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Benioff Touts New Salesforce Wave Technology As 'Analytics For The Rest Of Us'

Salesforce.com CEO Marc Benioff touted his latest product, the analytics technology known as Wave, and also unveiled a new platform for building mobile apps faster at Dreamforce.

Salesforce.com has played a huge role in making customer relationship management accessible to the masses, and now it's trying to do the same with predictive analytics technology.

Salesforce.com Wave, the vendor's new analytics cloud, is poised to put important new power into the hands of sales, services and marketing departments, CEO Marc Benioff said in a keynote Tuesday at the vendor's annual Dreamforce conference.

While predictive analytics isn't new, Salesforce.com thinks it's the first company to remove the stultifying aspects and make it easier for pretty much any kind of employee to use.

[Related: Microsoft, Salesforce.com Offer Taste Of Software Integration Stew They're Cooking Up]

"Wave is analytics for the rest of us," Benioff said in the keynote.

Wave is designed to be interactive, with a game-inspired user experience, and it works quickly to deliver data in a way that's easily accessible on mobile devices. Benioff often talks about how he runs Salesforce.com from his smartphone, so this isn't surprising.

Salesforce.com has been pushing hard into mobility in recent years, and to keep the ball rolling, it unveiled a new mobile application development technology called Lightning.

The idea behind Lighting, according to Salesforce.com co-founder Parker Harris, is to enable developers and ISVs to build mobile apps faster on the Salesforce1 platform, which includes Force.com and Heroku.

Lightning works on Android, Windows and iOS devices and will be included in the next Salesforce1 platform update in November, Harris said in the keynote.

Lightning brings together all customer data, sales, services, marketing and analytics data, and gives developers the components they need to build apps, including a visual builder, Harris said.

"You can write code, but we're also giving you a visual builder to make your own apps, like Lego bricks," Harris said.

Salesforce.com will launch Wave on Oct. 20 in English and will add other languages some time in the future. Its Wave mobile app will debut on Apple iOS, with support for Android and Windows coming later.

As for Lightning, some parts are available now in the Salesforce1 platform, such as the framework and schema builder. The Lightning application builder piece is expected to be available as a beta in Salesforce.com's February 2015 update to Salesforce1.

PUBLISHED OCT. 14, 2014

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