Sramana Mitra: How is cloud computing affecting your business? Which are the major trends you are tracking?
Joel Young: As I mentioned, we provide iDigi, a device cloud which connects devices to the broader Internet. Anybody who wishes to get information can access the device through standard HTTP web services into the cloud. We store all device information through long-term storage in the cloud, and we provide vehicles for controlling devices in the cloud. This is a critical component of what we do and how we extend our product and connectivity to the world. Salesforce.com are a good partner for us. This has blossomed over the past six months, as we find that the Internet of things marketplace is more and more about cloud connectivity.
SM: What is the basis of the partnership with Salesforce.com? What do you do for them?
JY: We are the parent company of Etherios, which is a Salesforce.com integrator. Therefore, we are a Salesforce.com integrator. We have an offering called the social machine. We provide the whole software infrastructure that plum into workflows which execute within Salesforce.com. If you see a sales manufacturer, you want to get readings on devices that you sold and to sell a service and you use the Salesforce.com service cloud. We take that information through iDigi and pump it through a workflow that pops it into Salesforce.com so that you can open a case automatically within the service cloud, or you can do a chatter feed, you can manage cases, or you can hop on a sales opportunity. All of those workflows are associated with the device.
SM: If this is your technology, and your technology is in conjunction with your subsidiary, is the primary purpose of this to cater to the IT service desk?
JY: It is one of the purposes, but not the primary one. Why do people want to tie things to networks? In the commercial space people want to tie things to networks because they want to improve customer service, make business more efficient, or create new recurring revenue strings. If you are a device manufacturer, your margins are getting squeezed. Therefore, you look to create additional value for your customers to increase efficiency. So, how do you differentiate yourself from you competitors? You do that with an exemplary customer service. You can achieve that by seeing things before they happen associated with the device you are selling. You want to be able to offer a preventive view or insight into the customers who buy your product.
SM: Talking about the customer base – it is device manufacturers trying to sell devices to enterprises. Is that an accurate description?
JY: Yes, that is one family. When you say enterprises, it is like saying you are selling industrial air compressors, jet engines, or vending machines. It is a very broad topic.
SM: Those are all categories of devices into which your networking sensors or wireless LAN products go in?
JY: That is correct.