Top Mobile Tech Takeaways from the 2017 Salesforce World Tour London

Salesforce-World-TourEach year the Salesforce community gathers in major cities around the globe for the Salesforce World Tour. These events allow those in attendance to come together and discuss, learn from, and celebrate each others’ hard work.

This year’s event drew well over 10,000 people to the ExCel Centre in London.

The MobileCaddy team went along to explore the new and exciting technology on show, and to understand how some of the world’s leading brands are using Salesforce to set new standards for success.

Better tools for employees to better serve customers

One of the main goals Salesforce sets itself each year is to help businesses provide the best possible customer experience through technology innovations. In the digital age, businesses are better equipped than ever to serve their customers, and this year’s World Tour focused on the convergence of cloud, social, mobile, IoT, and AI technologies as a game-changer for those who embrace it.

At MobileCaddy, we obviously have a keen interest in the role mobility is playing in redefining how businesses operate, regardless of size or resources, stretching across all lines of business and industry verticals.

With mobile being a key pillar of Salesforce’s core technology offerings, we’ve listed a number of interesting examples from the 2017 event below.

Keynote speech with Simon Mulcahy and special guests

The Keynote delivered by Simon Mulcahy to kick-start the day was primarily focused on a number of general annual Salesforce updates, as well as demonstrations of using the power of the platform to deliver complex capabilities through IoT from connected home specialist, Hive.

Attention did turn to the Salesforce1 mobile app briefly throughout the presentation, with the often-used adage of being able to, “run your business from your phone,” following closely behind.

Salesforce1 is a good option for any business looking to provide their employees basic task completion on a mobile device, and can be customised for a brand’s specific look and feel to some extent. However, as we’ve discussed extensively in the past, the Salesforce1 app isn’t suitable for businesses looking to mobilise critical line of business functions or processes to make a transformational impact.

It’s important to be aware that for anyone looking to achieve true differentiation by introducing an employee-facing mobile app into a business, a more robust, performance-focused solution than Salesforce1 will inevitably be required.

Salesforce Service Cloud and Field Service Lightning 

In a session entitled, ‘Deliver Intelligent, Proactive Service from the Phone to the Field,’ it was revealed that 92% of executives believe they need to adapt their service models to keep up with customer needs. Strategies for making this happen will often involve digital and mobile technology, because of the lower costs, higher levels of operational efficiency, and significant time savings they promise.

Salesforce-TourField services is a great place to look to understand the value mobile applications offer businesses in these key areas. Field service technicians and engineers are the very definition of a deskless worker, so any technology which allows them to be faster, more informed, more accurate, and more effective will have a huge impact on any business.

However, as we’ve alluded to above, the technology must match the process, and any mobile app deployed to a field workforce in a service role must be capable of supporting complex workflows which have a direct link to the success (and often, the survival) of the organisation.

Quite rightly, Salesforce pointed out that apps should “empower mobile employees to deliver exceptional support,” and this stretches beyond traditional field service technicians to deskless workers in retail, healthcare, finance, and many other sectors.

However, any business looking to leverage the power of the platform in this way must ensure that the solution they use to build their mobile applications can deliver the required level of reliability and performance, otherwise the risk of a failing app could cost them significantly.

How mobile is impacting manufacturing

Another interesting session which explored mobile in the context of a sector-specific case study was, ‘How KONE is Innovating to Better Serve Customers’. The manufacturing industry has seen a 50% increase in investment in technology and innovation in the last 12 months, and 74% of industry executives believe data-driven services will be their primary revenue source in the next 10 years.

Cindy Bolt, SVP of Manufacturing for Salesforce, outlined process automation, speed, real-time interactions with critical data, and organisational efficiency as the primary advantages the platform can provide for businesses in this industry.

KONE, a global leader in the elevator and escalator market is already using the Salesforce platform to gain these advantages in the manufacturing industry. With 52,000 employees globally, and up to 70,000 maintenance visits per day, the technology deployed to such a workforce must reflect the operational excellence of the business.

Simon Green, Director, Digital Platform for Processes & IT at KONE shared with the audience that they have been utilising the Salesforce platform since 2006, connecting their employees and systems “anywhere, anytime”.

KONE is an organisation which understands the true value technology can provide when core processes critical to the business are mobilised with the right approach. Still, there did appear to be even more potential to streamline and augment the daily tasks of its field workforce.

We’ve seen organisations elevate their operations by aligning fully customised mobile applications to directly align with the workflows of deskless employees, minimising the time spent on task and maximising the simplicity and accuracy of their ability to carry out critical business processes. However, KONE is certainly heading in the right direction as a true innovator in its field, and is already providing its customers with a mobile application to remain engaged at all times.

The best of the rest

There were a number of other ways to pass the time at the Salesforce World Tour for those interested in mobile technology and applications, and with research firm Strategy Analytics projecting the mobile enterprise business applications market will grow to $128.2bn by 2022, we should expect to see even more of this each year at the event going forward.

There was a strong presence from the Salesforce developer community, including a session focused on building mobile apps on the App Cloud, something our own Todd Halfpenny has written about in the past.

The Salesforce App Exchange was well-represented at the event, there was a ‘Mobile Campfire’ at which experts were teaching attendees how to introduce mobile apps into their businesses, and of course, event sponsorship form current MobileCaddy partners such as Appirio, Deloitte, and Capgemini.

Missing pieces for mobile

Understanding the importance, and the immense value, of business critical mobile apps is an important step every business using Salesforce will make at some point in the coming years. The Salesforce platform is being used to truly great effect to improve customer experience on a global scale, but there are still too few examples of it being used to improve employee experience beyond basic scheduling, email, and invoicing functions.

MobileCaddy is currently working with some of the leading Salesforce consultancies and customers to remove the challenges and risks from building fully custom, offline-first apps which are capable, affordable, and reliable. If you’d ever like to learn more about the success we’ve had so far, we’re always happy to talk. Otherwise, we’ll see you next year at the Salesforce World Tour in 2018!

 

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