Salesforce Bids To Become Platform For The Internet Of Things

Tom Brewster is TechWeek Europe's Security Correspondent. He has also been named BT Information Security Journalist of the Year in 2012 and 2013.

Salesforce wants to be the home of the apps of the future

Cloud computing giant Salesforce has launched a new platform aimed at developers looking to get their apps across all kinds of devices, boasting ten times more APIs than it previously offered.

Dropbox, Evernote and LinkedIn have already built new apps for the Salesforce1 platform, and the vendor has claimed applications can be built “in a fraction of the time” when compared to legacy systems.

Salesforce: The platform company

Marc Benioff Salesforce.com Dreamforce 2012A new Salesforce1 Mobile App built on the platform can act as the portal for users to access all their Salesforce applications, whilst the old Touch and Chatter mobile apps are being phased out.

It comes as a native app on iOS and Android, and there is an HTML5 application for other devices. IT admins can use a new Admin App for provisioning.

“When you play with this app, you’ll realise how powerful it is. It has all the features of a platform being pulled into it,” Clarence So, executive vice president of strategy at Salesforce, told TechWeekEurope during the Dreamforce 2013 conference in San Francisco this week.

“Before, there was almost like a gap, between our app and our partners’ apps. Now we’ve exposed all sorts of platform features like APIs… and we made them publicly available so not only can we build a big flagship app, but our partners can build whatever they want.”

So said more merging of platforms was coming, as part of a vision to create one place for customers to play.

The new offering incorporates the popular Force.com and Heroku platforms, but also features ExactTarget technology, which Salesforce.com acquired for a whopping $2.5 billion earlier this year. ExactTarget Fuel will allow for custom automated marketing campaigns to be created from within Salesforce1.

The updated platform stack forms part of Salesforce.com’s strategy to create an “Internet of customers”, where companies can connect all apps, employees, partners, products and devices with their customers from one platform. It also wants to be the platform of choice for the Internet of Things, hence the massive API push so it can support applications for various devices.

“We are crystal clear in this vision of this world of amazing devices, big and small,” added Adam Seligman, vice president for developer and partner marketing.

“So who is going to write all the apps that are going to connect all this stuff? We’ve got to help our customers get there. We want customers that work with us to get ready for that world now, not to try to figure it out afterwards. Give the customer all the APIs now so they can support all these amazing devices.”

When things such as Google Glass, or other wearable devices, start to proliferate, alongside other connected things, Salesforce.com will be ready to support whatever applications developers want to make for them, he added.

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