When it comes to analytics there are primarily two types of use cases. The first generally involves fairly sophisticated end users that access analytics applications via a traditional user interface. Less conventionally, however, more users of other types of applications are starting to invoke analytics engines via an application programming interface (API).
Case in point is Salesforce, which at the recent Dreamforce 2015 conference announced that it has opened the programming model surrounding the Salesforce Wave Analytics Cloud. Anna Rosenman, senior director of product marketing for Salesforce Wave Analytics Cloud, says that while the first version of this cloud offering was aimed primarily at line of business users, Salesforce is now also focusing on recruiting independent software vendors (ISVs) to make use of Salesforce Analytics Cloud as part of applications that invoke Salesforce customer records.
At Dreamforce 13 ISVs showcased applications that invoke Salesforce Wave Analytics Cloud, including a quote-cash application from Apttus; a customer lifecycle management application from SteelBrick; a customer churn application rom Vlocity; and a set of ERP applications from FinancialForce.com. All told, Salesforce claims that more than 80 companies have now joined the Salesforce Wave Analytics Cloud partner ecosystem.
When all is said and done, it’s likely that a lot more end users are going to wind up invoking analytics via APIs that are exposed by cloud services than those that currently do so using standalone applications. It’s not that users of standalone analytics applications will give up on those applications. Rather, more end users will be exposed to analytics within the context of whatever application they happen to be using because it’s becoming simpler for ISVs to invoke analytics as a service in the cloud.
Of course, not every ISV is going to do that of their own accord. In fact, many IT organizations will more than likely have a strong preference for one analytics engine that serves multiple applications. As such, many of them will be looking to solution providers to integrate both new and existing applications with a specific cloud analytics service.
Regardless of who actually does the integration, the one thing that is for certain is that analytics is about to become a mainstream part of just about every analytics application environment. In fact, it may prove to be impossible to sell any application that in form or another doesn’t provide access to a rich set of analytics services one way or another.