Maybe by now you've heard of something called the Internet of Things (IoT).
That's where just about every inanimate object in the world (your shoes, your toothbrush, your front door) will get its own microchip so it can be controlled by an app over the Internet.
The IoT market will will generate an astounding $14 trillion in revenues over the next decade, according to research done by Cisco. (In June, Cisco even launched a new 500-employee business unit to go after that cash.)
Salesforce.com's Marc Benioff thinks he has a better way to look at IoT. It's not about the things, it's about the people that buy them. He's introduced a new term, the "Internet of Customers" to kickoff his company's annual Dreamforce conference this week in San Francisco.
That term comes with a new product, an iPhone app called Salesforce 1, available now in the iPhone app store,
It's not the kind of app consumers would download. It's for businesses. Salesforce 1 consolidates all apps from Salesforce.com like its flagship cloud service for salespeople, its chat app Chatter, the ExactTarget service for running email/mobile campaigns, and the custom apps they've built that are running on Salesforce.com's cloud.
But the kicker is, Benioff wants companies to write new apps to control those inanimate objects. Then they can tie those apps to the Salesforce 1 app, too.
For example, GE added sensors to its engines and wrote an app that tracks those engines. Info about those engines can be included in the Salesforce 1 app used by GE's employees.
Tomorrow, during his keynote speech, Benioff will trot out more ideas and more customers using Salesforce 1. So far 16 companies have launched Salesforce 1 apps with 125 more coming soon, reports ZDNet's Larry Dignan.
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