Salesforce1 Paves Way for Internet of Customers
"The world is moving towards hyperconnectivity -- billions of devices, not just consumer devices, but embedded systems, manufacturing plants, cars, being connected -- and Salesforce is trying to tap into that," said Frost & Sullivan's Mukul Krishna. "They want to get a headstart on having third-party applications tying into their platform. They want to be the [CRM] connection of choice for everyone."
Salesforce on Wednesday kicked off its Salesforce1 world tour in New York, touting the allure of the social, mobile and cloud customer platform to clients.
Launched in November at Dreamforce 2013, Salesforce1 drove a 96 percent increase in mobile app active users and a 46 percent increase in active users of custom mobile apps, Salesforce claimed.
More than 250 partners have committed to delivering new Salesforce1 apps on the Salesforce1 AppExchange, and the number of partner apps built and optimized for the Salesforce1 Customer Platform has doubled since the platform's launch, according to the company.
Salesforce1 is a re-engineering of Salesforce.com's customer platform to future-proof existing investments in its technologies. The platform makes every existing custom app, CRM customization and partner app available through a mobile interface.
The platform offers 10 times more application programming interfaces than the original Salesforce.com platform, the company said.
Open APIs let devs build mobile-ready apps easily and allows them to sell, service and market their products on any device anywhere.
A mobile Admin App lets admins manage systems from a mobile device and change things on the fly.
The Benioff Perspective
"Behind every tweak, behind every app, behind every post, behind every thing is a customer," Salesforce chairman and CEO Marc Benioff said in New York. "It's 50 billion customers. This defines the third wave of computing."
There is "definitely a consumer, and maybe a potential customer, behind every connected device," Mukul Krishna, senior global director of digital media at Frost & Sullivan, told CRM Buyer.
"Why is the nature of this thing changing?" Benioff asked, whipping out a Philips battery-operated ultrasonic toothbrush from his jacket. When Benioff tells his dentist about his brushing habits, the dentist asks for his toothbrush login ID so he can check what he's been told.
"That's an amazing new world for the relationship between me and my dentist," Benioff said.
"The Internet of Things is creeping up on us, but at the same time, we're making the choice to have the convenience -- that connectedness -- built into products that it offers," Michael Brandenburg, unified communications and collaboration Industry analyst at Frost & Sullivan, told CRM Buyer.
Coping With the New World
The world is moving toward one-on-one marketing, and this "will transform the code of B2C," Benioff predicted.
"Connecting products [to the manufacturers over the Internet] can automatically create a case," he said.
Enterprises will be able to see customer satisfaction and updates on the latest marketing campaign from any device. They can easily turn ideas into secure mobile apps and unlock the potential of back office data.
"The question is not are we going to make that change, [but] are we ready now to make that change," Benioff pointed out. "How are we providing customer service in a world where everything is connected? How are we going to do sales in a world where everything is connected?"
Salesforce's end game, Frost's Krishna said, is "I want to have information -- especially when looking at it from the context of marketing and sales representatives -- that will help give me the highest probability of success in making decisions in close to real time."