One Chapter Ends in the Tableau-Salesforce Epic

Ted Cuzzillo,
Principal Analyst – Data Analytics

Summary Bullets:

  • The Tableau brand will survive longer than some feared even a month ago, as Einstein Analytics moves over to be renamed ‘Tableau CRM.’
  • This announcement, made in early October at the annual Tableau Conference, is the end of just one chapter in the Tableau epic.

The Tableau brand will survive longer than feared only a month ago. The recent Tableau Conference brought welcome news from Tableau CEO Adam Selipsky: Einstein Analytics will become part of Tableau and become known as Tableau CRM, making the Tableau brand a principal part of Salesforce.

So begins a new chapter in the Salesforce-Tableau epic. Tableau, the once mighty asteroid, the analytics universe’s dinosaur annihilator, has been tamed.

For Tableau-only users, Tableau will still function as it always has, but with Einstein Analytics’ prediction and prescriptions helping to add insight.

The move makes sense. Tableau is the more established platform, with a larger and more developed analytics-focused culture. Einstein Analytics was launched only in 2017, compared with Tableau more than 10 years earlier.

The Einstein Analytics move to Tableau is perhaps also reassuring to the legions of passionate Tableau users, who feared that the brand would be subsumed. The fact that the brand will survive and even ingest a Salesforce pillar is encouraging.

As happy an ending as that would be, it’s hardly the end of the story. The next chapter will be slower, less action-packed, and mostly out of view.

Tableau executives will be content for now with a stable existence. They’ll find the new environment interesting and challenging. They’ll enjoy the support of new capabilities and the new markets that Salesforce opens.

However, the ambitious among them will miss the slightly greater influence they had back in the old Tableau. They’re now one rung lower than they used to be, and many will keep one eye on the future.

That probably includes CEO Selipsky. His boss, Marc Benioff, seems like a good guy. Adam Selipsky seems like a good guy. By all appearances, they have good rapport, each with compatible goals. But business is business.

At some moment, Benioff will have to make a move that forces people such as Selipsky into roles that may not serve them well. Similarly, at some moment, Selipsky will spy an opportunity. Rumor has it that he still has his eye on the top-dog role, as Benioff certainly realizes. Who’s got time to waste?

In business, there’s always a new chapter. And this epic is only halfway over. Stay tuned for the longer haul.

  • Buyers: Tableau is still the same, just stronger than ever and with Salesforce’s full support. Buy with confidence.
  • Competitors beware: Tableau is stronger than ever, so brace yourselves.
  • Competitors should keep an eye out for Tableau executives hungry for new challenges.

What do you think?

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