This content is part of the Conference Coverage: Dreamforce 2016 coverage

Latest Salesforce acquisition focuses on smart analytics

With the purchase and integration of BeyondCore, Salesforce hopes to help sales reps learn from their data and gain predictive insights.

The latest Salesforce acquisition of BeyondCore Inc. continues the cloud CRM provider's buying spree, marking the company's fifth purchase in the past couple months.

BeyondCore, already available in the Salesforce AppExchange, is designed to provide insight from multiple data sources and predict events and outcomes it gathers from your data. The business intelligence company is in line with several other artificial intelligence (AI) companies Salesforce has recently purchased, including MetaMind and Implisit.

"The knowledge developed by BeyondCore and the data that is owned by Salesforce opens a lot of opportunities for sales reps," said Mauricio Chapa, an account manager for Big Bang ERP Inc., a CRM and ERP support company based in Montreal. "It allows you to build smart analytics, be able to build more in-depth analytics and highlight what's standing out."

The purchase continues a trend toward smart CRM systems, predictive analytics and machine learning, as companies such as Salesforce, Microsoft and Oracle ramp up acquisitions to capitalize on being first in the market.

And while the predictive analytics field is full of companies looking to push through as industry leaders, the Salesforce acquisition of the relatively small BeyondCore highlights the importance of the integration it already has, having lived in the Salesforce AppExchange.

"There's a lot of synergy already there; it makes it easy for Salesforce to continue working with them," Chapa said. "Analytics sometimes raises more questions than gives answers, and what BeyondCore does is it allows you to see through the mess of data and make some sense of it."

The biggest advantage of the Salesforce acquisition of BeyondCore, based in San Mateo, Calif., should be for sales reps, who could gain more comprehension of their data and be able to put their focus in the right places.

What BeyondCore should bring to Salesforce users is the ability to discover which people and companies they should be focusing on.
Alan Lepofskyvice president and principal analyst, Constellation Research

"For sales reps, one of the most important things is finding key insights and trends within their customer data," said Alan Lepofsky, vice president and principal analyst for Constellation Research Inc., based in Cupertino, Calif. "What BeyondCore should bring to Salesforce users is the ability to discover which people and companies they should be focusing on."

BeyondCore CEO Arijit Sengupta expressed his excitement for the acquisition in a blog post, saying BeyondCore "will be uniquely positioned to further magnify our impact on the world of analytics as part of the Analytics Cloud, extending smart data discovery and advanced analytics capabilities across the entire Salesforce Customer Success Platform."

The goal of the Salesforce acquisition of BeyondCore is to provide more insight into the data for its customers and their sales reps, without having to hire data analysts or have significant knowledge of data science.

"We're excited about the evolution on how these technologies will become easier to interact with human beings," said Adam Bataran, a senior director of analytics for Bluewolf, a New York-based consulting company and Salesforce partner. "That's where the market is going, and this is one piece of the puzzle."

According to Bluewolf, 76% of organizations struggle with data quality, with data stuck in different silos or not integrating properly. Salesforce hopes the integration of BeyondCore into its Wave Analytics helps solve those problems.

"Companies are scared about the future; there's more data volume, there's a greater diversity in data," Bataran said. "We're excited about any technology like BeyondCore that can take something like Wave Analytics and accentuate its capabilities."

Few details are available on the price Salesforce paid for BeyondCore and whether BeyondCore will keep its name or be blended into the Salesforce suite. Other than the comments from Sengupta's blog post, the only word coming from Salesforce has been a tweet by CEO Marc Benioff, saying he is "thrilled [to] announce Salesforce has acquired BeyondCore to enhance the AI capabilities of Analytics Cloud."

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