Why the IBM-Salesforce Deal Matters to AI



IBM partnered with Salesforce to push Watson

IBM (IBM), which has become known for forging strategic partnerships, recently announced that Salesforce.com (CRM) would be its newest partner. Both companies have now partnered to offer integrated AI (artificial intelligence) services through Watson and Salesforce Einstein, an AI platform.

IBM has been betting heavily on Watson, its cognitive computing platform, to steer the company toward much-needed growth. After IBM expanded Watson’s expertise from healthcare to the blockchain, and from banking to financial services, it now aims to expand the reach of Watson to sales and AI space, by integrating Watson API (application programming interface) to Salesforce’s Einstein.

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Key highlights of the partnership

Watson’s specialty lies in interpreting information that is not categorized, like research papers text or social media content. Public sources usually provide a majority of this information. Some are available from data sources too that IBM has bought.

Salesforce Einstein, on the other hand, is build to comprehend information collected by the company’s customers, segregated into a specific group, like individual customer purchases.

Benefiting retailers

When integrated, Watson could predict specific buying patterns helped by Einstein’s customer-specific data about buying preferences. Both the companies said this integration could benefit retailers because then they can automatically send tailored email campaigns to their customers.

Under the deal, Weather Company’s data, which IBM bought in late 2015, will be integrated into the Salesforce AppExchange so that the latter’s customers can easily pull weather data into their apps.

This integration of IBM’s Watson, Salesforce’s Einstein, and AppExchange is expected to become available in second half of 2017.


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