day, from any source.
"Salesforce is turning the internet of things into the internet of customers," said Marc Benioff, chairman and chief executive officer at Salesforce."The IoT cloud will allow businesses to create real-time 1:1, proactive actions for sales, service, marketing or any other business process, delivering a new kind of customer success."
In addition to the IoT, connecting to phones, wearables, windmills and industrial turbines and other devices, the cloud service connects data from web sites, social interactions and more to Salesforce. By connecting the billions of real-time events and digital content with Salesforce, it can bring customer context to transactional data.
Business users can use intuitive, point-and-click tools to define, modify and set rules and logic for events that can trigger actions across Salesforce. A global fleet management company, for example, could enforce passenger safety standards by setting filters for hard brakes or hard accelerations and defining rules that trigger in-car sensors to log service cases reporting possible instances of erratic driving. Or, a national retailer holding a holiday sale could set rules based on loyalty programme status, inventory or sales performance, triggering retail beacons to send discount offers to in-store shoppers in real-time.
It seamlessly works across the Salesforce Customer Success Platform to surface insights and trigger real-time one-to-one, personalised actions for sales, service, marketing or any other business process. For example, a thermostat provider could parse through billions of events gathered from weather forecasts, sensors and temperature settings to alert customers proactively on how to manage their HVAC usage within their predefined budget. Or, a vehicle assistance service partnering with an car brand could send personalised offers on behalf of local dealers based on sensor data that tracks fluid levels and mileage.
"IoT deployments only bring value when organisations are able to act on the information that their IoT networks generate," said Gary Barnett, chief analyst at Ovum. "The ability to make sense of that data by connecting it with existing customer information will be a key factor in turning data into action."
Initial launch partners ARM, Etherios, Informatica, PTC ThingWorx and Xively LogMeln provide connectivity between devices and the internet. The company will continue to expand its ecosystem of IoT partners to enable businesses to connect with their customers in a whole new way.
The cloud service will be in pilot the first half of 2016 with generally availability later in the year. Pricing will be announced at the time of general availability.