October 20, 2014

Microsoft and Salesforce – Part 3

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Dreamforce 2014 Announcement - Analytics Cloud from Salesforce.com

I continue my series on Microsoft and Salesforce Collaboration. In this article, I will be discussing about a latest analytical offering from Salesforce. If you would like to read my previous posts on the Microsoft and Salesforce collaboration, you can go to the following links:

What is Analytics Cloud and Wave?

Analytics cloud is the latest offering from Salesforce announced last week as their analytical platform. It is based on a company that Salesforce bought about 2 years ago. Salesforce also hired a former co-founder of Business Objects to lead the development of this platform.

Wave is the platform on which the analytics cloud is built.

When is Analytics Cloud available?

Although Wave is available immediately but customers have to ask for getting it enabled by speaking with their Account Executive (AE). This leads me to believe that either the product is not fully ready or they are organizationally not ready to manage the inflow if the product is wildly successful.

How is Analytics Cloud available?

You must be an existing Salesforce.com customer to be able to avail of the features of Wave.

How do I use Analytics Cloud if I am not a Salesforce.com customer?

Currently you will not be able to use it.

What is exciting about the Analytics Cloud?

  • Excellent visualization capabilities
  • Tightly integrated with Salesforce.com
  • Fast in-memory technology
  • Slick mobile interface
  • Intuitive

Does Analytics Cloud integrate data sources other than Salesforce.com data?

According to Salesforce.com, it does integrate using third party products such as Informatica, or Dell Boomi. I did not find any sessions on this. There were demonstrations on the floor but I did not see any demonstrations with data being integrated from third party sources.

Is Analytics Cloud easy to use?

I was invited to test drive the Analytics Cloud in one of the sessions with about 150 people. I found it easy to use for basic reporting.

What is the pricing of Analytics Cloud?

It is available in two licensing models:

  1. Builder user license $3,000 per year
  2. Explorer user license $1,500 per year

For additional information on licensing, click here.

What mobile platforms does Analytics Cloud support?

The official story is that it will support IOS, Android and Windows, however, all demos were on IOS and I believe the first release supports IOS currently.

Does Analytics Cloud provide collaboration capabilities?

It is integrated with Chatter.

My observation

  • If you are completely immersed into the Salesforce ecosystem and can afford it, you may want to consider it otherwise there are less expensive options available to provide reporting / analysis capabilities
  • The platform may be available only to select few customers for some time before it is opened to a broader customer base. Plan accordingly
  • Deep dive is required to assess their advanced features

In my next post, I will be comparing the components of the Analytics Cloud with the Microsoft products.

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