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Article

Tableau Takes to the Cloud

It's going after mass deployment by charging only 500 bucks per person per year

Tableau Software Thursday made its first product announcement since going public in May, wheeling out new cloud-based business intelligence widgetry called Tableau Online, a hosted version of its conventionally distributed Tableau Server.

The company, which trades under the coveted ticker symbol DATA, thinks its new Software-as-a-Service is highly disruptive both technologically and economically since it "drastically" changes both the price point and the delivery scheme usually associated with the kind of complex and sophisticated software it's peddling. Of course, there's an increasing number of comers in this space too.

Tableau's going after mass deployment by charging only 500 bucks per person per year, which effectively works out to just $37 a month according to director of product marketing Ellie Fink's persuasive arithmetic.

There's no minimum number of users and can scale as a company grows.

The company expects the always-available tool to attract Mom & Pop shops and mid-sized companies as well as the big boys currently making multimillion-dollar investments in BI widgetry from SAP, Microsoft, Microstrategy and others.

Tableau Online users can reportedly share, author and edit dashboards and reports with their colleagues, customers and partners in minutes without needing IT support or special programming skills. It's supposed to be completely scalable and secure (as in outside the corporate firewall).

It automatically refreshes data so users are always working with the latest information. Data can be pulled from cloud data sources such as Salesforce.com, Google Analytics, Google BigQuery and Amazon Redshift, or from inside a firewall.

Tableau Online also integrates with several other partners such as Alteryx for Visual Analytics and SnapLogic's elastic integration Platform-as-a-Service, Snap for Tableau.

The touch-optimized widgetry is supposed to work with any web browser, iPad or Android tablet. Users get critical information in their e-mail by subscribing to a workbook. They click on the e-mail to go to Tableau Online and interact with the data.

Tableau is handling all the infrastructure and management, and says it's responsible for its customers' data. A company can always migrate to Tableau Server and manage it in-house on its own servers. Tableau Server is now supposed to have 12,000 customers,

Tableau's Data Server provides a central place to manage data and metadata and users can publish and share dashboards so others can access that data to create their own analysis. The company says this lets people benefit from work that's already been done to prepare and publish the data.

Tableau Online, which comes with 100GB of space, reportedly had 180 corporate customers at launch.

Free trials are available at www.tableausoftware.com/products/online.

More Stories By Maureen O'Gara

Maureen O'Gara the most read technology reporter for the past 20 years, is the Cloud Computing and Virtualization News Desk editor of SYS-CON Media. She is the publisher of famous "Billygrams" and the editor-in-chief of "Client/Server News" for more than a decade. One of the most respected technology reporters in the business, Maureen can be reached by email at maureen(at)sys-con.com or paperboy(at)g2news.com, and by phone at 516 759-7025. Twitter: @MaureenOGara

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