Salesforce customers aren't very interested in its most important new product

Salesforce has been talking up Wave, its first data analytics platform for some time now, after launching it with much fanfare at last year’s big annual conference, Dreamforce.

Its CEO Marc Benioff called it “the greatest product” Salesforce has ever built, while its president Keith Block said it will be the “fastest launch of any product line” the company’s had.

But the actual adoption of Wave, and the user interest in it still seems pretty small, at least for now, according to a new report by consulting firm Bluewolf.

The report, called “The State of Salesforce,” surveyed 1,500 Salesforce users, and only 6% said they have implemented Wave, while only 14% said they’re planning to implement it in the future.

The report didn’t have any explanation for this, but one reason could be Wave’s high adoption cost. According to InformationWeek and CMSWire, the licence fee just to get Wave started can cost $US40,000 per month, on top of the individual user licenses, which cost $US125 or $US250 per user per month.

Because of this, Morgan Stanley recently noted that Salesforce is experimenting with a pricing discount, where it would entirely remove the upfront licence fees, under the goal of driving wider adoption of Wave.

It could be argued that it’s still early on and enterprise software sales cycles are typically long, but even compared to Community Cloud, another new product Salesforce launched last year, Wave seems to be lagging behind: Community Cloud had 17% adoption rate, according to Bluewolf.

Coincidentally, Keith Bigelow, the man who was in charge of Wave, just stepped down from his position, according to a report by The Information earlier this week. Bigelow will remain with Salesforce, but it always raises eyebrows when your product head resigns with no clear reason. (Bigelow proudly states on his LinkedIn page that he “conceived and delivered” the Analytics Cloud).

But the Bluewolf report has some encouraging signs for Wave too: 81% of the respondents said “increasing the use of predictive analytics” was the most important sales strategy for next year, while 68% said they’re planning to increase their spending in some kind of analytics tool.

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