Will Salesforce Make IoT More Accessible?


We’ve been hearing about machine learning and IOT for quite some time but with all the complexities and high-costs it has simply been out-of-reach for many companies. Salesforce is hoping to change that. Their goal is to provide easy and powerful tools to make IoT possible for every organization.

Earlier this month, I was able to watch the keynote for the Salesforce Developer Conference held in San Francisco, Salesforce excited and motivated developers to start building around their IoT cloud powered by the Thunder event processing engine.

The highlight of the keynote was a demo of what the future will look like for home buying. In the mock presentation the buyer visited Zillow.com to look for a home–pretty typical stuff. Where it got exciting, was when the system looked at the buyer’s Pinterest page to see what styles and types of homes she preferred. In other words, a machine was able to quickly determine her needs based on a third party images and non-structured data. In the past this would require a 20-30 minute conversation to get to the heart of her likes and dislikes.

Speaking of conversations, in the demo, the system actually carried on a text conversation with the home-buyer that looked and felt like talking with a live person.

There were able to do this thanks to the recent acquisition of AI company MetaMind. Metamind technology can not only use natural language to answer text questions and determine the sentiment of the statement but it can also utilize image-recognition and analysis.

They also demo’d how the Thunder powered system could listen to multiple separate events to determine if a property had a lot of interest. If it did, it would automatically schedule an open house and notify the interested parties.

Imagine how this can transform just about everything we do from buying cars to picking travel destinations.

The hard job of machine learning will be that humans are inconsistent and unpredictable. When my brother and his wife were home shopping they said they hated split-level homes and would never, ever, live in one.  You guessed it–they ended up buying a split-level. And they love it.

IoT is changing home showings already. Now a real estate agent can use their Smartphone to unlock doors and lock boxes instead of fumbling around to enter in a code. Both the Zillow system and the home owner could know instantly when someone accesses the house. What an amazing benefit to the seller. I’ve personally spent countless hours killing time because an agent wanted to bring a client by sometime that day. I had no idea when it was safe to return home.

Gartner predicts that more than half of major new business processes and systems will include some element of the IoT by 2020. That’s just 4 years from now! It will be fascinating to see what the future holds.

Susan Thayer


Susan is an experienced CRM and digital marketing consultant with nearly 15 years of managing discovery, implementation and strategic use of CRM solutions and related programs. Prior to joining the consulting world, she served as director of marketing and other leadership roles for leading businesses in both the B2B and Consumer Goods industries. Past corporate employment includes digital marketing and e-commerce for a leading global auto parts corporation, medical products and a website design firm. Susan is a current board member for the Junior League of Lincoln and President of her HOA. She is a past board member for the American Marketing Association of Lincoln and past Public Relations Officer for the state of Arizona Toastmasters.

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