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Salesforce.com Is Bringing Greater Analytics Functionality To Mobile Devices

The CRM vendor's upcoming release of its Wave platform will add three new features focused on the mobile experience for integrating, visualizing data.

Salesforce.com revealed three new capabilities Wednesday that will extend Wave, the CRM giant's recently released cloud analytics platform, to mobile devices.

The upcoming Wave release, set to go live in March, focuses entirely on mobile innovation with features designed specifically for smartphones that allow users to access, integrate and visualize data generated by Salesforce and partner applications, Stephanie Buscemi, senior vice president of Salesforce analytics cloud, told CRN.

"We think these three mobile capabilities are going to continue to drive mobile usage and ultimately just empower people to feel comfortable as they engage with analytics," Buscemi told CRN.

[Related: Salesforce.com's Revamped Partner Program: New Tier Calculations, Training, Annual Fee]

Since Salesforce's Analytics Cloud was revealed at the company's DreamForce conference about four months ago, the San Francisco-based software developer has been collecting data and feedback from partners, customers and analysts, she said.

Buscemi cited a recent study from IDC that found a 78 percent higher ROI for companies that invest in analytics. At the same time, the workforce is increasingly distributed, with a study conducted over the summer showing 60 percent of online activity comes from mobile devices.

"If we take a look at our customer base, almost half the queries on Analytics Cloud are coming from mobile as well," Buscemi said.

The three new features will give those users greater insight into their business intelligence, she said.

Wave Mobile Connector allows Salesforce customers to start exploring analytics from their phone by importing raw data and transforming it into visual charts or graphs.

Wave Mobile Dashboard Designer allows users to build multifaceted dashboards for visualizing dynamic information from multiple sources.

Wave Links facilitates a connection between the Salesforce1 platform and the Wave analytics cloud.

Links can also supplement Salesforce applications by introducing outside data types generated from other software sources.

The coming offerings will help customers gain visibility into their global operations, manage sales teams and obtain consolidated views of their pipelines. They can also be used to engage customers by culling data from multiple sources into a "360-degree dashboard to have more data-driven discussions," Buscemi said.

Kai Yu Hsiung, chief revenue officer for Silverline CRM, said Wave is one of Salesforce's most exciting offerings and building an analytics practice around the platform is one of the New York solution provider's top initiatives for 2015.

"By Salesforce adding mobile analytics tools, our investment in Wave should see an even bigger ROI. Most of our clients are already accessing their Salesforce data via Salesforce1 and/or custom mobile applications, but they desire more than just accessing the data," Hsiung told CRN via email.

Adam Bataran, senior director of analytics for Bluewolf, told CRN via email that the new mobile tools can be used from any device "to unleash our clients' data and increase customer intimacy."

"Analytics enables companies to know their customers and to make every customer interaction relevant, engaging and personal. Success with analytics is contingent upon capturing the right data, at the right moment, and transforming it into valuable insight that improve employees' human actions both across an organization and with customers," Bataran told CRN.

Buscemi said Salesforce built its extensible analytics platform before releasing applications for it specifically because the company wants its partners to create their own analytic solutions.

"You can expect to see packaged CRM applications [from Salesforce] for specific uses in sales and marketing. But we're not the end-all and be-all," she told CRN.

PUBLISHED FEB. 19, 2015

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