Dreamforce: Salesforce1, Crowdsourcing, and the Internet of Things

This year at Dreamforce, Salesforce announced “Salesforce1”, a new platform for connecting apps, services, and the internet-of-things. Or to look at it another way, imagine an Internet enabled world, where customers and objects are all interconnected and managed with a centralized system.

What does this mean?

Our partner, BrivoLabs, has been innovating in the Internet-of-things space for a while now. The company’s innovative SAM (social access management) platform provides contextual security and access control that fits the way we live today. It manages your everyday access needs using social and business networks to interact with buildings, businesses and public places.

To oversimplify – the physical world is becoming more and more interconnected to the virtual one. Using platforms and APIs to create apps that harness that information will be invaluable. On that same vein, being able to analyze the massive amounts of big data that will be created from people interacting with the physical world everyday will separate those that innovate for the future and those that simply watch time pass by.

How will this affect development teams?

Salesforce has been a technology front-runner and pioneer for over a decade, turning “cloud” into a mainstream word, and forever changing the way we look at business applications and platforms.

Salesforce is committing to 10X the API functionality with their new platform. Development teams looking to take advantage of the exploding API marketplace, which will only be furthered by the continuing growth of mobile and the new Internet-of-things market, will need to evolve the way they think about creating code. Companies can no longer afford to simply rely on being a .NET/Java/Oracle or even Salesforce shop. The myriad of people and objects interacting with each other will create even more layers of diversity amongst technology platforms.

Development teams of the future will have to evolve from being single-output creators and look to find ways to efficiently architect and then crowdsource areas of non-core competency. A community development platform provides a unique way to flip the model, and allow the best experts for any fringe technology to find the perfect problem to solve.

How will this affect data creation and analytics?

An unprecedented explosion of data is upon us in the Internet-of-things world. Data and the underlying metadata for the unlimited numbers of interactions between individuals and the physical objects that create their world is a new opportunity for businesses smart enough to see the value.

Data science is a team sport. Harvard Business School’s Megablast algorithm optimization is probably the most powerful example of this. Looking for a way to improve a very important, but very slow algorithm for dna sequencing, Harvard hired two full-time researchers to work on the math for a full year. After a year, the researchers delivered a solution that was over 5x faster, and about 6% more accurate.

Then Harvard tried crowdsourcing – using a platform to tap into hundreds of thousands of the world’s best data scientists in a competition-based crowdsourcing model – to find the best algorithm for the task. In two weeks, the community delivered a solution that was 970x faster and 8% more accurate than the original.

A new connected world

Salesforce1 is the beginning of looking at our global interactions in a new way. Everything and everyone connected and centralized.

Thinking about the new challenges that technology advancements like Salesforce1 create through the lens of old development techniques and org charts will be one way to miss out on this latest opportunity. The world is connected in ways we’ve never seen before. We need to approach these new world-generated challenges with the same vision and inspiration that created them. Tapping into the power of crowdsourcing can make the world your technology development partner.

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