• October 15, 2014
  • By Leonard Klie, Editor, CRM magazine and SmartCustomerService.com

At Dreamforce 2014, Salesforce.com Delivers Wave Analytics Cloud

will initially be available on Apple iOS for iPhone and iPad, with additional device support due in a few months.

But for all the fanfare surrounding the Wave announcement, Bruce Richardson, chief strategy officer at Salesforce.com, called the analytics offering "the worst-kept secret."

Salesforce.com Chairman and CEO Marc Benioff had tweeted about it earlier in the month, and word leaked out to several media outlets before the official release.

"I couldn't be more excited about it," Benioff said during his Tuesday afternoon keynote, which was given to an audience of 145,000 on-site attendees at San Francisco's Moscone Center and more than 5 million online viewers.

According to Benioff, the Wave Analytics product is the brainchild of Alex Dayon, president of products at Salesforce. Dayon said the Wave product was two years in the making, and "brings all of a business' data together in one platform."

Parker Harris, a Salesforce.com cofounder, called Wave Analytics Cloud "a great new addition to the Salesforce platform."

Despite the hype around the Wave product, many attendees were still uncertain about its capabilities and business cases.

Andy Byrne, CEO of Clari, for example, said in an email that "Salesforce Wave provides a great way for enterprises to view sales activities in a more holistic way, but it's only as good as the data that is fed into it. Manual inputs from sales reps are no longer enough. It's about layering that information with real-time data from each salesperson's email, meetings, and relationship activities. Fully integrated analytics solutions, leveraging data science, will then provide actionable insights that optimize revenue and business performance."

That claim is supported by new data just released by Selligy that suggests that advanced analytics are entirely useless for most companies because sales reps seldom enter data into their companies' CRM systems.

Because of that, the research indicates that 60 percent of companies don't have enough data to perform even the most basic analytics functions, let alone the complex ones that Analytics Wave will offer.

Still, anticipation is high for the Wave Analytics Cloud. "The march toward better analytics is so important and transformative in how companies will deliver customer service," says Keith Dawson, principal analyst in Ovum's Customer Interaction Team. "Now you don't have to be a highly trained data scientist to get insights from analytics. A person closer to the business systems can use [analytics] to get to the truth about all aspects of the business.

Wave Analytics Cloud isn't the only product release being made at this year's DreamForce event. Harris later in the afternoon introduced Salesforce1 Lightning, so named because it contains "all the tools to build mobile apps lightning fast," he said.

Salesforce1 Lightning comes with prebuilt, drag-and-drop components, such as buttons, rich text, calendars, lists, maps, but businesses can also use custom-built components.

Also new for Salesforce.com is the Customer Success Platform, which the company says will bridge the gap between companies and their customers by bringing together cloud apps for sales, service, marketing, social communities, the new Wave Analytics cloud, and mobile app development, all on the Salesforce1 Platform.

So far, in the year since Salesforce.com launched the Salesforce1 platform at DreamForce 2013, more than 4 million apps have been created and 84,000 companies are using it, according to Benioff.

"Everyone is building mobile apps, and businesses need to get all their people up and running on mobile devices," Benioff said.

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