Analysis: Deloitte Digital’s take on what’s happening in the Salesforce market including Sales Cloud, IOT and Wave Analytics Cloud
Back in September 2015 Salesforce used its Dreamforce conference to make a raft of announcements.
Among the activity across its various clouds, sales, cloud, marketing, community, IOT et al there were underlying technology announcements. The newest was called Thunder (think event management) which followed Lightning, which had had its launch two years previously.
Deloitte Digital Partner Philip Ludlow believes that some of the most significant technology announcements from Salesforce in the last quarter were around its Lightning platform. Lightning is the Salesforce component based framework for application development. It is expected to bring new challenges for users.
"The most significant technology announcements were around Lightning. It will be quite challenging over the next year for clients to understand," says Ludlow. "The questions will be around whether to move to Lightning, when to move and what the migration path is."
Ludlow added: "It was not immediately clear, at least to those in the audience for whom it was new, about how broadly it is going to be implemented across the Salesforce application stack. So we’re already helping clients through those questions, Do I do it? When do I do it? And when don’t I do it."
According to Ludlow Lightning is certainly a serious vision and the technology behind Lightning is stable and the thought that Salesforce put into the user interface for Sales Cloud is clearly robust. "The rest of the product suite is clearly catching up. So Service Cloud has some way to go for example."
What about the next wave of Salesforce clouds such as the IOT clouds?
Ludlow points to existing projects in the medical devices sector which could be seen as being IOT now and certainly as IOT ready.
"On IOT, we’ve been doing IOT on real implementations , one of my clients is a medical devices manufacturer and they are suing IOT data being generated and pushing it to salesforce service cloud to proactively manage field service engineers, and scheduling field service engineers for equipment that will fail. So the machine is sending data and the maintenance firm is sending engineers out before the operator even knows there is a problem."
He says the IOT Cloud announcement from Salesforce was welcome because it allows a set of APIs on top of Salesforce to allow huge amount of data streams to be processed to look for those anomaliee and for it to be pushed into exception handlers and trigger certain events.
On the analytics side Wave Analytics was launched two years before the event. [Salesforce had bought Edgespring 18 months prior to that.]
He says: "This year we’ve started to see some real Wave demos." Deloitte Digital has invested in Wave, with Ludlow saying that this is something being led out of Europe and that it has more certified Wave people than any other partner.
"What was seen was lots of people playing with Wave. What we showed was real working dashboards that people are using to make real business decisions every day."
Wave itself is a data visualisation tool, you still need the strong relationships with Infomratica and others to help you get the data in a useful way, he says.
Deloitte Digital operates a lot in the vertical markets that are digitally active serving a lot of ecommerce activity in grocery, retail and fashion ‘not forgetting Financial Services which is now being forced to catch up.’
He says it has a model office for a retail bank or an insurance company to become a digital business. "We say to them, this is where you can be in six or nine months."
We’re seeing lines of opportunity. One is re-implementing Sales Cloud. So Deloitte has a ‘Good to Great’ programme, which takes clients who have had Salesforce for, says, eight years. Sometimes, an application can fall into misuse or the sponsors of the application have moved on. Or it has been customised, perhaps without the governance that customisations tend to need. Our Good to Great is for organisations that already invested in Salesforce. And it might be for adopting, it might be implementing new features of Salesforce. We look at stakeholders, look at engagement and have them reconnect with the platform and make a business case to start again."
CBR has asked previously Why do Salesforce clients needs consultants? Deloitte Digital and other SI partners and broad based or sector specific partners such as Financial Force, Apptus or Bluewolf point to a growing requirement across the ecosystem.