What To Do With All That Data
Just as important as the hardware and the data it collects in an Intelligent System are the tools we need to process and analyze information. Otherwise, an Intelligent System does nothing to serve our purposes.
The importance of data analytics was basically the theme of the keynote address given by Marc Benioff, founder, chairman and CEO of Salesforce.com, at the company's Dreamforce conference in San Francisco this year. According to reporting by Marco delia Cava for USA TODAY, Benioff said that he’s intent on making Salesforce "the dominant cloud-based data synthesizer to help companies increase sales."
Calling the Internet of Things "truly a customer revolution," Benioff introduced a new partnership with Microsoft Azure called Salesforce Internet of Things Cloud. Rose Powell of the Financial Review says that the offering is "designed to enable businesses to source real-time data from connected devices, sensors and software and manage it in one place."
While Microsoft helped develop the IoT Cloud, it's also one of the service's first customers. According to an article by Rachael King in the Wall Street Journal, Microsoft is using the IoT Cloud to help sign people up for, and engage with, Office 365:
"The company uses Microsoft Azure Event Hubs to take in billions of usage events that happen in Office 365 each day, such as when someone signs up for the service, and sends that data to the IoT Cloud. That information is analyzed using Salesforce.com's intelligent rules engine, which then lets companies take those events for each specific customer and lets them do something different in an automated way. For example, a customer that signs up for Office 365 through a website but doesn't download the app will receive an email asking if the customer has tried the mobile app."
Writing about IoT Cloud in Fortune, Derrick Harris gives other use case examples, including how a car dealer might send a tow truck to a broken-down customer and how global technology company Emerson wants to reach out to customers with thermostat problems. "Salesforce says it's preparing its users for the transition from an old, reactive form of customer service to a new, proactive model," writes Mr. Harris.