Huge news in the Salesforce world! On June 10, 2019, Salesforce and Tableau announced the latter’s acquisition by the former for $15.7B, marking this the largest acquisition in Salesforce’s history. This deal overshadows the previous acquisition of MuleSoft by more than 200%.
Largest Salesforce Acquisitions-to-date
Tableau Software (Business Intelligence & Business Analytics), June 2019 – $15.7B
MuleSoft (API-led Application Connectivity), March 2018 – $6.5B
Demandware (Enterprise Cloud Commerce), June 2016 – $2.8B
ExactTarget (Email Marketing Applications), June 2013 – $2.5B
Krux (Data Management Platform), October 2016 – $800M
Quip (Document Processing Platform), August 2016 – $750M
With this acquisition, the #1 Business Intelligence tool is now part of the #1 Customer Relationship Management platform. Amazing! But what does it mean for Salesforce admins and users? Salesforce has made no announcements on how they’ll integrate or merge the two platforms, but let’s speculate based on 1.) how Salesforce has used its previous acquisitions, and 2.) how is Salesforce currently handling analytics.
Previous Salesforce Acquisitions and How They’re Used Today
Quip – Salesforce has maintained Quip as a separate entity, but built integration between the two systems. Through Setup, Salesforce Admins can configure access/permissions for Salesforce users. Quip for Salesforce pricing starts at $30/user/month.
Krux – Re-branded as Audience Studio, Salesforce Marketing Cloud subscribers merge customer data from both cloud and local solutions into a single platform for analysis and decision-making.
ExactTarget – Another re-branded solution. You know it as Marketing Cloud – Salesforce’s digital marketing platform. Marketing Cloud enables marketers to create and manage marketing relationships and customer journeys.
Demandware – The THIRD re-branded solution, also known as Commerce Cloud. With their e-commerce platform, Salesforce provides a consolidated, smooth commerce experience, inspiring individualized customer experiences across all commerce mediums: web, mobile, social, etc.
MuleSoft – After unsuccessful attempts to acquire LinkedIn and Twitter, Salesforce purchased MuleSoft as a means to feed massive amounts of data to Einstein, Salesforce’s IBM Watson-powered Artificial Intelligence engine. With this new stream of data, Einstein is empowered to identify actionable patterns in your business.
Salesforce’s Current Practices for Business Intelligence & Analytics
Currently, Salesforce utilizes it’s Wave Analytics, or Analytics Cloud, to bring Business Intelligence & Analytics to the Salesforce Platform. Their mobile-first approach focuses on providing greater data and trend visibility to the platform its users utilize most. Wave Analytics requires an additional license purchase and currently holds only 0.36% of the market share, compared to Tableau’s 14.51% (according to datanyze.com).
So how will Salesforce capitalize on its investment in Tableau? Three possibilities come to the forefront as contenders:
1) Salesforce will replace Wave Analytics with Tableau. This seems like a decent solution, rather than duplicating development efforts into both platforms moving forward. Salesforce would simply add Tableau to its product stack. As Tableau is a stand-alone platform, however, and the #1 name in Business Intelligence & Analytics, this is not a probable approach.
2) Salesforce will bolster the integration with Tableau. Similar to the approach with Quip, admins could be allowed the ability to uniquely use Tableau’s reporting and analytics prowess within the Salesforce platform. This powerful integration would unfortunately render Wave Analytics all but useless, as customers currently using the Tableau-Salesforce integration would be given addition feature sets and new customers would simply need to purchase Tableau’s services to take advantage of the capabilities.
3) Salesforce will harness the power of Tableau WITH Wave Analytics – As it has done with Mulesoft and Einstein, and ExactTarget/Marketing Cloud and Krux/Audience Studio, Salesforce is most likely to encourage adoption of Wave Analytics, and validation of its purchase of Tableau, by offering groundbreaking features only available to subscribers of both platforms.
Trend and market analysis are the keys to making data-driven decisions in today’s businesses, and regardless of which option Salesforce will take, all organizations can benefit from this new acquisition.
For the Salesforce admin users out there, become best friends with the Tableau admins. We’ll be working hand-in-hand from here on out. Also, strap on those hiking boots and keep your eyes peeled for new Trailhead modules to help you navigate the landscape ahead.
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