May 25, 2017
One of the cameos of the recent London appearance of the Salesforce World Tour was a potted use case that gave an idea for how Einstein, the Salesforce AI offering, can work with IBM’s cognitive, deductive analytics tool, Watson.
The story line was straight forward – an insurance company has an information feed service from Watson about factors that can influence the number and types of claims that can be made against insurance policies. A classic example is the weather. IBM, having acquired The Weather Company last year to be a key data source for Watson to work with, is well-placed to analyse out predictions of weather events that affect specific types of business, such as insurance.
So an information feed that says, ‘This type of nasty weather will occur in this area at this time, with this level of probability’ gives an insurance company, using Einstein to analyse its customers by location and policy type, a great line in customer service. It can advise that event is coming, together with advice on precautions that need to be taken before the event.
The customers know to take precautions to reduce their possible risk. The insurance company reduced its risk of having to pay out against the policy; and it had now given itself the perfect escape clause of having informed the customer of its risk. Miss out on executing even one syllable’s worth of the advice and the policy could be invalidated.
This coupling brings together the ability to work with specific, fine grain data about customers that Salesforce generates as a matter of course, and sets it against what might inelegantly be referred to as the bulk data of the world, analysed down and to the point where it is specifically relevant to a subject type or a defined segment of business.
This is a relationship that now sits at the heart of Bluewolf, a 15-year plus specialist Salesforce consultancy which, towards the end of last year, was snapped up by IBM. It is now, according to the company’s General Manager in Europe, Glen Stoffel, who started the original Salesforce consultancy programme for the company, part of IBM iX (its Interactive Experience Division) which describes itself as ‘an integrated solution for design, business strategy, mobile, systems integration, and technological implementation’.
In other words, it combines consultancy with the `Do It For You’ capabilities of an SI in business areas where large scale analytics, AI and cognitive-driven decision making are key components of a solution, says Stoffel:
As far as CRM is concerned, we are where the rubber meets the road in terms of executing that vision. I make sure they combine the vision and messaging to the tactics and execution of CRM.