March 22, 2017
The announcement of the global strategic partnership between IBM and Salesforce came shortly before IBMs InterConnect conference, where many of the experts charged with bringing this partnership to life will be presenting. The idea of AI has existed in the imaginations of data scientists since the 1950s, before the rise of the smarter data models, virtually unlimited supply of data, and progression of cloud computing needed to create the caliber of AI we have today. While AI for CRM is designed to provide answers, it remains relatively new as an enhancement to customer and employee-facing applications, and subsequently, the alliance between IBM Watson and Salesforce Einstein raises an obvious question–how do they work together?
Einstein is focused on structured customer data to predict likely outcomes, inform smarter decision-making and recommendations, automatically score and prioritize sales leads, and send notifications and alerts. While Einstein provides insights from CRM data, Watson excels at making sense of unstructured data that isn’t necessarily within a business’ database–drawing insights from text, video, images, emails, customer surveys, and social media, to name a few. As an example, in practice, the union between Einstein and Watson allows for an insurance company to pull local forecast data from IBM Weather into Salesforce, and automatically send safety and policy information to customers who are at risk of being impacted by severe weather events.
In a recent interview with IBM CEO Ginni Rometty and Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff, the two described how the integration of their respective AI capabilities delivers a holistic solution.
“[Salesforce is] coming at it from a declarative standpoint, expressed through our platform, for our customer relationship management system. IBM's approach, which is pioneering, especially when it comes to key verticals like retail or finance or healthcare—these are complements.” –Marc Benioff
“What Marc's done with Einstein—think of it as CRM as a process. What we've done with Watson—think of it as an industry in depth.” –Ginni Rometty
Among the over 5,000 clients that IBM and Salesforce share, customers can combine on-premise enterprise and cloud data with specialized integration products for Salesforce, to surface data directly within the Salesforce Intelligent Customer Success Platform. In practice, a wealth advisor can consolidate client data, such as individual investments and risk profiles, with financial trends and public financial market information right within Salesforce.
Together, Watson and Einstein offer an unparalleled insights engine for every industry. And now that you know what Watson and Einstein know, how will you make AI a reality for your business?