Can Salesforce Disrupt Analytics Market With ‘Wave’

by CXOtoday News Desk    Oct 17, 2014

cloud analytics

Analytics is one of the hottest areas in enterprise IT today, more so the cloud-based analytics market, which is touted as the next big thing, with MarketsandMarkets predicting the cloud analytics market to reach $16.52 billion in 2018, up from $5.25 billion in 2012. It is therefore not surprising that Cloud major Salesforce will jump into the bandwagon with its new platform called “Wave,” which is the company’s first BI and data analytics software. However, some wonder whether Salesforce can really disrupt the Analytics market With ‘Wave’ just the way it did with its CRM decades back?

The New Wave

Wave is based on technology that the company acquired when it bought data-analytics startup EdgeSpring in 2013. According to a company statement, “It collects and analyzes all the data sitting in the user’s database and provides insights that could lead to better business decisions.” However in an already crowded analytics marketplace, dominated by the likes of Microsoft, SAP, IBM and Oracle, and plenty of startups that are continuously innovating in this space, many believe Salesforce’s entry with Wave may not be easy.

However, CEO Marc Benioff seem to be undeterred by the growing competition. He says that while companies like Microsoft, SAP and Oracle have been in the data analytics business for some time, there is still a “chasm” in the market to be filled. “We need a new vision, not a new version,” Benioff said in his blog, “something to really break through when it comes to data … that reflects the power of mobile, social and the cloud and can fill this data gap.”

Wave Analytics Cloud will help companies explore any data source, uncover new insights, and take action instantly from any device. Wave brings together a dynamic user experience, indexed search, and a powerful computing engine into a single cloud analytics platform.  “The application was able to look at a national sales force, quickly sort it by people and regions, then figure out where there were big disconnects between budget targets and actual results,” reads a New York Times blog.

Not An Easy Debut

Despite the potential, some believe that organizations may not quickly move over to Salesforce, considering the company is still known for its expertise in SaaS and it may take a couple of years for businesses to make the shift into its Analytics Cloud.

Whether Wave can truly deliver on speed and mobile capabilities may be another determining factor in adoption, said Geneva Stephens, a telecom expert. She also notes how Salesforce and its partners navigate the mobile landscape will be one of the key issues going forward.

Salesforce seems to be leaving no stones unturned to gain an edge. More than 30 Salesforce partners have already joined the Wave Analytics Cloud ecosystem. They include data integration experts Dell Boomi, Informatica, Jitterbit, and MuleSoft; consulting firms Accenture, Appirio, and Deloitte Digital; and several other independent software vendors and predictive analytics vendors.

While Benioff asserts, “Salesforce.com is disrupting the analytics market, just as we disrupted the CRM industry 15 years ago,” his rivals too are not resting on the laurels. Ahead of the Wave announcement, SAP has already partnered with a startup Birst to deliver cloud analytics on its Hana  and analysis software. Oracle and IBM, are also expected to make new announcement on their own cloud analytics services, says a source familiar with the matter.

A Bloomberg report also points out, even though some of its features make Wave stand out in the crowd, common challenges such as low accessibility and lack of a dedicated staff continue to plague the market in general. Therefore, unless Salesforce breaks away from these glitches and addresses these issues, it will remain just another BI analytics vendor in the market.