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October 13, 2014

Salesforce Eyes Business Analytics with Wave Platform

Continuing the migration of data analytics to the enterprise, said it is entering the analytics market with the roll out of its “analytics cloud” targeting business intelligence applications.

The enterprise cloud-computing vendor said Oct. 13 its Wave analytics cloud platform would allow businesses to sift through sales and marketing data from any device. The new platform and more than 30 “ecosystem partners” were introduced at a company event in San Francisco this week. Among the keynote speakers at the event was former U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

The Wave analytics cloud is the sixth component of the platform. The company said Wave is targeted as business users, not just data analysts. Rather than delivering a visualization tool or layers of abstraction, Wave is being positioned to combine an indexed search capability with a computing engine in a single cloud analytics platform. also is positioning the Wave platform as schema-free architecture that eliminates the need to pre-sort data before it can be analyzed. The result is said to be quick access to billions of rows of data. The company likened its approach to consumer travel apps that allow users to search and filter large datasets of commercial airlines flights in a few clicks.

The company’s catch phrase for the new analytics platform is: “…analytics for the rest of us.”

Wave is also targeted at business analysts through a feature that creates mash-ups of third-party data on a dashboard. That approach is designed to accelerate the identification of data correlations used to speed decision-making.

Among the company’s Wave ecosystem partners are Accenture, Deloitte Digital, Equinix, GE Capital, Informatica and TriCore Reference Laboratories. The partners are drawn from the ranks of top system integrators along with independent software and predictive analytics vendors, the company said.

The analytics platform also is intended to replace on-premise analytics software requiring data warehousing and the creation of schemas needed to access data. The analytics reports generated via conventional on-premise tools “are challenging to access—let alone drill into—from a mobile device,” managers argued. Worse, “unstructured data from connected products, customer-facing apps and social networks is completely disconnected from the business because legacy analytics software is unable to process it,” the company insisted. is betting business users will want to access company data via its analytics cloud. Wave is intended to deliver data via interactive dashboards, lenses and charts designed to help business users filter data, query datasets and refine searches.

The company said it expected to make Wave analytical cloud available in English on Oct. 20 with additional languages to follow. The Wave mobile app will initially be available on Apple iOS, with support for other devices coming soon.

The Wave platform license includes compute, data management, API and security. Monthly subscription pricing will be based on the number of Wave Explorer and Wave Builder licenses.

The Explorer license includes ability to view, discover, customize and share data results and dashboards. Pricing starts at $125 a month, the company said. A Builder license includes ability to create, deploy and manage datasets, connections, and user access. Pricing starts at $250 per month.

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