Benioff ticks off the disruption checklist, pushes IOT

As with its key platform announcement earlier in the week, the impact of the Internet of Things took centre stage when Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff delivered his keynote address at Dreamforce earlier today.

Dreamforce is the company’s annual homage to its customers, and its scale dwarfs that of other industry events. 170,000 people are registered this year with millions more following online.

Benioff ticked off the checklist of digital technologies – cloud, mobility, social networking, analytics and of course the burgeoning Internet of Things, all of which underpin rapid transformational changes across most markets.

“It happened with the cloud and the cloud revolution. We have seen incredible growth there,” he said. “Cloud is now a $270B market – that’s come a long away since we started 16 years ago when it was zero”

“But it’s not just about a cloud revolution it’s also a mobile revolution. There will be six billion smart phones connected by 2020.”

Dreamforce 2015, Salesforce.com's user and developer conference held at the Moscone Convention Center and various hotels in San Francisco from September 14-18, 2015. (© Photo by Jakub Mosur Photography)
Dreamforce 2015, Salesforce.com’s user and developer conference held at the Moscone Convention Center and various hotels in San Francisco from September 14-18, 2015. (© Photo by Jakub Mosur Photography)

(Image: Salesforce CEO and Chairman Marc Benioff on stage at Dreamforce)

The social revolution he described as the third dimension. “Just a few weeks ago Facebook revealed they had a billion users on their application in one day. That’s awesome.”

According to Benioff social offers a whole new style of working and engagement.

“Then there’s the data science revolution with major revolutions and changes in predicative analytics, machine learning and artificial intelligence.”

And all this in an environment where 90 per cent of the world’s data was created just in the last 12 months, he noted.

And finally, the theme du jour. “The fifth big change is the Internet of Things.  Everything is connected on the Internet of Things.  I am more connected to the very people who are supporting me in my life  – people who are building products and services for me – than ever before.”

He also described the IOT revolution as a customer revolution pointing out that behind every “thing” sits a customer.

“We are talking about major advances in technology. There are things that are going on at rates of change neverbefore possible.

“We’ve gone from thousands of computers in the mainframe age, to millions of computers in the Client Server age to now billions of connected things…. It’s yielding this incredible connected customer,” he said.

It was however creating a problem, he suggested.

“Even though we are creating all this data  and all these interactions and doing all this amazing work there’s an unbelievable gap – it’s a bifurcation between our companies and our customers. And that’s the gap we are all here to fill.”

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