The internet of things (IoT) ecosystem is larger than ever before, and growing at a dizzying pace. To put things in perspective, the number of connected devices stands at roughly 7 billion today and is expected to hit nearly 20 billion by 2020.
Those billions of devices produce a firehose of useful data — think smart air conditioners that notify repair teams when they’re about to fail and datacenter climate control systems that perform self-diagnostics — but given the sheer volume, teams tasked with monitoring the data are liable to miss something. That’s why Salesforce is today debuting IoT Insights, a new add-on in Lightning — its component-based, no-code framework for app development within Field Service Lightning, a mobile app and communications service that helps facilitate, manage, and track IoT device maintenance and repairs.
Starting this week, customers can see IoT signals directly within Saleforce’s Service Cloud and Field Service Lightning mobile app consoles, alongside customer relationship management data. The newly unified flow surfaces critical alerts, like imminent device failures and historical service information, and enables technicians and mobile workers to learn which devices require servicing or fixing before they arrive at the job site. Additionally, it lets them create rules and guided processes to trigger case creation and work orders automatically, as key IoT signals come in.
“With the Field Service Lightning Mobile app, technicians are armed with everything they need — device data, customer data, and the right documentation — to fix the machine onsite and ensure it has been repaired properly before they leave,” Paolo Bergamo, senior vice president and general manager of Salesforce Field Service Lightning, wrote in a blog post. “[And] businesses can set rules to automatically trigger the creation of a case and deploy a field agent the moment a device begins malfunctioning, [empowering] teams to focus less on administrative work and more on higher value projects, such as actually solving the root of the customer’s problem.”
One Salesforce customer — Samson Rope — has been piloting IoT Insights for Field Service Lightning ahead of the broader launch.
“At Samson Rope, we have over 8,000 lines of rope in use that each last around 8-10 years, and we service them throughout the life of the product,” said Dean Haverstraw, director of IT at Samson Rope. “These post-purchase services are a large part of our business, and we chose Field Service Lightning to manage all of those lines and provide customers with tools to monitor rope health, manage compliance requirements, and more. We’re now piloting high-tech rope threading that — when connected to Field Service Lightning via Salesforce IoT — will help customers monitor rope conditions and know when it needs to be replaced.”
Field Service Lightning, which competes with IoT management solutions like GE’s ServiceMax, has been Salesforce’s fastest-growing offering through its first three years, according to CNBC. It’s reportedly on track to surpass $100 million in annual revenue this year.