Salesforce.com is undergoing a major transformation, moving beyond its sales/marketing roots and even delving into the on-premise world. Last year we saw evidence of this with the $6.5 billion acquisition of MuleSoft. And of course, this week Salesforce.com agreed to pay a whopping $15 billion for Tableau Software, which is a leader in the fast-growing market for BI (Business Intelligence).
“An acquisition of this magnitude serves as a recognition of the critical importance and value analytics brings to businesses across the globe and across organizations,” said Barak Eilam, who is the CEO of NICE.
Just a week ago there was another major deal in the BI space. Google agreed to shell out $2.6 billion for Looker (here’s my post about the deal for Forbes.com).
Yes, things are moving fast. So then what does all this mean? What can we expect going forward?
Well, I reached out to various tech pros to get some insights:
Todd Olson, CEO at Pendo:
“The decision to acquire Tableau boils down to a simple fact: Data drives better business decisions, but only if it provides meaning in real-time across the organization. The traditional point of view has been that more data is better, so companies have increased the amount of data they’re ingesting exponentially over the last few years. But the only way all that data works is for it to be accessible to all organizations in the company, whether that’s marketing, sales, support or product to make better decisions in real-time. Salesforce sees this future and knew that it needed a visualization tool like Tableau to help its customers do more with all the data that lives in Salesforce.”
Dean Stoecker, CEO of Alteryx:
“Salesforce’s acquisition of Tableau is validation for the market, confirming the strategic importance of digital transformation for businesses around the world and the vital role data and analytics plays in that. We continue to see industry consolidation like this and it could be an indicator of more M&A activity to come, as companies look to strengthen their analytics capabilities. Both Tableau and Salesforce are long-term partners of Alteryx and we look forward to continuing our work with them as this acquisition progresses.”
Adam Wilson, CEO of Trifacta:
“Salesforce’s $15.7 billion acquisition of Tableau and Google Cloud’s acquisition of Looker for $2.6 billion are a direct reaction to the torrid pace at which analytics workloads are being moved to the cloud. Machine learning, AI and analytics have become the primary growth opportunities for the cloud today and we will continue to see significant investments being made in these areas. Moving beyond these multi-billion data analytics transactions, what will be the next area of focus in the data industry? Companies that are solving critical pain points related to data preparation, data quality and data governance including Trifacta, Alteryx and Talend will be key players to keep an eye on as the data industry continues to grow exponentially and more workloads are moved to the cloud.”
Brian Keare, Field CIO of Incorta:
“The recent Tableau acquisition by Salesforce represents the attempt to simplify the process of analyzing complex data for customers. This also proves that companies are recognizing they don’t have solutions to manage the fire hose of complicated data – and they’re willing to throw big money around to solve this problem.”
Sid Sijbrandij, CEO of GitLab:
“This acquisition validates the trend we’ve seen in the value of differentiating technology innovations that can be bought and leveraged faster than they can be built in house. Tableau compliments other recent Salesforce buys like Mulesoft, and time will tell how much impact these deals will have for users.”
Michael Pickett, SVP of Business Development and Ecosystem at Talend:
“BI is clearly a hot topic in today’s data driven world. Large players are making bold moves to ensure they have an control the BI capability within their product suites. Also, Tableau has continued to be a disruptor in the BI industry so it will be interesting to see what happens now that they are under the Salesforce umbrella.”