You might have seen the news that Salesforce and Microsoft invested in the predictive analytics (Insidesales.com) company to the tune of $65M. Salesforce is the leader of cloud / SaaS platform in the world, why are they investing in predictive analytics? Barring any obvious financial reasons, it is very clear that ERP serves the purpose of running the enterprise but mining the data and making sense using predictive analytics is the future.
“InsideSales.com’s sales acceleration platform extends the power of the Salesforce Platform by applying data science to the sales process to help companies sell more.” – John Somorjai, EVP of corporate development and Salesforce Ventures
Salesforce already owns the customer data, plus additional offerings around data (Data.com), numerous apps and a growing platform enterprise solutions. Traditional ERP’s and data warehouses are limited to enterprise data which is needed for operations. Customer engagement and experience happens 24/7 through multiple channels. Companies are embracing the idea of having the data outside their firewalls. Salesforce, being the leader in cloud technology, realizes the value of a predictive analytics platform on the cloud.
Another indicator is the amount of investment going into the technology to keep the customer happy. Meeting the demands of an omnichannel strategy, engaging with the connected customer, and seamless switching of channels of customer engagement involves heavy investment in technology. Predictive analytics powers the decisions, targeted interactions and overall customer experience.
Customers engaging through social media, smart phones and other devices are exponentially increasing, which means more data resides outside the company firewalls and in the public domain than within the enterprise. Technologies which enable the ability to harness the information from these public data domains and making the connection to the customers are going to be frontrunners in the industry. Targeted applications and platforms that can provide pre-packaged predictive analytics leveraging cloud applications, like Salesforce, are going to be the key differentiators for successful customer experience programs.