Salesforce Takes Major IoT Steps

By Ken Briodagh March 15, 2016, the biggest name in cloud-based CRM and sales software, joined the IoT with its Thunder Cloud service last fall, and now it’s time the company dropped some features on us.

First up, a new report from the company seeks to prove a case for improving field service efficiency through technology from the IIoT. The company released on March 15 its “2016 Connected Manufacturing Service Report,” in which it surveyed 237 senior executives from service, supply chain, operations and other departments within various manufacturing industries. The survey found that executives are facing increased pressure from suppliers and customers to adapt their customer service models. In fact, 90 percent of executives say that improving field service is a top priority for their organizations.

The study was conducted online by Harris Poll on behalf of Salesforce from February 1 to 17, 2016. To download the report, click here. Other results include: more than three quarters of respondents agree that it is absolutely essential or very important for field service agents to be able to incorporate new technologies into their service activities and 87 percent of respondents say they are investing in technology training for their field service agents.

“We are living in the age of the customer, so ensuring service departments are equipped with the latest technology provides a massive opportunity for companies in the manufacturing industry to drive growth,” said Cindy Bolt, SVP, Manufacturing and Consumer Goods, Salesforce Industries. “Companies that bring together customers, connected devices and service employees with a single platform will not only be able to deliver a seamless customer experience, but create new sources of revenue as well.”

To help such companies bring the IoT Thunder, Salesforce has also introduced Field Service Lightning, which is designed to leverage cloud computing to help companies deliver connected, intelligent customer service. It will harness signals from connected devices and customer data from Salesforce to bring together customers, connected devices, agents, dispatchers, and employees in the field on one service platform. The platform includes intelligent scheduling and dispatch tools, real time job tracking and management, and full visibility over the entire customer service cycle for field techs.

“We are just beginning to see what customer service can look like in the era of mobile and IoT,” said Mike Milburn, SVP and GM, Service Cloud, Salesforce. “Field Service Lightning gives companies the ability to reinvent their approach to service by connecting the phone to the field on a single platform, resulting in an amazing customer experience.”

Boom goes the dynamite… or thunder. 

Edited by Maurice Nagle
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