On Tuesday, Tableau Software (NYSE: DATA) announced the launch of three new subscription products to reach more users, helping companies to tailor Tableau products and pricing to better meet their organizations’ unique needs. The new packages are called Tableau Creator, Tableau Explorer and Tableau Viewer, all available on-premises, in the cloud via Amazon Web Services, Microsoft Azure or Google Cloud, or through Tableau Online, the company’s fully-managed SaaS offering.
In a blog post, Francois Ajenstat explains why the company developed the new subscription products.
‘In today’s world, every company is a data company – and every person is a data person. This means we need to find ways to quickly and efficiently empower more people with data and make it easier to deploy analytics at scale. When we talk to our customers, they tell us their users have different needs. Some users just want to consume data more easily; other users need to work on clean, governed data. We listened to how our customers think about their different user profiles and created new offerings,’ said Ajenstat.
The new options also remove hardware and infrastructure limits on customers, giving them more choice and flexibility when selecting Tableau solutions. With the new product offerings, each company needs to have at least one Creator, giving them full access to the suite of products. They can then add the appropriate mix of Creator, Explorer and Viewer accounts. Explorer and Viewer accounts have fewer permissions. For example, Creators and Explorers can create and manage subscription accounts for other users, but Viewers cannot. Creators can create and publish new data sources, but Explorers and Viewers cannot.
The launch of these products coincides with the launch of Tableau Prep. Following an extensive beta test, the launched its brand-new Tableau Prep that allows users to combine, shape and clean data for analysis. Tableau Prep comes with Tableau Creator, and it can be used with older versions of Tableau Desktop and Tableau Server. Future product updates, however, will require customers to upgrade to the latest version of Tableau Prep.
‘In my conversations with customers over the years, I’ve seen the pain that comes from preparing data for analysis. A recent Harvard Business Review article reports that people spend 80 percent of their time prepping data and only 20 percent of their time analyzing it. We know that preparing data for analysis can be a repetitive, manual, and time-consuming process. We’ve designed Tableau Prep to reduce the struggle of common yet complex tasks-such as joins, unions, pivots, and aggregations-with a drag-and-drop visual experience. No scripting required,’ said Shailesh Kumar, director of product development.
These new product offerings come a year after the Seattle-based SaaS provider revamped its subscription model to reduce the cost of entry and improve scalability for customers.
In a press release in April 2017, CEO Adam Selipsky explained the decision.
“We have always been driven by the success of our customers, and with subscription pricing, we’ll be even more aligned with our customer’s needs and further committed to earning their business ever year,” Selipsky said.
‘…one of the things about subscription-based pricing we are most excited about is that it sharpens our commitment to earning your business over and over. Like other subscriptions, you’ll have the choice to renew your Tableau investment every year. This lowers your risk, because you can leave us if you don’t feel we are performing. We’ll happily make that bet, because we intend to delight you. That means everything we do here at Tableau is, as always, focused on our customer’s success and delivering value every day of the year. Our subscription model is based on this core principle,’ said Dan Miller of Tableau worldwide sales, services and support.
Since adopting the model, Tableau has experienced some growing pains as investors reacted to quarterly financial reports. As we said in November, the company is in it for the long play and transitioning away from a perpetual licensing model to a subscription model causes shifts in how certain items are reported. Revenue recognition is reported differently with a subscription model, but expenses are still reported as they are incurred. This skews the financials, but this will shake out as Tableau fully executes its new model.