In its largest acquisition to date, Salesforce purchased Tableau, an interactive data visualization software company, for $15.7 billion in stock last week. This is a significant acquisition by Salesforce to date and signifies the latest example of the business intelligence (BI) consolidation trend.
Here are three main reasons we believe Salesforce bought Tableau:
1. The product offering
Salesforce has evolved its analytics capabilities into Einstein Analytics, but this product has not yet taken off. Einstein Analytics is already a compilation of multiple analytics offerings, primarily BeyondCore. Bringing in the No. 1 data analytics platform—with proven visualization capabilities that surpass what Salesforce can offer today—will bolster the capabilities and credentials of Einstein Analytics.
In addition, Salesforce is making a major play in its capabilities to bring together multiple data sources into a single snapshot with the announcement of Customer 360 last year. A powerful data analytics tool like Tableau will bring valuable insights to help Salesforce customers make intelligent decisions based on all of the data they are already collecting, and it will help power new artificial intelligence (AI) capabilities.
2. Staying competitive in the marketplace
A powerful data analytics tool like Tableau will bring valuable insights to help Salesforce customers make intelligent decisions based on all of the data they are already collecting, and it will help power new artificial intelligence (AI) capabilities.
Acquisitions and the bolstering of analytics capabilities has been a trend that Salesforce needs to adopt in order to stay in its position as the No. 1 customer relationship management (CRM) provider. Google recently purchased a BI and analytics company, Looker, for its cloud platform. In addition, Zoomdate was purchased by Logi Analytics.
With analytics expected to generate $189.1 billion globally in 2019, according to market research firm IDC, it is a market that cannot be ignored.
3. It’s makes sense for business and operations growth
According to CIO.com, two-thirds of Tableau’s customers operate on premise today. This brings a large opportunity of new customers into the Salesforce cloud-based infrastructure.
From a physical footprint, with the purchase of Tableau, Salesforce is rebranding the Tableau Seattle offices as its second headquarters. This will bring financial synergy as Salesforce continues to outgrow its San Francisco footprint and will allow them to compete for talent from Microsoft and Amazon Web Services, which are also located in Seattle.
So, what does this mean for Salesforce customers? Right now, not much.
The deal is not expected to close until October, which means we will hear a lot more about the acquisition at Dreamforce in late November. It’s been reported that Tableau will be run independently for now, and given its non-cloud-based infrastructure, it will take a while for it to fully merge into the Salesforce Cloud applications.
Looking into the future, Tableau will be a massive capability native to the Salesforce platform, allowing customers to bring together data from all the different clouds, CRM, and external data sources to influence business decisions and provide new customer experiences that would not have been possible before.
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