Last week, Salesforce signed an agreement to acquire MapAnything, a location-based intelligence software built natively on the Salesforce platform. MapAnything integrates map-based visualization, asset tracking, and route optimization to deliver more targeted insights for field sales. Because location intelligence brings order to data complexity across enterprises, Ovum believes the acquisition lays the foundation to build the complex architecture necessary to create the augmented reality (AR)-enabled workplace and eventually customer experiences.
Location intelligence and the persistence of data via the cloud will enable augmented experiences that yield value
The new Salesforce Maps will extend the Sales and Service Clouds to deliver location-based intelligence to realign sales territories, plan routes, improve accuracy in budgets, accelerate lead generation, and fill schedule gaps. Essentially the technology overlays real-time location intelligence and CRM data (as well as geo-visualization and analytics in Salesforce Advanced Maps) onto maps of sales territories to create insights-embedded mobile visualizations of prospects and customers. These real-time, data-driven territory maps provide context regarding sales opportunities to determine the appropriate selling approaches for improved productivity and increased sales.
Ovum believes the acquisition uniquely positions Salesforce as a potential contender in the movement to offer AR-enabled workplace and customer experiences. Salesforce could enable shared experiences at scale by overlaying the virtual world onto the physical one. Such experiences are delivered via three layers of the AR Cloud – the aesthetic layer (computer vision, remote sensors); the functional layer (mapping and localization); and the intelligence layer (AI, spatial detection, predictive modeling) working in conjunction.
In the future, if the technology works in conjunction with partners of computer vision, indoor navigation, spatial analytics, and remote sensing, Salesforce Maps will serve as a key contributor to the critical functional layer that enables AR experiences. Additionally, the persistence of information is the bigger promise of the AR Cloud, which Salesforce fulfills via its data storage capabilities provided by Salesforce Service and Sales Clouds.
Such cloud-enabled AR architecture will allow enterprises to deliver guided interactions and multi-user engagement. The capability to visualize products or information right in the mobile screen enables enterprises to personalize individual engagements and connect in hyper-personalized ways. Real-time employee visibility and monitoring (ideal in contact centers) and global connectivity and collaboration through the persistence of information enabled by the AR cloud would become easily attainable for Salesforce customers.
Ovum Market Radar: AR Cloud's Promise of Persistent Virtual Data and Interactions, INT001-000134 (March 2019)
Mila D’Antonio, Principal Analyst, Customer Engagement