IBM (NYSE: IBM) and Salesforce (NYSE: CRM) today announced a global strategic partnership to deliver joint solutions designed to leverage artificial intelligence and enable companies to make smarter decisions, faster than ever before. With the partnership, IBM Watson, the leading AI platform for business, and Salesforce Einstein, AI that powers the world’s #1 CRM, will seamlessly connect to enable an entirely new level of intelligent customer engagement across sales, service, marketing, commerce and more. IBM is also strategically investing in its Global Business Services capabilities for Salesforce with a new practice to help clients rapidly deploy the combined IBM Watson and Salesforce Einstein capabilities.
The partnership will bring new insights from Watson directly into the Salesforce Intelligent Customer Success Platform, combining deep customer insights from Salesforce Einstein with Watson's structured and unstructured data across many sources and industries including weather, healthcare, financial services and retail. Together, Watson and Einstein will ingest, reason over and derive recommendations to accelerate decision making and drive greater customer success.
Comments on the News:
“Within a few years, every major decision—personal or business—will be made with the help of AI and cognitive technologies,” said Ginni Rometty, chairman, president and chief executive officer, IBM. “This year we expect Watson will touch one billion people—through everything from oncology and retail to tax preparation and cars. Now, with today's announcement, the power of Watson will serve the millions of Salesforce and Einstein customers and developers to provide an unprecedented understanding of customers."
"The combination of Einstein and Watson will make businesses smarter and our customers more successful," said Marc Benioff, chairman and CEO, Salesforce. “I'm thrilled to form an alliance with IBM—no company’s core values are as close to Salesforce’s as IBM’s. It’s the best of both worlds.”
Salesforce and IBM will initially deliver the following:
IBM Watson and Salesforce Einstein Integration: Integrating IBM Watson APIs into Salesforce will bring predictive insights from unstructured data, inside or outside an enterprise, together with predictive insights from customer data delivered by Salesforce Einstein to enable smarter, faster decisions across sales, service, marketing, commerce and more. For example, by combining local shopping patterns, weather and retail industry data from Watson with customer-specific shopping data and preferences from Salesforce Einstein, a retailer will be able to automatically send highly personalized and localized email campaigns to shoppers.
IBM Weather Insights for Salesforce: The Weather Company, an IBM business, will power a new Lightning component on the Salesforce AppExchange to provide weather insights that inform customer interactions and business performance. For example, an insurance company will be able 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.
IBM Application Integration Suite for Salesforce: Customers will be able to able to bring together on-premise enterprise and cloud data with specialized integration products for Salesforce, surfacing that data directly within the Salesforce Intelligent Customer Success Platform. For example, a wealth advisor will be able to unify client data, such as individual investments and risk profiles, with financial trends and public macroeconomic information from Application Integration Suite right within Salesforce to make smarter decisions for her customers.
Bluewolf Dedicated Consulting Services and Expertise for Cognitive Solutions, Adding to IBM Strategic Services for Salesforce: Bluewolf, an IBM company, has formed a new practice to help clients rapidly deploy the combined IBM Watson and Salesforce Einstein capabilities. This new unit capitalizes on Bluewolf's over fifteen years of Salesforce implementations and their current portfolio of multiple Salesforce and Watson projects. Bluewolf will also develop new industry-specific accelerators used by enterprise clients to accelerate adoption of cognitive applications.
As part of the partnership, IBM will deploy Salesforce Service Cloud across the company to transform its global product support services and gain a single, unified view of every IBM customer.
Pricing and Availability
The IBM Watson and Salesforce Einstein integration is expected to be available in the second half of 2017. Pricing will be announced at the time of general availability.
IBM Weather Lightning Component on Salesforce AppExchange is expected to be available in the second half of 2017. Pricing will be announced at the time of general availability.
Bluewolf, an IBM company, expects to offer new industry-focused Solution Accelerators at in the second half of 2017. Pricing will be announced at the time of general availability.
IBM Application Integration Suite for Salesforce is expected to be available by the end of March 2017. Pricing will be announced at the time of general availability.
About IBM Watson: Pioneering a New Era of Computing
Watson represents a new era in computing called cognitive computing, where systems understand the world in a way more similar to humans: through senses, learning, and experience. Watson continuously learns from previous interactions, gaining in value and knowledge over time. With the help of Watson, organizations are harnessing the power of cognitive computing to transform industries, help professionals do their jobs better, and solve important challenges.
As part of IBM’s strategy to accelerate the growth of cognitive computing, Watson is open to the world, allowing a growing community of developers, students, entrepreneurs and tech enthusiasts to easily tap into the most advanced and diverse cognitive computing platform available today. Watson solutions are being built, used and deployed in more than 45 countries and across 20 different industries.