Salesforce’s Bova to AT&T Partners: IoT Success Requires Mobility Chops

AT&T PARTNER EXCHANGE SUMMIT — AT&T partners got another warning that if they want to have success with the Internet of Things (IoT), they must start with mobility.

Salesforce's Tiffani BovaTiffani Bova, who moved over from her analyst position at Gartner to a new evangelist position at Salesforce, said that solution providers will play a key role in creating an environment for IoT. But that environment needs mobility.

“Mobility, and the space that you all are in, is the center nucleus of the success of everything that’s happening from an IoT perspective,” she told the audience of the AT&T Partner Exchange Summit. “Without mobility, without Internet access, without connectivity, without connectivity, without communication, it all falls apart very quickly.”

She said one of the biggest changes presented by IoT is how the definition of a customer shifts. She said a customer has traditionally been small businesses, but that might expand to machines, sensors and other types of “things.” In some cases machines will make purchases and making support calls. That’s where the need for a wireless environment comes into play.{ad}

“I feel like you guys are in a fantastic position, as these innovations start hitting the market and being tested,” she said. “You have an opportunity then to play a role in helping people find their way through this stuff.”

Bova joined Salesforce in March as its global customer growth and innovation evangelist after working for 10 years as a distinguished analyst and research fellow at Gartner.

She said her new job, which Salesforce created specifically her, allows her to explore and share about the same theme of how to engage customers using technology. But now, she says she’s much closer to the “battleground” now that she’s left the confines of her job as an analyst.

“You can stand on a stage and pontificate, but you’re so far removed from the day-to-day action of it that you’re missing the subtleties. And I felt like it had been 10 years since I had been in the fight, so I decided that it might be good to come back to the real side of the fence where things happen,” she said.

Her comments about IoT mirrored the previous day of the summit, where…


…Ralph de la Vega urged partners to take advantage of the growing market.

“It’s a huge opportunity, but you’re not going to be able to leverage that if all you’re selling is wirelines products,” he said. “You have to get the underlying capabilities to do this.”

AT&T's Kelly KingBova (right, in photo above) joined AT&T Partner Solutions President Brooks McCorcle (left, in photo above) for an on-stage chat on Day 2 of the summit. Kelly King, senior vice president of AT&T Business Solutions Strategy, also spoke during the main session. He re-emphasized the organization’s goal of becoming “the premier integrated communications company in the world,” in addition to echoing same IoT-mobility themes that have dominated the conversation at the summit.

He said that essentially every industry is going through some form of disruption now, be it financial services, transportation or retail. But in all of those cases, the disruption will result in lower costs and higher speeds for the consumer. In other words, this can be a positive scenario for partners and their customers.{ad}

“How do we help them get on the opportunity side and not on the problem side of the disruption? If we can do that, I think there is huge opportunity for all of us,” he said.

Read our Day 1 Recap of the AT&T Partner Exchange Summit.

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