MindTouch adds sales intelligence with Salesforce Wave

SUMMARY:

MindTouch sees huge potential with Salesforce.com Wave, adding actionable intelligence for sales and service personnel

mindtouch wave
Mindtouch Wave

MindTouch, which builds content designed to help business better understand the technology they use is taking that metaphor down a different but complementary path. From the blurbs:

Both sales and support teams will have access to actionable intelligence that identifies the most effective content for driving the sale and creating product experts. Combining the power of Salesforce Analytics Cloud with MindTouch is expected to improve sales execution, increase user adoption, create product experts, and drive brand advocacy – all of which will positively impact customer spend and retention.

aaron roe fulkerson - ceo mindtouch
Aaron Roe Fulkerson – CEO Mindtouch

How? I spoke with Aaron Roe Fulkerson, CEO MindTouch who said:

We’ve been able to build kind of lightweight dashboards that help identify what content customers are looking at and when. Combine that with what sales people already know about where a person is in the sales cycle and you can quickly see whether the sales person needs to deliver more content. That’s one example. But what about those sales that didn’t close? You can now look to see where content delivery didn’t work and take corrective action. That has huge value.

Ever since Salesforce.com acquired Edgespring, it has been clear that Salesforce.com was preparing for a move into the analytics space. It appears the company is partially positioning this as a partner led solution with Wave acting as the front end for whatever partners choose to build.

These are very early days and from what we can gather, Salesforce.com hasn’t given partners much time to develop applications. What we will see as the show progresses will likely be proofs of concept rather than complete applications.

In the meantime, Fulkerson explains how it’s been working with Salesforce.com

We’ve only had our hands on this for a few weeks so yeah, we’ve been kinda busy. It was super easy to do business with Salesforce. I quickly signed off on the contract document clean. That’s such a difference to what other vendors put us through. Then, as we came up against the inevitable problems of an early release, Ron Huddleston (Senior Vice President Global ISV & Channel Alliances at Salesforce.com) just nailed stuff every time. Yeah, I’m happy with that.

Asked about the target market for the solution, Fulkerson believes Wave Apps will initially appeal to small and medium sized businesses. He doesn’t see it as a competitor for solutions like Tableau or Qlik, but can see that it might go against services like GoodData.

All sounds good so far but the proof will come in the eating. According to VentureBeat, Wave pricing works as follows:

The standalone Wave service costs $250 per month for each person who imports data sets — “builders,” in Salesforce parlance — and $125 per month for each person working with available data, or “explorers.” The Wave mobile app comes free of charge.

We are going to need some explanation around that because as articulated right now, that seems expensive for something that looks like a great front end but which has a number of important technical pieces missing and to which partners will want to add their own costs.

Endnote: We will be catching up with Mindtouch during Dreamforce this week for a fuller demonstration.

Disclosure: Salesforce.com is a premier partner and partially covered the authors travel costs.