During Dreamforce 2013, Salesforce began pushing their platform as a way to surface device data to business users. They re-re-re-branded the Internet of Things as the “Internet of Customers”, focusing their messaging around IoT as a way to drive business value from connected products, people, and processes.
Recently, 2lemetry released 2lemetry Integrate on the Salesforce AppExchange. While by no means the only device cloud platform with a package on the AppExchange, the 2lemetry platform is the one best suited to provide a true cloud based IoT middleware for Salesforce and facilitates an easy integration of that device data into Salesforce. The basic premise of the solution is that Salesforce applications only need the data that is relevant to the business application. This is most likely only exception data making up a very small subset of all the data that is being transmitted from the devices.
Based in Denver, 2lemetry provides a device middleware platform geared toward complex IoT implementations. The 2lemetry platform is highly scalable and a great solution for brokering data into Enterprise systems from large device deployments. 2lemetry has narrowed its focus to the middleware and analytics layer of the internet of things, providing full interoperability for most of the current and proposed standards.
IoT is still very much in the hands of the engineers and the techies. Now business stakeholders are beginning to take notice and apply IoT creatively to enhance processes, define new business models, and service customers in a more proactive way. Over the next few years, we will see IoT transform from being something that is “really cool” to being something that is “really useful.” The 2lemetry Integrate package helps move IoT integration from the engineer’s R&D basement bullpen into the business conference rooms.
Salesforce isn’t really designed to handle the enormous volume of data that typically comes from the Internet of Things (IoT). Its strengths lie in the ability of companies to rapidly develop and deploy applications for Customer Relationship Management (CRM), Customer Service Applications, and custom apps built on Force.com while avoiding costly on-premise infrastructure. Additionally, most devices in the field communicate over efficient machine protocols such as MQTT, while Salesforce requires HTTP. 2lemetry does a good job of describing why HTTP falls flat as a solution for “real IoT” in this blog post.
While the 2lemetry AppExchange installation is free, in order to make something useful you’ll also need a 2lemetry account and, of course, a “thing”… that is a device of some sort that can transmit data. If you’re a bit short on devices, your 2lemetry account includes a “device simulator” that will push data for you. They also have a great set of instructional blog posts on their website on how to use hobbyist components to start sending data to their platform.
In future blog posts, we will examine the applications we’ve built using Salesforce and 2lemetry Integrate for:
- Automotive Shipping and Logistics Management
- Property Management and Water Sub Metering
- Ground to Cloud Integration of Enterprise Databases
- Managing device assets and associating device data with complex customer hierarchies
The drive towards connected products is happening now, and choosing a device platform is important. Though invisible to most, platforms such as 2lemetry support the flow of data from devices to Enterprise systems and they will make or break the Enterprise’s IoT efforts.
2lemetry Integrate is a great tool to jump start using 2lemetry with Salesforce.com but as with any integration tool, the successful deployment relies on building a solid architecture and understanding the nuances of it’s use. Contact us to discuss how ThingLogix can help with all your IoT application and integration needs.