Can Salesforce IoT Cloud Fill the Customer Experience Gap?

With the onset of the pandemic, organizations worldwide fast-tracked their digital transformation endeavors overhauling their internal tech stack and data capabilities. An immediate need to move physical operations online largely propelled the process. From closing sales deals over business dinners, we had quickly moved to engaging with clients in digital spaces. Among the many challenges the pandemic ushered in, the one that daunted every organization was ensuring a stellar customer experience against all odds.

Salesforce known for its cutting-edge solutions has been consistently deploying emerging innovative technologies like the Internet of Things (IoT) to empower them. IoT is driving business growth by enabling real-time management of critical systems across industries. It comes as no surprise that the global IoT cloud platform market is all set to cross USD 5262.7 million by 2025.

The high demand for automation across sectors has contributed to the growth of the IoT-connected machines market. By 2027, the global IoT connected machines market is predicted to touch USD 1.3 trillion with North America holding a dominant position with its 2019 revenues standing at USD 91 billion.

Salesforce is helping enterprises combat modern challenges in a digital-first selling world with solutions that can help them soar and serve their customers better.

Explains Warren Wick, EVP AMER Commercial Sales and Chief Revenue Officer, Sales Cloud, “Over the past year, we held more than six million calls with customers to understand what they needed to be successful as they worked to transform their business with more urgency than ever before. We’ve reimagined Sales Cloud to guide every company as they rethink the digital sales experience, from leads to coaching to processing revenue.”

Enterprises are now generating 21% more sales leads every day in 2021 as compared to the previous year thanks to Salesforce. There are several success stories to tell when it comes to Salesforce and the many organizations it has been helping worldwide to drive growth and offer a better customer experience. With IoT Cloud, Salesforce is also helping them bridge the customer experience gap. We will tell you how.

The IoT edge from Salesforce

IoT is an ecosystem; one where physical objects are connected across geographies through an IP address that connects them via the Internet. The devices connect, communicate, and help users come up with real-time insights and analytics to improve business outcomes. Salesforce has been offering IoT services through Salesforce IoT Cloud, Salesforce IoT explorer, and Salesforce Einstein services, to facilitate data collection and analysis.

As per a survey conducted by Forbes Insights in collaboration with Intel involving 700 executives from diverse industries, it was observed that practically all the industries had witnessed significant improvements in several areas including customer experience.

Salesforce IoT Cloud connects devices, apps, sensors, software, etc. to collect contextual data and give a better understanding of the customer journey. This enables enterprises to engage with customers and help them better with proactive customer support. While many have been investing in IoT adoption, their success rate varies greatly. But those who have leveraged the Salesforce platform have been able to integrate the data obtained from IoT into their CRM systems to reimagine the way they serve, sell, and promote. Most importantly, it has helped them take a step further towards their customers closing the experience gap in the most meaningful manner.

Customer experience has always been looked upon as a critical factor for enhancing customer satisfaction, brand loyalty, and revenues. Salesforce understands this well and offers a world of benefits to its users. The top ones include:

Seamless connectivity between devices and users

The profiles of customers are linked to the devices they use and this creates seamless connectivity to streamline operations and respond to events in real time. Tesla’s self-driving cars are a classic case in point and set an example as to how much you can achieve with IoT.

General Motors with its crisis assistance services came as a savior during hurricane Dorian wherein it could help those trying to escape the hurricane with real-time direction, free calls, routing to shelter and basic amenities, an in-vehicle WiFi hotspot, and much more.

Real-time analysis based on context

Without customer context, it would be impossible to analyze past behaviors and take remedial action in real time. Machine learning plays a big role in providing it. Data collected from diverse locations and devices give a realistic picture of what’s happening and where taking into account customer history, service history, and location.

Opportunities to serve better

With so much information at hand, you get to know exactly how the products are performing, whether they are due for maintenance, are there any new updates, is the warranty about to expire, etc. Salesforce IoT Cloud helps you manage all of this with the help of predefined rules that are orchestrated based on performance metrics.

The Sales and Support teams are instantly notified if the product fails to perform as per the expected standard. This kind of data helps in predicting behaviors while providing opportunities to enhance customer retention.

Offers a low-code, user-friendly platform

The fact that Salesforce employs low-code ensures that enterprises don’t have to recruit dedicated staff or a data scientist to manage IoT-related processes. A few clicks and you get all the information you need.

With the right triggers and responses in place, IoT takes away the stress and sends data to relevant platforms. A simple act like generating a lead form for a customer whose product is about to fail can have a positive impact on the customer experience while ensuring a substantial reduction in costs.

A win-win for all

A proactive approach strengthened by the extraordinary capabilities of Salesforce IoT Cloud enables you to understand your customers and engage with them in more meaningful ways. Salesforce allows you to export your IoT data in whichever format you want. It is easy to integrate into diverse business environments and there are multiple use cases that are currently being powered by IoT.

Salesforce Einstein with the help of AI technologies helps teams across departments like sales, marketing, and IT become more predictive and proactive when it comes to offering a stellar customer experience. Salesforce IoT Cloud empowers enterprises with IoT-driven tools and data-driven solutions to build trust and fill the customer service gap efficiently.

As Victor Abelairas, GM of Tridium Innovation at Honeywell Connected Enterprise explains, “Our sellers were able to continue their sales process virtually without skipping a beat. But more importantly, we were able to empower the rest of the company to stay engaged with the sales team and know what was happening with customers at all times, without having the day-to-day interaction in the office that they were used to. At the end of the day, we want to provide a better customer experience by understanding our customers more holistically than we would have otherwise.”

Deliver a better customer experience with Trigent

Our team of Salesforce consultants can help you integrate Salesforce IoT Cloud within your business environment to help you respond faster and serve better.

They understand exactly what it takes to enhance productivity and improve revenues. They can help you understand the many nuances of Salesforce IoT Cloud right from IoT implementation to customization to create engaging customer experiences.

Call us today to book a consultation and discover infinite possibilities with Salesforce IoT Cloud adoption.

Internet of Things – Three Popular Development Boards

The Internet of Things (IoT) is developing at a rapid pace, as a result of the availability of small, inexpensive computing hardware. IoT development boards combine micro-controllers, processors, wireless chips, and other components in a pre-built, ready-to-program package. Development boards come in various configurations and here are three popular ones.

Arduino Uno

The Arduino UNO is an open-source microcontroller development board based on the ATmega328P(datasheet) which has:

  • 14 digital input/output pins
  • 6 analog inputs
  • A 16 MHz quartz crystal,
  • A USB connection,
  • A power jack,
  • An ICSP header and
  • A reset button

The Arduino Software (IDE) runs on Windows, Macintosh OSX, and Linux operating systems. The Arduino IDE supports the languages C and C++ using special rules of code structuring.

Applications:

Few applications of the Arduino Uno boards are:

  • Robotics and Control Systems
  • Home and Industry Automation
  • Traffic Light Countdown Timer
  • Underground Cable Fault Recognition
  • Controlling of Electrical Appliances using IR
  • Parking Lot Counter
  • Weighing Machines
  • Medical Instrument
  • Emergency Light for Railways
  • Auto Intensity Control of Street Lights
  • Biotechnology
  • Agriculture

Pros:

  • Inexpensive
  • Cross-platform
  • Simple, clear programming environment
  • Open source and extensible software and hardware
  • Large support of community

Cons:

  • Memory limitations
  • Less powerful
  • Processing power is weaker than the microcontroller
  • Requires effort to accomplish some tasks such as scheduling and database storage

Transform your industry and disrupt the competition with IoT

Raspberry Pi 3

Raspberry Pi is a fully functioning credit card-sized computer, which runs on a customized Debian Linux called Raspbian. Like a computer, a Pi has a memory, processor, USB ports, audio output, a graphic driver for HDMI output.

Pi is a powerful platform based on a Broadcom BCM2837 SoC with a:

  • 2 GHz 64-bit quad-core ARM Cortex-A53 processor
  • 1GB RAM

Raspberry Pi 3 is equipped with:

  • 4 GHz WiFi 802.11n
  • Bluetooth 4.1
  • 10/100 Ethernet port

Advantages of Raspberry Pi over Arduino:

Raspberry Pi Arduino
Multitasking and suitable for complex projects Runs one program at a time, used for repetitive work
Suitable for software projects Suitable for hardware projects
No limiting to programming language Limited to Arduini, C/C++
Built-in Ethernet port for networking Need to connect external hardware and implement coding
Act as a server and communicate to other computers, connected devices. Excels in controlling small devices like sensors, motors, and lights

Applications of Raspberry Pi:

  • Media Streamer
  • Arcade machine
  • Tablet computer
  • Home automation
  • Carputer
  • Internet radio
  • Controlling robots
  • Cosmic Computer
  • Hunting for meteorites and Coffee
  • Raspberry based projects

Pros:

  • Super powerful with lots of memory and processing capabilities. Expandable memory.
  • Linux based OS and now even Windows 10 can be run on top of it to make processing more user-friendly.
  • A lot of GPIOs available, and the more the GPIOs, the more sensors you can interface.
  • If you have experience with Linux, it’s very easy to get started with it, otherwise it will take some time to get the hang of it.
  • Python, C, C++, Ruby, Go and many more can be used to program the Pi exactly the way you can code any computer.
  • People have successfully used Pi to run Open CV , data mining algorithms etc. and connected the results to various applications.
  • In terms of cost, better than an Arduino with Ethernet shield.
  • Great on-line community and endless possibilities of what can be done using it.

Cons:

  • You need good knowledge of Linux systems to get things moving
  • The processing power will be an overkill processing-wise for most of the applications since we will use it only to send data across.
  • Closed source.
  • Power hungry.

NodeMCU

The NodeMCU is an open source firmware, built around a System-on-a-Chip (SoC) called the ESP8266, and features:

  • Wi-Fi capability
  • Analog pin
  • Digital pins
  • Serial communication protocols

Applications of NodeMCU:

  • Geolocation using ESP8266
  • ESP8266 based wireless server
  • Pressure Sensors on Railway Tracks
  • Air Pollution Meter
  • Humidity and temperature monitoring
  • Wi-Fi controlled robot
  • Temperature logging system
  • M2M using ESP8266
  • Make your personal assistant

Pros:

  • Provided inbuilt WiFi functionality
  • Cost-effective
  • Integrated support for WIFI network
  • Low energy consumption

Cons:

  • It is a 3.3V device, so it may not be compatible with some peripherals
  • Lack of official documentation
  • WiFi code takes a lot of CPU power

Trigent helps global companies to apply IoT Command Control and Coordination systems to solve real-world business problems. To know more visit: Disruptive Technologies.

Glossary:

ATmega328P – Single-chip microcontroller created by Atmel in the megaAVR family

BCM2837– Broadcom chip

ESP8266 – A low-cost Wi-Fi microchip capable of either hosting an application or offloading all Wi-Fi networking functions from another application processor.

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Strategize your Business Around The Internet of Things

The Internet of Things (IoT) is here and now. It is the first step to make your business truly digital. And it starts with your things – your line – of – business assets and the data they produce, your cloud services, and your business intelligence tools. By implementing a strategy to take advantage of the opportunity that Internet of Things offers, you can go beyond sustaining your business and make it a disruptor that shakes up the entire field.

Start with Your Things but Avoid “Big Bang” Approach

The IoT can be overwhelming because of the hype and confusion around it. Instead of being panicked by the huge universe of things made up of billions of assets, think about it as the Internet of Your Things. Focus on the right areas of your business that provide quick and tangible return. If you have operations, you can start with it – connecting systems and line-of-business assets to deliver better performance visibility – driving toward predictive maintenance and helping reduce downtime.

Related: Embrace digital transformation, remaster your business, stay ahead of the curve.

IoT starts with identifying the one process, product line, or location that matters the most to you, then making small and incremental changes for a big impact. For example, connect robots on the factory floor with back-end systems and create a production line with more continuous up-time. Add expiration dates to the data set for pharmacy inventory and save thousands of dollars in wasted medications. Connect one handheld device to your inventory system and suddenly you’ve got real-time customer service on the sales floor.

Build on Your Existing IT Assets

Start with your existing IT assets and build upon them. Add a few new assets, connect them using IoT services – Microsoft Azure Internet of Things (IoT) – and the cloud, and enable them to talk to each other, to employees, and to customers. The rapid proliferation of connected assets and devices raises challenges due to the variety of platforms and protocols. Connect your current and diverse line-of-business assets using Azure IoT services which also enables you to pull in data from very large numbers of devices and other business systems.

Use Cloud Computing To Manage Data Deluge and Derive Insights

Cloud computing offers scalable data collection, processing, and analysis capabilities that are flexible to the needs of your business. Cloud solutions give businesses the ability to store and process significant amounts of data, whether it’s latent or in real time; store that data; and apply rules and structure to it for consumption. Cloud computing technology and a flexible consumption-based price structure associated with off-premises hybrid, private, or public cloud compute models have created the ability to deliver new offerings to market, which were simply not achievable in the past.

The cloud also enables more data to be unlocked by enabling you to pull data in, from different sources, and across different line-of-business assets and devices. This data may arrive structured, unstructured or somewhere in between. It may arrive regularly or intermittently. Despite this variability, by providing a framework for the data, it can be automated—through filters, rules, triggers or other means—the intelligent processing of that data.

Partner with a IoT Service Provider For IoT Talent and Skills

To fill the IoT knowledge gap, companies are taking the most common steps – up-skilling existing staff through training on IoT-related skills, recruiting talent with IoT aptitudes, and partnering with IoT service or solution providers.

Companies moving from research to the planning stage need employees who understand the technology underlying the IoT, such as wireless systems, networks and sensors. Once products are in development, sales and marketing employees will need to be able to sell the benefits of the IoT in terms that consumers can understand, and companies will require armies of “data scientists” to analyze all the sensor-generated information.

So, How Do I Accelerate My IoT Journey?

Successful IoT requires significant expertise both from a solution delivery and business advice perspective. You need an IoT partner who can empower you to transform the raw data from your line-of-business assets into actionable insights and business results.

With unique expertise across Cloud, Digital Transformation, Analytics, and Big Data, Trigent can partner with you from ideation to implementation and provide your team the tools and frameworks to help arrive at the perfect business solution