Salesforce Wave washes over third party apps

Profile picture for user slauchlan By Stuart Lauchlan September 14, 2015
Last year's Dreamforce 'big thing' was Wave and the Analytics Cloud.. This year, the focus is on the third party apps that have resulted.

At Dreamforce 2014, it was all about analytics in the shape of Wave. One year on, Salesforce today announced a ‘next generation’ as well as opening up the Analytics Cloud to third party developers and ISVs.

In the upgraded offering, so-called ‘Wave Actions’ will flash up sales information on dashboards. Customized Wave Actions can be created by users, such as processes like updating accounts or assigning tasks. As an example, Salesforce collateral says:

When a sales manager drills into her custom Wave Analytics dashboard and discovers a customer attrition pattern within specific accounts, she can instantly assign a task to a rep directly from the app, addressing the problem from the point of insight.

Meanwhile a new Wave Visualizations feature aims to create a consistent user experience and a more intuitive process. Salesforce’s pitch here is that existing on-premise analytics offerings have excessively complex user interfaces (UI) and that because organisations often use multiple niche tools, they typically end up trying to reconcile disparate UIs.

To address this, Salesforce says that:

Wave Visualizations will power every Salesforce data exploration experience across the Customer Success Platform.

This will include Lightning Reports & Dashboards and Wave Embedded Dashboards which will deliver insights without requiring users to drop out of existing workflows. As an example, Salesforce’s messaging offers:

After getting real-time operational insights into current closed deals and performance against quota, a sales manager would turn to a Wave Analytics dashboard to do a full pipeline analysis and determine whether she needs to reset forecasts or identify which deals need to be accelerated to hit key targets.

Third parties

Salesforce also wants to open up its analytics offering to make it easier for third parties to integrate with it. Currently there are 81 companies in the Analytics Cloud’s partner ecosystem, with a number of them planning to unveil new apps based on Analytics Cloud at Dreamforce this week. These include Apttus, FinancialForce, NewVoiceMedia and Vlocity.

  • Vlocity is piloting Vlocity Communications Cloud Analytics, which it say will provide actionable insight to real-time operational data and detailed click-streams generated with every customer interaction.
  • Apptus is announcing Quote-to-Cash Intelligence, which works in conjunction with Apttus and Salesforce CRM, to analyse existing processes, but now with automated (or suggested) actions to increase efficiency and savings.
  • NewVoiceMedia has two Wave-enabled offerings - Vision for Sales and Vision for Service. Vision for Sales delivers up information like revenue driven per rep, call, or vertical, cost per sales rep or opportunity and other performance metrics, while Vision for Service provides internal information about agent productivity and cost-to-serve, wait time, abandon rates, transfer percentages and number of first contact resolutions to give users a window into the quality of their customer service.
  • FinancialForce meanwhile announced pilots of two FinancialForce ERP Wave Apps - FinancialForce Accounting Wave App and FinancialForce Supply Chain Wave App. These are intended to provide visual insights into areas such as ordering, billing, delivery performance and payment history.

My take

More to come on Wave’s progress later in the week once we’ve had a deeper dive via the Analytics Cloud keynote on Thursday.

To date, revenues from Analytics Cloud have been “not significant”, according to Salesforce's most recent earnings call. But it’s still early days of course. The uptick in ISV take-up is clearly something we’ll be hearing a lot about this week as proof that traction is being built.


Disclosure - at time of writing, FinancialForce and Salesforce are premier partners of diginomica.