Dreamforce Flash: The Connected Enterprise – The Power of Wearables and IoT

At Aria, we are not strangers to the topic of IoT. Our cofounder, Brendan O’Brien, has been speaking at events about IoT’s impact and power for years… before many of us even knew what IoT stood for.

We’re now at the tail end of 2015. Enough time has passed and enough people have caught on to make IoT one of the most used buzzwords of the year. But is it simply a buzzword? Something that is a hot topic now but whose appeal will eventually fade away like many buzzwords of the past?

The answer is NO! IoT is the present and it will be the future. And not just for consumers wearing the newest smart watch or controlling lights in their home from their mobile devices. Enterprises are also cashing in on the power and promise of wearable devices and IoT, innovating products and evolving business strategies.

Still skeptical about wearables’ place in the enterprise? Here are some highlights from Dreamforce session “The Connected Enterprise: The Power of Wearables and IoT”, where representatives from Salesforce, Jarden, and HP gave real life examples of how IoT helps evolve their products, services, and operations.

Wearables and IoT by the numbers. In a world where consumers are more connected than ever before, it’s not surprising IoT is top of mind. There are 4.5B social users, 75B connected products, and 1T connected sensors. There will be 5B smartphones in use by 2017. Wearables adoption is growing 5x faster than smartphones year-over-year. Analysts predict that in two years wearables will provide 50% of data traffic. So what do these numbers mean for the enterprise – should wearables be a key part of the business strategy? Yes, according to a recent survey of executives. 79% of execs believe it’s strategic, while 86% are increasing investments in wearables and IoT this year in anticipation of 3x growth across the enterprise.

Wearables and IoT in the cloud. Wearable app development is complex for the business – it’s time consuming and costly, requires new devices and form factors, sends data from multiple sources, and there are security and connectivity concerns.So how does the enterprise accelerate wearables within the business at scale? The cloud, of course. Salesforce offers Salesforce Wear, an open source, free, and public app cloud where enterprises can build apps quickly and connect with customers on-the-go to help the enterprise sell better, service more effectively, and create better marketing campaigns.

Enterprise use cases. The best case studies are real life examples of wearables and IoT in action. During this session, Hewlett-Packard (HP), a leading global information technology company, demonstrated how bringing IoT and wearables into its business helped innovate products and evolve business models.Printers are some of HP’s most well known products. In recent years, printers have connected wirelessly to make in-office printing jobs seamless. But for product issues, consumers still had to contact customer service for resolution, usually in the form of a phone call. But HP had an idea to enhance the customer experience – and it involved hands-free field service through wearables and IoT. When part of a particular service level plan, HP offers customers smart glasses to aid the service experience. When the customer puts on the glasses, it transmits signal to the service center so the technicians can see exactly what the customer is looking at, allowing the technicians to more accurately troubleshoot the problem. This technology saves costs and provides a better customer experience. HP says the despite only a 10% deployment rate over three years, ROI shows a $17.7M in savings as well time reductions across the business – an 80% reduction in time to respond to a customer, a reduction in time to reach an understanding of the issue, and a reduction in time to find the root cause and deploy a fix.

So what’s the next step after embracing wearables and IoT in your enterprise? Find a way to monetize your offerings! How do you package the data or charge for usage? How can you bundle these new products and services? Don’t let innovation go to waste – develop a recurring revenue business strategy that allows you to enjoy increased revenue for years to come.