Salesforce to Become the First Apple Watch CRM. Is this Good for Business?

In the midst of the Apple Watch excitement among gadget and technology fans, Salesforce Monday announced the upcoming release of the Salesforce for Apple Watch. This will make them the first CRM vendor to adjust itself to the wearable device. The watch is due out in April, and will range in price from $349 to over $10,000.

The Salesforce for Apple Watch is designed to bring the personal technology of wearables to the business user, and redefine the way people engage in the workplace. This follows a recent Forrester research, according to which 68 percent of executives call wearables a “priority” for their companies.

Salesforce for Apple Watch has three main components: the new Salesforce Analytics Cloud for Apple Watch, Salesforce1 for Apple Watch and Salesforce Wear Developer Pack for Apple Watch.

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Analytics Cloud can leverage data from a wide range of sources—not just Salesforce—and presents it all in a visually compelling, intuitive mobile interface. Salesforce Analytics for Apple Watch is a personal way for you to explore data, uncover new insights and take action with dashboards and lenses. You will also be able to swipe to get a quick glance of your most recently viewed dashboard, or use Handoff to transition between an Apple Watch and an iPhone seamlessly. In addition, you will be able to query via Voice Search to surface a report, view a dashboard or find other information.

The Salesforce1 Mobile App has already enabled all kinds of people to run their businesses from their phones, and Salesforce1 for Apple Watch represents the next step in our evolution to a truly mobile workforce. Salesforce1 for Apple Watch delivers instant, personal notifications to salespeople, service agents, marketers and more, keeping them connected to the business priorities that matter most.  Moreover, Salesforce1 for Apple Watch notifications are expected to be generally available the third quarter of this year.

The Salesforce Wear Developer Pack will allow more than two million Salesforce1 developers to build enterprise apps for Apple Watch that connect directly to the Salesforce1 Platform. According to Salesforce, with Wear for Apple Watch, developers can immediately focus on the most important element of building an app for a wearable—the user experience—and have the identity, security and other shared services of the Salesforce1 Platform from the first line of code.

The Salesforce Wear Developer Pack provides implementations and typical patterns for enterprise authentication, Salesforce API notifications, and working with Salesforce Mobile SDK response objects.

Daniel Debow, senior vice president of emerging technologies at Salesforce referred to this as “The next mobile revolution,” Destination CRM reported, but I can’t help but wondering if it will be as successful as previous versions. Is Salesforce for Apple Watch really necessary, and does the future of work really lies in watches and small gadgets?

Salesforce President, Leyla Seka, told the Business Insider Australia: “A watch isn’t a very big screen, and with a report, typically you want it on a monitor – not the Analytics Cloud. I run the whole of analytics for Desk on my phone, so I think this is just the beginning of phones and wearables.”

I sent Salesforce a question: What is the user insight that led Salesforce to believe analytics is the best option for Apple Watch, and not push notifications, for example? I will update you with their reply.

UPDATE: Rainforce spoke to a Salesforce representative who said: “The iPhone changed the way people consume information and access information. We see the Apple Watch as a companion device to the iPhone. It’s an extension; the way people will continue to consume information. With the watch and through Analytics, they will be able to access the information most important to them. It will help them be constantly “on” current forecasts and updates. Mobile apps are a huge shift in the way people access information. With the watch, people will find even more value.”

Amanda McDonald
Amanda is the Lead Author & Editor of Rainforce Blog. Amanda established the Rainforce blog to create a source for news and discussion about some of the issues, challenges, news, and ideas relating to Salesforce usage.
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