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Brief Published: 28 May 2014

Salesforce: Connecting Consumers

The Internet of Things is enabling mobile working

Salesforce, the global cloud computing company, outlined key strategies for using data to engage the connected consumer at the firm's corporate "world tour" in London last week.

By 2020, there will be more than 7 billion smartphones, tablets and PCs and 26 billion connected devices worldwide, according to 2013 research from US-based market research firm Gartner. This represents a huge business opportunity, not just for device makers, but also sales companies and service providers.

The key to making the most of this new market is to always keep the customer journey in mind, according to Salesforce's chief operating officer, George Hu. "What we're excited about at Salesforce is not the Internet of Things – it's the Internet of Customers," he said. "It's the idea that we can connect with our customers in a whole new way."

He urged businesses to create a personal journey for each individual. For example, using new data streams and connected software, a customer could walk into a gym and instantly transmit their exercise data from their wearable device to staff members and equipment, prompting them to offer tailored solutions to the person's individual exercise needs.

The event also highlighted the potential of mobile to increase productivity and streamline the sales process. Jody Kohner, Salesforce's senior director of product marketing, outlined how its mobile platforms are being used by US tool maker Stanley Black & Decker to provide staff with mobile product catalogues, digital calendars integrated with personalised client records, and remote order processing. This allows its sales and customer service agents to increase productivity when on-the-go.

For more on the potential of the connected world, take a look at The Internet of Things, part of the Thinking Digitally Industry Trend.