In mid-June of 2019, Salesforce announced a definitive agreement to buy business intelligence (BI) vendor Tableau. The move is smart: it cements Salesforce as a powerhouse vendor in the area of customer analytics. While Salesforce has made several forays into business intelligence in the past (most notably with its Analytics Cloud solution), purchasing an entrenched market leader will significantly boost its credibility, profile, and install base in the space.
As the number of interaction channels and volume of customer touchpoints has proliferated over the last decade, so too has the amount of customer data organizations must analyze. Info-Tech’s clients routinely highlight customer intelligence as one of the primary value frontiers in their big data initiatives. CRM and customer experience vendors (such as Adobe, Microsoft, and Salesforce) have placed significant emphasis on building and refining their capabilities for analyzing customer data at-scale and using this data to drive better marketing, sales, and customer service decisions. Salesforce’s acquisition of Tableau invokes echoes of Adobe’s purchase of Omniture nearly ten years ago as a means to accelerate analytics offerings via market-leader acquisition.
We expect that Salesforce will rapidly integrate Tableau into its product stack. The marriage of Tableau’s business intelligence credentials with Salesforce’s shrewdness in customer experience will enhance the combined value proposition of the two. This is particularly true for large organizations that generate significant volumes of customer and transactional data, and that require a common analytics platform to stitch together this data from multiple CXM applications.