Odaseva, a French company focused on making Salesforce more effective and easier to use, has introduced a service it says will help companies avoid expensive overages and destructive application shutdowns. The application, called Cockpit.AI, uses artificial intelligence to monitor and forecast how companies are using file storage, data storage and API calls on Salesforce.
It’s a relatively simple concept with a relatively big payoff. That’s because when you use a SaaS application, you’re subject to metering and limits on how much you can consume. If you go over your limit in Salesforce, it triggers something called “governor rules," which can in turn shut down your access for a specified period of time.
When limits are reached—often surprising system administrators—it can force the system into expensive overages or, more problematically, shut down the system, causing productivity and customer service problems.
It’s easier than you think to get to that point, says Christophe Bertrand, senior analyst for data protection at Enterprise Strategy Group.
“Think about it. When you do a backup, you have to call on those APIs, which means you are using some of your ‘budget’ for backup. And then there are yearly, monthly or even weekly peaks of activity,” he explained. “Avoiding that requires understand what you are consuming and being able to anticipate and control your consumption of API calls and storage limits.”
Cockpit.AI solves these problems by using artificial intelligence algorithms monitor consumption. It then analyzes usage patterns and compares it to the company’s contract limits on API calls and storage with Salesforce. The application can then better predict when the company is approaching usage limits, giving IT professionals at the company the chance to either curtail usage or make the decision to increase capacity or API calls at an additional expense.
The introduction of Cockpit.AI is just the latest Salesforce.com challenge Odaseva has tackled, following backup and restore, compliance, and archiving.
“Enterprises that use Salesforce have critical data assets in the service, but they can’t give up the responsibility for the data, whether from a compliance or business practice perspective, so these types of services can be very useful,” Bertrand said. “They have essentially encapsulated complex Salesforce data processes, and I can definitely see how they could do the same for other Salesforce data processes.”
Eventually, Bertrand expects Odaseva to move beyond Salesforce and apply the same type of logic and technology to business processes outside the platform.