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Salesforce to buy Tableau for US$15.3b in analytics push

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Salesforce.com Inc, which makes America's dominant sales-tracking software, agreed to buy Tableau Software Inc in an all-stock deal valued at US$15.3 billion that it said will help give customers more ways to analyse data.

[LONDON] Salesforce.com Inc, which makes America's dominant sales-tracking software, agreed to buy Tableau Software Inc in an all-stock deal valued at US$15.3 billion that it said will help give customers more ways to analyse data.

The takeover will mark Salesforce's largest deal to date, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. Co-Chief Executive Officers Marc Benioff and Keith Block have been chasing new markets to reach an annual revenue goal of as much as US$28 billion by fiscal 2023. Mr Benioff has helped Salesforce increase revenue at a rapid clip by acquiring more than 60 companies in 20 years.

The deal, if approved, would be "absolutely transformative" for Salesforce, Wedbush Securities analyst Steve Koenig said. "This puts them in an on-premise environment in a very big way." The acquisition represents another major cloud provider positioning itself for the future and further intensifies Salesforce's rivalry with Microsoft Corp., Mr Koenig said. "This adds more urgency for public cloud vendors to lead the analytics market into a new era."

Tableau will remain headquartered in Seattle and will continue to be led by CEO Adam Selipsky, a former Amazon.com Inc executive who has been transitioning Tableau's software tools to cloud-based subscriptions. With Tableau, Salesforce will be able to help companies tap into data they have, make smarter decisions and boost innovation. IDC projects worldwide spending on technologies and services that enable digital transformation to reach almost US$2 trillion in 2022, according to a statement from the companies Monday.

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Tableau software quickly turns raw data into easily understandable dashboards and charts. The company has been broadening its product line to include data cleanup and machine learning tools, enabling it to compete in the wider data-warehousing business. It has more than 86,000 customers, including Verizon Communications Inc and Netflix Inc.

"Tableau helps people see and understand data, and Salesforce helps people engage and understand customers," Mr Benioff said. "It's truly the best of both worlds for our customers."

The deal comes after Alphabet Inc's Google agreed to buy Looker Data Sciences Inc for US$2.6 billion last week, a move to expand Google's offerings for managing data in the cloud.

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