Salesforce buys Tableau for $15.7bn

Enterprise software giant Salesforce has agreed to buy analytics firm Tableau Software for $15.7 billion, as its steps up efforts to face down Google, Microsoft and Amazon in the cloud and data analytics sector.

The deal will enable Salesforce to diversify its range of services beyond Customer Relationship Management (CRM) software, incorporating Tableau’s data and analytics insights platform which helps staff understand raw data through the creation of visualisations.

Tableau currently provides data analytics and business intelligence services to around 86,000 businesses, including Netflix, Schneider Electric, Verizon and Charles Schwab.

Announcing the deal, Salesforce said Tableau would continue to operate under its existing brand and will remain headquartered in Washington State, under the leadership of chief executive Adam Selipsky.

The move comes just days after Google announced plans to expand its own cloud offering, with plans to buy big data analytics firm Looker for $2.6 billion in cash.

Salesforce said it would use Tableau’s platform to offer customers intuitive analytics, visualisation and data insights across enterprise systems, as part of a market for digital transformation technology that will be worth an estimated reach $1.8 trillion in 2022.

Salesforce expects the deal to drive up revenues by as much as $400 million in 2020.

Marc Benioff, chairman and co-chief executive of Salesforce, said: “Tableau helps people see and understand data, and Salesforce helps people engage and understand customers – it’s truly the best of both worlds for our customers, bringing together two critical platforms that every customer needs to understand their world.”

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