One of the major announcements at the Dreamforce conference this week has been the internet of things cloud or IoT Cloud. Since people have been connecting devices to the cloud for years already, why is this any different?
To start, I look at connecting an IoT device into the cloud as having three general components as listed out below.
- Native software on a device that you want to connect.
- A gateway that will communicate and push data into Salesforce.
- Using the data once it exists in Salesforce.
The Salesforce IoT Cloud is really meant for handling volume and aligns with my third bullet point listed above. You can have a connected device, but that device may drive up voltage usage that is being used, battery status, etc. Another example may be thinking of a Twitter stream and filtering by your favorite artist. Imagine having all of this data coming in every few seconds and then having the ability to filter what you want to listen for. Once in the Salesforce IoT Cloud, a business user can create tasks associated with certain data points streaming from the device or send incoming data to another system that triggers a response.
Image courtesy of Salesforce.com
The reason not to use the new Salesforce IoT Cloud may be if you’re not handling large volumes of data. In these scenarios, you may be fine using Wave Analytics or just surfacing the data within Service Cloud through API calls. Scenarios really depend on your business needs and what business case you’re setting out to solve.
At Rightpoint, we not only specialize in Sales, Service, Community, or custom Force.com or Salesforce1 applications, but we are always looking to integrate IoT devices. One of our internal fun projects has been connecting our kegs in the office to Salesforce and posting pictures on our social network using facial recognition. It allows a quick and fun way to tag first pour of the day and largest pour of the day. Feel free to reach out to us regarding if the Salesforce IoT Cloud makes sense for your organization or any other Salesforce related questions.