On August 11, Salesforce showcased 20 new applications for the Apple Watch specifically targeted at the enterprise. The developers of these apps include BetterWorks, Alpine Metrics, CloudSense, Apttus, Bracket Labs, Fairsnail, Click Software, Footprints, InsideSales, Financial Force, Heywire, New Voice Media, RemedyForce, Point of Reference, Sage, Skedulo, Proximity Insights, ServiceMax, Vlocity, and Team Spirit.
Salesforce has been active in the wearables space with its Salesforce Wear platform, which allows developers to build applications for a number of wearable devices that connect into the Salesforce1 mobile app platform. Salesforce has shown examples of apps on a range of devices, including Google Glass, Android Wear, Samsung Gear 2, Myo, Nymi, Pebble Watch, and Apple Watch. The key here has been to automate and simplify the backend plumbing to connect wearables to Salesforce’s platform. The applications vary from enabling inspections at oil rigs using Google Glass, to having doctors using a Myo Arm band to view patient records and X-rays, to having hotel guests use a Nymi band as their room key.
For the Apple Watch, Salesforce has been pushing developers to create specific applications using a dedicated website targeted at third party developers focused on the enterprise market, as well as internal developer teams at companies. There are analytics dashboards, timely notifications, and glanceable and actionable notifications that are targeted at mobile workers.
The latest bunch of apps demonstrates that Salesforce has been actively working with third party developers these past months, expanding its platform capabilities and educating developers about the smart watch value proposition. The apps showcase some of the previously mentioned features like having timely dashboards or actionable notifications on the wrist, along with some new use cases like dictating voice memos directly into Salesforce, field workers viewing schedules on their wrists, or inbound callers being prioritized based on their role and function within the organization.
Based on these apps, it appears that the main value proposition is convenience, allowing busy executives and field workers to have timely and useful information readily at hand, without having to reach for their mobile phones. Convenience doesn’t necessarily drive sales, but as Tractica elaborated in our recent report on Wearable Devices for Enterprise and Industrial Markets, smartphones can be a distraction at work, well-designed notifications can be highly valuable, and hands-free capability is a valuable resource at the workplace.
The smart watch is still in its early days, with developers continuing to experiment with a new platform. The upcoming enhancement to Apple Watch, known as Watch OS2, will be available for developer release in the fall, and will enable native apps and contextual notifications. In terms of hardware, there could be new enhancements in the pipeline like haptic feedback. We are still in the early stages of the evolution of smart watches, and convenience is a good place to start, especially in the enterprise, where multiple tiny conveniences can add up to significant gains in efficiency.