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Salesforce Floats IoT Cloud on AWS

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Amazon Web Services (AWS) has scored a major new customer, according to a report in the Wall Street Journal.

Salesforce will be operating its Internet of Things (IoT) service on Amazon’s cloud, the paper reported yesterday. It marks a major shift in strategy for Salesforce, considering the San Francisco-based software-as-a-service provider generally prefers to deliver its business applications from of its own cloud data centers.

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Announced on Sept. 15, 2015, and expected to launch mid-year, Salesforce IoT Cloud uses the company’s real-time event processing engine called Thunder to feed data into Salesforce, allowing businesses to integrate the information and insights they collect from connected devices into their customer service and engagement activities.

And businesses will need help making sense of the flood of data produced by the IoT.

In its 2016 Global Connectivity Index, Chinese telecommunications equipment maker predicted that the IoT will cover 100 billion connected devices by 2025. This year, IoT investments will top $800 billion dollars, up 14.3 percent from $700 billion last year.

“Salesforce is turning the Internet of Things into the Internet of Customers,” said Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff in a statement during the service’s debut. “The IoT Cloud will allow businesses to create real-time 1:1, proactive actions for sales, service, marketing or any other business process, delivering a new kind of customer success.”

For Amazon, the deal is yet another feather in its cap.

In the first quarter of 2016, the cloud infrastructure market crossed the $7 billion mark in quarterly revenues, according to analyst firm Synergy Research. As expected, Amazon emerged the leader with nearly a third of the market and over $2.5 billion in sales.

“Amazon/AWS remains in a league of its own with a worldwide market share of 31 percent, but Microsoft and Google both have tremendous triple-digit growth rates and are at least narrowing the gap a little,” stated Synergy chief analyst and research director, John Dinsdale.

Amazon’s competition isn’t sitting still on the IoT front either.

A day before Salesforce announced IoT Cloud, IBM formally launched its new IoT business unit, powered in large part by its growing cloud services portfolio. Last year, Big Blue announced it was investing a whopping $3 billion over four years on IoT research and products.

Microsoft, meanwhile, has been steadily releasing new components for its cloud-based Azure IoT ecosystem. Last month, the Redmond, Wash. software maker announced a preview of the new device management features in Azure IoT Hub and a beta of the Azure IoT Gateway SDK.

Pedro Hernandez is a contributing editor at Datamation. Follow him on Twitter @ecoINSITE.

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