When Salesforce.com launched Wave, its nascent analytics product last fall at Dreamforce, it did what it always does with new products. It put out a basic product to get things going and then it kept working. Today it announced several new tools that bring all the analytics goodness of Wave to a mobile device.
Anna Rosenman, director of product marketing at Salesforce .com, points out that it’s been 120 days since Salesforce launched Wave and they have been hard at work since then. She says they have been talking to customers, and one thing they heard loud and clear was that business users need to access this information on their mobile devices.
Salesforce knew if they were going to get Wave into the hands of its target audience, they needed to make it mobile, so they announced several products today to make that happen.
The first piece is called Wave Mobile Connector, which lets you pick any data set and view it on your phone on the fly. Suppose your boss sends you a spreadsheet with data about your clients and markets. Looking at a complex spreadsheet on the phone is an exercise in frustration. Wave Mobile Connect lets you take that incomprehensible information and turn it into graphs and charts instantly, giving you a clear sense on the mobile-sized screen what the data means.
For instance, you could look at your market by demographic like age, or you could explore the most popular (or least popular) products. Although I haven’t been able to try this, and have just seen a canned demo, the mobile presentation is well done and it appeared to be easy to view and manipulate data, even on a small mobile screen.
What’s more, users can create dashboards right on their mobile devices with the Wave Mobile Dashboard Designer. That means you find your data in Wave, choose the data and presentation style for your dashboard and create it with different views.
While this tool is powerful, in the demo it appeared a bit complex too. Even though it’s been tuned for mobile, and once you know what you’re doing you can move quite quickly, it’s probably going to take at least some training or exploring before users can just fly through the process.
Finally, using Wave Links makes the entire Wave experience fully integrated with Salesforce1, so users can move back and forth between Wave and their Salesforce data, including sharing Wave data in Chatter (the Salesforce enterprise social tool) or making it part of a dashboard or customer record in Salesforce CRM.
If your boss sends you data on a new client, you can bring it into Wave, make it into handy charts and graphs for easier viewing, bring it back to Salesforce, share your ideas with your boss in Chatter and see it in your Chatter social stream instantly.
All of these tools should be welcomed by busy sales people used to spending time on the road with clients. Used correctly and adeptly, this kind of information can provide an edge in client meetings, made all the more powerful because it’s there whenever you need it, even on your smallest device.