Salesforce Delivers First App Built On Its Shiny New Wave Analytics Platform

About eight months after unveiling its Wave Analytics Cloud, on Thursday brought to market the first app in an upcoming portfolio built on the data-crunching and visualization platform.

Sales Wave Analytics is the first of a series of Wave Analytics Apps to come. Its release followed a protocol diverging from previous products of the CRM giant, with the Wave platform preceding the applications, said Anna Rosenman, senior director of product marketing for the Salesforce Analytics Cloud.

"What we were trying to do then and will continue to be doing is delivering analytics to everyone," Rosenman told CRN. That means not only business executives will be privy to insights gleaned from analyzing data from multiple sources, but also sales reps, marketing managers and field agents will have that information available, at any location and on any device.

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The Wave Analytics Apps also are unique in that Salesforce sought to emulate a consumer model for their development, facilitating that greater accessibility, Rosenman told CRN.

The new app was released as part of a pilot program; Salesforce will make it generally available later in the year. In this early stage, Salesforce isn't yet involving its channel in bringing Sales Wave Analytics to market, opting to work closely with its customers for the time being. But "we will bring the channel into the equation" once the product gets closer to general availability, Rosenman said.

Historically, Salesforce has developed, marketed and sold an app addressing a use case, then followed up by delivering a platform to broaden opportunities for its partners to deliver more customized and diverse solutions.

The reason why the platform came first with Wave, said Rosenman, is "if we hadn't had that undying focus on platform, as the tip of the spear, we might have lost focus on what we needed that platform to be."

And inspiration for how the app should look, feel and function came from an untraditional perspective.

"Rather than looking to the enterprise space, we looked to the consumer space," Rosenman told CRN.

"Consumers don't use spreadsheets," she said. They like to get instant, actionable information by accessing their cloud-based applications. In that sense, the new analytics apps are "designed for everyone," offering mobility, speed and flexibility for employees in all roles within an organization.

Sales Wave Analytics and the upcoming apps offer three primary components: accelerator templates, historical analysis and wave actions.

The templates can be defined by organizations and specific business units to their unique specifications and then be instantly populated with CRM data.

The historical analysis capabilities will identify trends and offer comparisons at different points in time.

And the Wave actions component will allow business users to act on their analytic information, either by creating a task, starting a dialogue or modifying performance goals.

Salesforce has already introduced some 80 partners into its Analytics Cloud ecosystem, from tech giants building native connectors for their own big data platforms, to integrators connecting with third-party legacy systems or helping their clients implement strategies and deploy custom analytics applications.

While no third parties have yet built apps on the platform to bring to market, Salesforce believes its partners will soon start distributing unique Wave apps, Rosenman told CRN.