Marc Benioff uses Dreamforce keynote to champion the ‘power of the customer’.
Salesforce supremo Marc Benioff envisioned a world of one-to-one relationships between businesses and customers due to the Internet of things during his keynote speech at Dreamforce 2013 yesterday.
The chief executive addressed a vast audience in San Francisco as he described the company’s new CRM platform based in the cloud.
The platform is designed to be used by independent software developers (ISVs) to build apps focusing around sales, services and marketing for customers and DocuSign, LinkedIn, Dropbox and Evernote have already signed up to it.
And Benioff claimed that as more and more devices begin to become connected, the customer will grow more powerful, while the data being collected by such devices will also create customers.
He said: "In the world of the Internet of customers, consumers get transformed into customers.
"We’re going through a technology renaissance based on the cloud, based on social, based on mobile, based on this phenomenal new technology that’s happening.
"Everything is going to be on the net. They’re getting connected in phenomenal new ways."
He gave the example of a connected toothbrush, which could have a button connecting the customer to the brand to report faults, while the device records your brushing habits for an impending dentist visit, and suggested stores could recognise customers when they walk in.
He pointed to the increasing levels of smartphone adoption as another business driver, saying "It’s an opportunity to engage with your vendors. I have so many apps connecting me with these new, next generation connected products.
"In this new world you could be in healthcare, media, manufacturing or education, your industry is going to transform."
And Benioff sees Salesforce1 as the future of machine to machine (M2M) communication, claiming that with its support for apps he could run the entire company through his smartphone.
"It’s about a robust platform," he said.
The company claims Salesforce1 offers support for ten times the number of APIs its predecessor could provide.
Co-founder Parker Harris joined him on stage, and said: "In the future it’s all about APIs."