What the Salesforce Acquisition of Tableau Means

By: CloudADDIE
Published: June 11, 2019

Salesforce.com, Inc. is a cloud-based company focused in San Francisco, California. The company focuses on offering CRM (customer-relationship management) and also sells a suite of applications that provide customer service, analytics, development, marketing, and so forth. In 2018, they were ranked as the #1 best company to work for on the Fortune 100 Best Companies to Work For list.

Tableau is a company offering data visualization software created in January 2003. The software was started on the Stanford University campus with a Department of Defense (DOD) project undertaken by researcher Chris Stolte. It is now currently located in Mountain View, California and has over 80,000 customers (including big names like Netflix, Verizon, Charles Schwab, etc.).

Some Background Information

On June 10, 2019, Tableau was bought by Salesforce for $15.7B stock deal. Both boards of each company have already agreed to the all-stock deal, with Tableau shares being exchanged for Salesforce shares.

The deal was huge news and caused multiple media outlets to report on it. In Marc Benioff's words:

“We are bringing together the world’s #1 CRM with the #1 analytics platform."

Why Tableau?

While the Tableau acquisition seems to come as a surprise, it isn't really surprising when you take a look at the reasoning behind Salesforce's move. After failing to acquire LinkedIn, and after Google's (a competitive CRM integrated with Gmail and other GSuite apps) acquisition of the startup Looker, Salesforce decided to combine data analytics with their platform to provide better service and understand their customers more deeply.

Salesforce is also hoping that by acquiring Tableau, the former will be able to learn and improve their own analytics platform, Einstein.

What Happens in the Future?

Tableau will still remain a relatively independent company with their offices still located in Seattle. With Salesforce being the #1 CRM company, the two companies will work together to bring more understanding of data to their customers through Tableau's powerful business intelligence (BI) and analytic tools.

With the recent acquisitions through the tech industry, it is becoming increasingly apparent that understanding big data is the key to a successful company. Google, Microsoft, and now Salesforce (all top competitors in their industries) have all been attempting to acquire BI and Analytic companies. I suspect that this trend will continue so long as the importance of technology continues to increase.


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