For Everyone

April 22, 2016

Exciting New Ways to Connect to Salesforce

Chris Harrell

There are a growing number of device connection possibilities that are re-shaping what it means to “log in to Salesforce.” Many of the devices promoted in IOT marketing are designed to collect information, connect to Salesforce, and automatically store details related to an account, customer or case. This provides fantastic amounts of information collection capabilities. However, for many users it is difficult to see the immediate impact and understand exactly how IOT can change the way they use Salesforce.

To help users understand the power of IOT, I was searching for a way to demonstrate the new human connection possibilities with Salesforce. I found one that provides that WOW factor along with a unique interface capability to the user.

We have had an Amazon Echo for over a year for personal use. The Personal Assistant (accessible via a Bluetooth speaker) connects to the internet and accepts voice commands similar to Siri or Google Now. By using the Echo Skills Kit and an afternoon of work, I was able to connect my “Alexa” to a Salesforce development org. Then, tested it out and provided some simple commands and queries by voice and received replies that were the related information in the Salesforce records.

Some may feel this is a personal use technology, without business possibilities. To start, I’ve shared a two scenarios that might change some minds, or at least broaden thinking.

A Start or End of Day Routine

So much is written these days on life hacks and productivity practices. Why not have a quick verbal check-in to cover your plan for the day? I use the calendar in Salesforce for my appointments. After working with the Amazon Lambda functions I was able to produce this result with my Echo:

“Alexa…. ask Salesforce for my calendar for today”

“You have three events for today. At 9am all staff meeting. At 11am meeting with finance. At 3pm meeting with investors”

A Mid-Meeting Fact Check

Business Case: Do you want to find out what stage or value is associated with a particular opportunity you are talking about? No need to minimize the powerpoint and stop the group discussion.

“Alexa…. ask Salesforce for opportunity.. Blake’s Fish Packing”

“I found opportunity Blake’s Fish Packing for 40 thousand dollars with a stage of closed won”

What’s Next?

Stay Tuned! My next tests with the Echo will be in service or order fulfillment where a user would want hands-free access to Salesforce while in a storeroom or warehouse.

If you have any scenarios that interest you, please comment below. I’d be happy to test them and share the results on this blog.

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