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Accenture serves up data for all via Salesforce Wave analytics

Accenture rolled out Wave analytics along with other Salesforce tools to 25,000 users within five months. Though the project moved quickly, it's also being done carefully.

Accenture, one of the top IT services companies in the world, didn't have its own full-blown customer relationship management system a year ago. It went from zero to 60 when it adopted Salesforce Sales Cloud for its global workforce and ramped up to 25,000 users over a span of just five months.

The company has since adopted Salesforce Wave Analytics Cloud and is in the early phases of that rollout, with plans to make it the place where customers can find and use Accenture's toolset. "There was a lot of pressure from remote users to support mobile. We needed to give sales reps and directors the capabilities to do their job and not have IT get in the way," said Mark Martynus, managing director of app development and delivery at Accenture, speaking at the Salesforce World Tour event in Boston in April.

Accenture retired a number of its older systems as part of the Salesforce project and integrated Salesforce with a reporting platform from Microsoft, noted Sean Freeburger, managing director of business applications for Accenture's internal IT organization. "One of our focus areas with integrating analytics is to have a user focus, to bring the analytics close to the user," he said in an interview. "The idea is to bring the data to the people who actually make the business decisions, instead of having the data tucked away and only accessible to data scientists."

Like Salesforce, many business intelligence and analytics vendors are focusing on visualization to allow a wider audience to consume and use data. Wave's visualization capabilities can make it easier for users to access, explore and handle information. 

That said, Salesforce Wave analytics is relatively new, and the company doesn't want to rush it out the door. Instead, Accenture is rolling out the app tactfully to ensure it becomes a platform that users find comfortable and advantageous, Martynus explained.

"Dashboard tools are a dime a dozen. We don't want it to be just a dashboard," he said. "We are looking at usability [and] making things easier for users."

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