Cloud-based customer relationship management vendor Salesforce is counting on the emerging wearable technology market to blossom and put its productivity applications in
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Lindsey Irvine, global director of strategic partnerships and business development, who heads up the wearables program at Salesforce, said that 79% of executives from companies using or piloting wearable technology described it as “a priority” for their future business strategy. She compared the burgeoning wearables market to the early days of the smart—smart phones didn’t get smart until there was software to run on them. “It’s not about the device, it’s about the applications,” Irvine said. To kickstart the wearables application market, Salesforce last week announced a bundle of 20 new applications that run on the Apple Watch. Salesforce was a wearables keynote partner at Apple’s March conference, where Apple’s vice-president of technology, Tim Lynch, offered a sneak peek at Salesforce analytics technology running on a smart watch.
Salesforce’s survey also reveled that 76% of early adopters were claiming an increase in productivity, and 86% plan to invest more in wearable technology. Much like the smart phone market, the wearable technology market is undergoing a splintering of platforms. Though according to survey results companies expected smart watches to lead the way in enterprise impact, smart lanyards, optical products like Google Glass, fitness bands, smart cameras and more are also entering the marketplace. Irvine again made the smart phone analogy in an interview, comparing to the variety of smart phone platforms and the need to develop for all of them. “That’s a lot of heavy lift for the ecosystem,” she said. It also plays to Salesforce’s hand, she said, claiming the platform is faster and simpler to bring apps to market for its network of four million developers.