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5 Things To Know About The Monster Salesforce-Tableau Deal

Salesforce partners are eager to learn which Tableau components will be integrated into existing products, which might spawn new products, and which will continue to standalone.

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New Company, New Cloud?

So far, Salesforce has been mum about what kind of products and integrations it sees stemming from what will be far-and-away the largest acquisition in its history. The CRM leader has only said Tableau will continue to operate as an independent division, run out of its current Seattle headquarters by current CEO Alec Selipsky.

In the past, prominent acquisitions have yielded new Salesforce clouds—the company's parlance for its Software-as-a-Service products.

ExactTarget, purchased in 2013 for $2.5 billion, became Marketing Cloud; the $2.8 billion Demandware deal in 2016 yielded Commerce Cloud; and more recently, MuleSoft, bought last year for $6.5 billion, became the centerpiece of Integration Cloud. Those acquisitions were all the biggest in Salesforce history when executed.

But Tableau poses a more-complicated fit, as Salesforce already has an Analytics Cloud platform in Einstein Analytics with both redundant and complementary capabilities to Tableau's portfolio. And as a much larger business than any Salesforce has bought before, Tableau presents a broader set of entangling alliances with Salesforce competitors.

"It will be interesting to see how Salesforce eventually integrates Tableau into their core cloud platforms and connects it to other sales, marketing, and customer success tools," said Dustin Grosse, chief marketing and strategy officer at Nintex, a Salesforce technology partner.

"I’m also curious to see how Salesforce provides licensing options for business leaders and operators that want access to analytics and insights," Grosse added.

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