New Release: The Social Machine 5.0 Goes Mobile

We created The Social Machine so your team can drive business results by connecting products into the Salesforce platform. We take that mission seriously, and we’re continuously updating The Social Machine to put your products’ voices to work in ways you never expected. Today, we’re excited to announce that the latest version of The Social Machine is now live on the Salesforce AppExchange. This is the first of three releases over the coming year as we continue to make sure our customers are getting the most out of their product data.

TSM Homepage

The new custom homepage provides a wealth of information related to your devices, which can be set as your default tab when you log into salesforce.com. The Social Machine Home gives you a convenient location to view summaries about alarm events, machine processes, device groups, and other parameters monitored by The Social Machine.TSMmapview

You can also view all of your devices on a map and drill down into a specific device to see more details. The map can be filtered based on device type, group, alarm states, as well as by Device Cloud account.

The Social Machine 5.0 also includes a beta release of a custom dashboard component, which you can use to further customize your homepage and meet your organization’s unique needs.

Salesforce1 ‘Mobile Ready’ Certified

We are excited to announce that The Social Machine is now certified as SF1 Mobile Ready! This means you can easily access The Social Machine from mobile devices running either iOS or Android operating systems.  The SF1 Mobile Ready certification guarantees that The Social Machine custom objects are optimized for the Salesforce1 mobile platform so viewing critical objects like Social Devices, Alarm Events and The Social Machine Home on your phone or tablet is simple and intuitive.

Get StartedTSMsf1certified

You can start prototyping with The Social Machine and Device Cloud today. Simply head over to our Developer Page to sign up for your free accounts and gain access to The Social Machine and Device Cloud. We even have a video to show you how to get started. You can view it here.

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Posted in The Social Machine

Integrating Medical Devices and other Wearables into Salesforce via Device Cloud and The Social Machine

Last week, Dan Harrison, a Platform Solutions Engineer and IoT Evangelist for salesforce.com, demoed an Etherios connected blood pressure cuff  at Salesforce’s first Wearables Booth at the SF1 World Tour in Toronto.sfdcbloodpressure2

The debut of the Etherios connected blood pressure cuff at the Wearables Booth was in-line with salesforce.com’s recent announcement of the Salesforce Wear Developer Pack. The Salesforce Wear Developer Pack is a collection of open-source applications that make it easy to start designing your own wearable-based applications. The applications integrate popular devices such as Google Glass, Pebble, and Myo into the Salesforce Platform.

To build the Etherios connected blood pressure cuff,  one of our Senior Sales Engineers modified an off-the-shelf blood pressure cuff with a Digi XBee module  to enable low-power wireless communication to the Cloud. Then, the blood pressure cuff is connected to Device Cloud by Etherios over Wi-Fi or Ethernet through a Digi X2 Gateway.

After connecting the blood pressure cuff to Device Cloud, it is easy to set up alarms that trigger on conditions such as when a patient’s blood pressure reaches an abnormal level, or any other condition that might require a healthcare provider to be notified. The connection to the cloud allows continuous data collection so healthcare professionals can gain a comprehensive view of their patients’ health over an extended period of time. The Etherios connected blood pressure cuff is a simple example of the home healthcare solution deployed by one of our customers, Almerys.sfdcbloodpressure

If an alarm condition is reached, Device Cloud pushes the alarm and related data into the Salesforce Platform via The Social Machine, where automated alerts like text messages or email notifications are triggered, resulting in a compelling demonstration of the opportunity to transform in-home healthcare.

Later in the week, Dan demoed the Etherios connected blood pressure cuff at The NYC Health Care (HLS) CIO Council.

Check out this post from the Salesforce Developers blog to learn more about connecting wearables to salesforce.com.  You can also visit our Developer page to start your own free trial with Device Cloud and The Social Machine.

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Posted in Developer Zone, Salesforce.com

Reid Carlberg: Salesforce Developer and IoT Expert

carlberg_reid_salesforce_sm_300dpiWith more than two decades spent working in the software industry, Reid Carlberg has established himself as a thought leader in the world of the Internet of Things. As the Senior Director of the Evangelist Team at Salesforce.com, he works with developer teams around the world sharing how to develop for the Salesforce1 Platform.

These are some of our favorite posts of his that demonstrate the value the Internet of Things provides and even how to get started building your own projects.

5 Easy Steps to Understanding Our I Dream of Jeannie Future

“The Internet of Things — IoT for short — is the new black, but most people still can’t explain what it is or why the average person, developer or CEO should care.  Let me break it down in 5 easy to understand steps.”

Internet of Things in 10 Minutes: Hands-On With Device Cloud

iOS-Device-Simulator_phfw21“Today I want to show you a powerful approach to IoT using Device Cloud, an offering from Salesforce partner Etherios. Etherios has created a great solution that lets you harness sensor data in Salesforce. It also handles a lot of inputs, acting as an intermediate destination for high-volume data. You can set up rules that distill actionable insights from the high volume data, and then put those insights right where they’ll do the most good: next to your customer data.”

Six Requirements for Your First IoT Project

“The Internet of Things, the Internet of Everything, the Industrial Internet — whatever you call it, connected devices are a fantastic gift to any business that wants to get closer to their customers. The pattern captures people’s imaginations and many of the predictions feel like magic, but IoT solutions are hard to get right. If you’re trying to decide on your first project, you probably have a lot of questions. Here are six critical things to keep in mind as you move forward.”

If you enjoy these articles and want more IoT information, click here to follow him on Twitter. You can also check his personal website at reidcarlberg.com and the Salesforce Developer’s Blog for similar content.

 

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Posted in Developer Zone, Salesforce.com

Connecting Wearables to Device Cloud with the Human API

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Last week, we held an internal employee Hackathon which included teams from our offices in Chicago, Dallas, San Francisco, and Minneapolis. The goal of the Hackathon was to a build a synchronization engine that connects wearable fitness devices like Fitbit and Jawbone to Device Cloud using the Human API.

What is the Human API?
The Human API provides access to fitness devices and apps from a variety of vendors through a single API. So, rather than having to use one API to get data from each of your wearable devices, you can just use the Human API to get data from all of your connected devices–simplifying and accelerating the development process. Then, the data can be passed through Device Cloud and displayed in interesting ways.

These were the criteria each team needed to meet with their project:

  1. Hosted as a web app.
  2. Integration between a wearable device and Device Cloud by Etherios.
  3. All data streams captured by a device will populate in Device Cloud. Data streams available: steps, distance, calories, sleep, etc.
  4. Prove data is being read from Device Cloud (i.e. print to the console or charted).
  5. Integration capable of supporting multiple devices and associated data streams, into a single Device Cloud account.
  6. Device integration with Device Cloud shall have the ability to be “turned off”.

The teams had 24 hours to construct their projects. No work prior to the Hackathon was permitted, in order to ensure each team started on equal footing with the exception that anyone could use assets open to the public such as open source libraries or public domain images.

The Winning Project
The winning project was from a team of Wireless Design Services engineers in Minneapolis, and brought data from the Human API into Device Cloud so that it can applied in meaningful ways. The team developed a Heroku hosted web application with a user-friendly interface to configure Device Cloud and Human API accounts. The application is used to map a Human API app to a Device Cloud account, and configuration automatically creates a new device record on Device Cloud for each device registered in the Human API.

etheriosfitbit1234

After configuration is complete, the application allows a user to set a sync frequency. The sync frequency determines how often Device Cloud polls the Human API for new data on a device. This data includes steps, calories, heart rate, and several others depending on the device. After polling for new data, the application formats the data into a structure that is friendly for Data Streams on Device Cloud. The high-level architecture of the solution is shown above.Fitbit-Force

Future plans for the project include adding additional user and data management to the web interface, so a user could decide not to push certain activities to Device Cloud. The project’s code is up on GitHub here and the running application is on Heroku if you’d like to check out what the team built.

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Posted in Developer Zone

Measure and Analyze Activity in the Community Engagement Console

For anyone who has wondered what is going on in their Salesforce community and did not quite know where to start looking, Salesforce has released the Community Engagement Console. With the third of the 2014 releases, Summer ’14, Salesforce has given community managers a place to come and review dashboards about groups, members, feed activity, license usage, and manage the community’s reputation system (we’ll talk about that below).

To be a community manager, a user will need the ‘Manage Communities’ or ‘Create and Customize Communities’ (renamed from ‘Create and Manage Communities’) permission, and be an employee of your organization. To access the Community Engagement Console, a manager will need to click the gear icon in the global header of the community, next to the community drop-down in the top left corner (of the standard communities’ layout).

engagement1

Soon, after the Summer ’14 release is generally available, Salesforce will be releasing the Communities Analytics Package. This package will be available in the AppExchange and will include dashboards and reports to help track community activity, membership, and participation (see below for what’s included at release). Your Salesforce administrator will also be able to create community dashboards and map those to the Community Engagement Console.

engagement2

If your organization wants to enable Reputation, the Community Engagement Console will allow the community manager to personalize how reputation is set throughout the community.

NOTE: Enabling reputation will remove the Chatter Influence section from the user’s profile page

Once reputation is enabled, you will be able to customize between 3-50 reputation levels. These levels will be achieved through use of a point system that accrues based on the user’s actions within the community. You can set values for things like writing a post, receiving comments, receiving likes, sharing posts, etc.

That’s it, a single place to monitor your community, new gamification capabilities, and just one more thing to help keep your customers happy!

Be sure to check out the full release notes here.

If you’d like to learn more about Communities and how you can improve communication with partners and customers, join us for a free webinar on Tuesday, June 17. We’ll take an in-depth look into how organizations can use Communities to connect with their business neighborhood.

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Posted in Salesforce.com

Collect Customer Insights and Improve Products with Salesforce Ideas

What better way to ensure your customer base is heard than to give them a way to communicate their suggestions for your product directly with the rest of the community and your internal resources!  This concept is Salesforce Ideas.

Just like many of the other pieces of functionality we have talked about thus far, Ideas is a quick implementation that can have a huge impact on your customer relationship.

To implement Ideas, follow the steps outlined below:

Step 1: From setup, click Customize > Ideas > Settings

  • Select the Enable Ideas, Enable Categories, and set your Half-Life (in Days).
  • Optionally select the Enable Text-Formatting, Images, and Links, and Reputation boxes

Step 2: Define Categories and Statuses for Ideas.

  • From setup, click Customize > Ideas > Fields
  • Click on the Categories and Statuses fields to set their picklist values.ideas1
  • In the fields menu, create any additional custom fields you would like to include for Ideas and include those fields on the Ideas Page Layout

Step 3: (Required only if you do not have Zones setup) Create one of more zones and associate them with the Community.

Step 4: (Optional) Create validation rules to prevent offensive language.

ideas2
Step 5: Give Community member profiles access to the Ideas tab.

Step 6: Add the Ideas tab to the Community.

ideas4

You now have a secure place for your customers to log in and provide their Ideas for the next generation of your products! Below, is an example of Salesforce Ideas in action.

ideas5

If you’d like to learn more about Communities and how you can improve communication with partners and customers, join us for a free webinar on Tuesday, June 17. We’ll take an in-depth look into how organizations can use Communities to connect with their business neighborhood.

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Posted in Salesforce.com

Address Customer Inquiries with Chatter Answers

Give your customers a way to post questions and get answers– check.
Give your customers a way to engage with each other– check.
Give your internal experts a way to engage with customers and resolve problems– check.
Tightly integrate Knowledge into your feed– check.
Provide everything above, and security to ensure everyone’s voice is heard and safe– check.

If it wasn’t apparent from the above facts, Chatter Answers is one of my favorite features of Salesforce.com. Chatter Answers is a great way for customers to help each other and help themselves in a place where experts and moderators can help guide conversations and answer questions. All included in a quick and easy implementation process.

Step 1: First thing you need to do is enable Chatter Answers.

  1. From setup, click Customize > Chatter Answers > Settings
  2. Click Enable Chatter AnswersAnswers1

Step 2: Give Community members access to the needed objects.

  1. Questions
  2. Knowledge Articles
  3. Data Categories
  4. Q&A (Default On)

Step 3: Create a Zone for Chatter Answers.

  1. Enable the zone for Chatter Answers
  2. Set the Visible In setting to your CommunityAnswers2

Step 4: Add the Q&A tab to your Community

  1. From setup, click Customize > Communities > Manage Communities
  2. Click Edit next to the community you want
  3. Click the Tabs button, add Q&A to the list of selected tabs
  4. Click SaveAnswers3

You are now setup have your customers ask questions, answer questions, search the Chatter Answers feed to relevant Knowledge Articles, interact with internal moderators, like questions and answers, flag answers for unsavory content, and mark best answers!

Answers4

One more post to go in our Salesforce Communties series! Next week, we’ll tackle Ideas.

If you’d like to learn more about Communities and how you can improve communication with partners and customers, join us for a free webinar on Tuesday, June 17. We’ll take an in-depth look into how organizations can use Communities to connect with their business neighborhood.

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Posted in Salesforce.com

The Social Machine is Recognized as an M2M Product of the Year

Today we are proud to share that M2M Evolution has chosen The Social Machine as a 2014 M2M Product of the Year. Print

As the Internet of Things develops, device data becomes increasingly valuable to businesses and the need to integrate a new kind of data into existing processes. That’s why we built The Social Machine– to enable companies to integrate their machine-generated data into salesforce.com.

Bringing device data directly into the CRM can create new service offerings and generate new revenue. Additionally, customer support teams have the ability to remotely access machine data, decreasing case handling time and improving the quality of service.

“The solutions selected for the M2M Evolution Product of Year Awards reflect the diverse range of innovation driving the machine-to-machine (M2M) market today. It is my honor to congratulate Etherios for their innovative work and superior contribution to the rapidly evolving M2M industry,” said Carl Ford, CEO of Crossfire Media, a co-publisher of M2M Evolution Magazine.

Companies are quickly realizing the value of their machine data and how to apply it to their business. See how ATEK is using The Social Machine to transform their tank monitoring solution into a full-service end-to-end solution.

You’ll find a complete list of M2M Product of the Year winners here.

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Posted in M2M Trends, The Social Machine

Setting Up Knowledge Solutions for Your Community

In our previous post we looked at how enabling Cases in your Communities site is the first step to simplify the process of raising an issue. Another way companies can use Communities to solve issues is with Knowledge.

For those of you who have not implemented Knowledge into your organization yet and would like to, I would suggest checking into the Knowledge Implementation Guide Salesforce has provided here. Once you have implemented Knowledge into your Salesforce.com instance, getting it setup in your Community is pretty easy…notice a trend?

Just like we did with the Cases tab, you can follow the same steps to enable Knowledge in the Community.  Start at the settings window for our Community.  From there you can:

  1. Click on the Tabs & Pages button.
  2. Select the Knowledge option from the Available Tabs and click the add button to move it to the Selected Tabs section.knowl1
  3. Click Save

One of the large changes when you roll out Knowledge to a customer facing Community are the considerations when publishing an Article.  Before choosing to publish an article, you will want to review the Article Properties section.  In this section, you will be determining which Channel you want this article to be available.

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The Channels you choose will determine where this article is available:

  • Internal App: Salesforce users can access articles from the Articles tab depending on security settings.
  • Customer: Customers can access the article in the Community if the Knowledge tab is available and depending on their security settings.
  • Partner: Partners can access the article in the Community if the Knowledge tab is available and depending on their security settings.
  • Public Knowledge Base: The article can be made available through a public facing knowledge base, which would require Sites and Visualforce.

Some things to consider when implementing knowledge for a Community:

  • Who has access to create, review, and publish Knowledge Articles?
  • Who will manage the upkeep of the Knowledgebase?
  • When creating Data Categories, Knowledge can have multiple Categories, but if you plan to Implement Chatter Answers (coming up in the next post), you can only expose 1 Category to the Chatter Answers feed

Next week, we’ll take at look at using Chatter Answers on your Communities site

If you’d like to learn more about Communities and how you can improve communication with partners and customers, join us for a free webinar on Tuesday, June 17. We’ll take an in-depth look into how organizations can use Communities to connect with their business neighborhood.

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Posted in Salesforce.com

BigBelly Solar: Smarter Waste Collection in Philadelphia

Trash collection and recycling is a resource intensive process that costs U.S. cities roughly $55 billion annually. To help solve this problem, our Wireless Design Services team worked with BigBelly Solar, dubbed as the smart grid of waste and recycling, to develop a wireless solution that reduces the amount of resources needed to collect trash and recyclables. With the help of a cellular connection, each BigBelly trash can is connected to the Internet. When a bin is full, it sends out a signal to notify waste removal teams that it’s time for a pick-up.

BigBelly is working with the city of Philadelphia, which is adopting this new waste collection strategy and quickly realizing a return on investment. BigBelly’s trash cans compact its contents– increasing the capacity of each bin by 5. Eliminating the need to constantly check the amount of trash in each bin is saving the city millions. The reduction in resources and labor dedicated to keeping the streets of Philadelphia clean has enabled the city to devote more time to improving the recycling program.

CNN recently featured the BigBelly and Philadelphia collaboration as part of their ‘City Tomorrow’ series. Click the image below to watch the feature.

Screen Shot 2014-06-02 at 3.08.41 PMClick to watch video

Interested in learning more about how Etherios helped connect BigBelly’s trash cans to the Internet of Things? Check out their customer story to get more details.

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Posted in Wireless Design Services