When Kevin Lynch, Apple’s VP of technology demonstrated how apps worked on the Apple Watch today, he showed some cool examples such as ordering an Uber and checking in to your hotel from the Watch, but he also included a quick peek at an app from Salesforce.
It was the only truly enterprise app for the Watch that Apple showed today.
Lynch showed how a person might use the Watch at work, and it definitely has utility strictly as an at-a-glance calendar and quick communications tool, but he also showed a graph from Salesforce Wave, the analytics package Salesforce released last fall at Dreamforce.
Michael Peachey, VP of solutions and product marketing at Salesforce says he believes Apple has come up with another winner, one in which enterprise apps could play a key role, whether interacting with customers, partners or fellow employees.
“I think clearly Apple Watch is going to be a transformational moment in the industry,” he said, adding “Other vendors have tried it, but Apple is really cracking the code.”
Peachey believes that while Apple has nailed the hardware, it’s really the apps that are going to be the difference maker here, but in a fundamentally different way than we use our computers, tablets and phones. Whereas you might interact with your phone several minutes at a time and your computer for hours at a time, you are going to use your Watch for seconds at a time and the software really needs to be tuned to take that into account.
Salesforce wanted to be a part of the wearables revolution and even launched a Wearables SDK last June. Today they released three products designed specifically to work on the Watch.
First of all, there is the previously mentioned Salesforce Wave for Apple Watch. This provides an at-a-glance view of important information you want to be notified about. He acknowledges that this is not about detailed analysis, but getting key data when it matters. If you want more, you are going to go to your phone or tablet on the road (or your computer in the office).
The second piece is Salesforce1 for Apple Watch which provides quick access to the entire range of Salesforce information including sales, service, marketing and employee community. For instance, a sales manager might get an alert when a discount is required on deal and a marketer might get an alert when a campaign reaches its pipeline goal.
The final piece is Salesforce Wear for Apple Watch, which is an SDK to help Salesforce customers build applications on the Salesforce platform to work on the Apple Watch.
Peachey also sees a big role for the Watch in marketing directly to consumers. He believes when used correctly, businesses could use the Watch as an avenue to communicate directly with customers.
Marketers will have to tread carefully in this regard though because they don’t want to overwhelm Watch users with promotions or the device could very quickly become unbearable.
But that’s true of all notifications, regardless of the type. “It’s not about delivering more and more notifications,” he said. “You can be nudged when something important in business happens, and very quickly see what happened.”
Peachey says while Salesforce made a conscious decision to get in early, he sees the wearables market in general and the Apple Watch in particular as an area that’s going to explode over the next several years
That also means, IT needs to start thinking about a new screen size and a new paradigm on top of mobile, social and cloud. Salesforce hopes to help its customers get going quickly.
“Industry and people will realize, the personal and instant way you get updated on something important. You just get nudged, see just a snippet at the time and take action,” Peachey said.