It shouldn’t come as a surprise that Salesforce.com chief executive Marc Benioff is bullish about his company’s newest software, the Wave cloud service for visualizing data. But it’s good to keep in mind just how big of an opportunity lies ahead, at least from Benioff’s perspective.
On the company’s quarterly earnings call today, Benioff declined to tell analysts just how soon Wave will hit $1 billion in annual revenue. But he assured them that upside would be big.
“With Analytics Cloud, it’s far beyond that,” he said of the $1 billion figure.
Clearly, Benioff and other Salesforce employees envision Wave making Salesforce into a considerably bigger enterprise software provider, perhaps one day getting on par with Benioff’s old company, Oracle, even as Salesforce continues to push cloud software instead of selling service for companies to deploy in their own data centers.
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Indeed, the company today told analysts that it was expecting $6.5 billion in revenue for its 2016 fiscal year. And considering that Benioff is, as he put it, “extremely optimistic” about Wave’s capabilities from a money-making perspective, it’s fair to believe that soon enough Wave will become a major contributor to the company’s top-line revenues, right up there with Salesforce’s popular sales cloud for tracking leads.
The Wave product, Benioff said, is off to a strong start, with early customers like EMC, GE, and Verizon. And companies that weren’t previously Salesforce customers have also shown interest in Wave, said Salesforce’s president and vice chairman, Keith Block.
“We have never seen faster uptick and faster traction when it comes to a new product, and that gives us a level of incredible excitement,” Benioff said.
Even Salesforce executives, Benioff said, are getting in on the fun and using the software.
But while Wave is already available in app stores, providing “analytics for the rest of us,” Benioff said it’s not just an application. He sees it as a platform on top of which other applications can be built.
However things progress, Benioff views analytics as a big growth area for the company. It’s already a multibillion-dollar market, he said.
“We have the best analytics and business-intelligence product on the planet, and we are going to market in a huge way,” Benioff said.