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Flexible bandwidth on demand for the Internet of Things

How a leased line with on demand bandwidth can help with Salesforce IoT Cloud apps

The world is more connected than ever before. With more gadgets connected to the web than there are mobile phones, the Internet of Things is forecast to grow significantly over the coming years. But what benefits can FlexFiber’s leased line, Internet on Demand service give you in integrating a Salesforce system to the Internet of Things?

The world is becoming increasingly connected. With forecasts ranging from 200 billion connected devices by 2020 (by Intel), and with an estimated spend of more than £1 trillion being spent on such technology by the same year (by IDC), the Internet of Things (IoT) is going to change the way in which the majority of us do business.

The Internet of Things will hook up devices to the Internet, to enable information and maintenance reports to be sent back to your organisation before your customer is even aware they might need any assistance.

This massive ‘tidal-wave’ trend of having devices send data points back to a central server has been picked up by one of the world’s leading CRM providers. Saleforce has developed a platform specifically for use by device feedback, aiming to give its users a first mover advantage in making the most of this huge business shift.

The Salesforce IoT platform is an industry leader, routing data from connected devices to its central platform where it can be accessed by various departments in your organisation, from sales and marketing through to maintenance and troubleshooting. With all these data points coming back into one central system, Salesforce IoT provides immense analytical ability based on Cloud computing reserves allied to a bespoke system where an organisation can write its own rules about what data they require: these ‘orchestration rules’ define what events and trigger actions are best required.

It is this aspect of Salesforce IoT that gives meaningful insight into the way your customer uses their devices, in a way that can give your organisation a new opportunity to segment and provide new services for these profiles.

Take the smart energy meters that are being rolled out across the country: it is a government target to have one in every home by 2020, to allow users to see when they are using electricity and to see what appliances are costing them the most money. These smart meters send their data back to the energy companies in real time, providing a picture of an individual household’s energy use. This in turn will allow the utility sector to identify the ways people use their energy, and on what appliances, and will enable new tariffs to be designed to cater for these more accurately defined segments. It might even lead to ‘interactive tariffs,’ where users will be prompted by text to recharge their tablets and phones or put on their laundry at a certain time of day to take advantage of a period of long power demand and excess supply. Indeed, it is not beyond comprehension that users will be able to trade points from their tariffs with their next door neighbours, such as when one family is away on holiday, allowing them to top up their energy allowance for a cheaper price.

The Internet of Things is about enabling new ways for industries to compete. It is about inventing new industries out of calcified sectors and it is all entirely dependent on the tools like Salesforce IoT and its data collection and analytical power.

And these Cloud based tools in turn are entirely dependant on the digital highways of fibres and lines that crisscross the country. They carry the data at speeds that allow for real time updates to group projects, allowing teams located on various sites to communicate with one another and to draw on the powers of Cloud based server processing to interrogate numerous data points generated by devices linked to the Internet of Things.

Yet occasionally, these fibre networks can break down: a worker might sever a fibre link with his drill, or a local Openreach exchange might be offline due to maintenance work or fault. These outages can effectively halt any access to the Cloud that users might depend on, and with it the Internet of Things.

Foreseeing a need for a backup leased line capability, FlexFibre’s Internet on Demand is set to be released in September 2018. In conjunction with Colt Technology Services, the FlexFibre leased line uses its own fibre networks rather than those of Openreach. Using FlexFibre as a backup in case of any problems on an organisation’s current provider ensures that your personnel will have continued access to the Cloud, and with it platforms such as Salesforce and data gathered from your connected client devices.

But FlexFibre promises to be more than just a backup dedicated Internet provider: with it’s Network on Demand functionality underpinned by Software Defined Networking technology, the bandwidth required for use by any organisation can rapidly be scaled up. This is particularly useful for periods of high data demand, and with the Internet of Things that can be needed when software updates are being rolled out to the connected devices, or a regular backup of data is being planned: either from the organisation’s various sites or from the devices themselves. With FlexFibre’s bandwidth on demand flexibility, the Salesforce team can continue to work unimpeded.