IBM and customer relationship management (CRM) platform provider, Salesforce, have struck a global strategic partnership aimed at delivering joint client solutions drawn from the companies’ combined artificial intelligence (AI) capabilities.
The new partnership sees IBM’s Watson AI platform for business, and Salesforce’s Einstein AI, join forces in a bid to enable a “new level” of intelligent customer engagement across sales, service, marketing, and commerce.
The partnership is expected to 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.
The partnership also sees, IBM subsidiary, Bluewolf – a consulting practice that specialises in helping companies integrate Salesforce.com's CRM services into their IT systems – formed a new practice to help clients rapidly deploy the combined IBM Watson and Salesforce Einstein capabilities.
The new unit is aimed at capitalising on Bluewolf's long, 15-year history of Salesforce implementations, as well as its current portfolio of multiple Salesforce and Watson projects.
Bluewolf, which IBM moved to acquire in April last year, will also develop new industry-specific accelerators used by enterprise clients to accelerate adoption of cognitive applications.
As part of the partnership, IBM will also deploy Salesforce Service Cloud across the company in a bid to gain a single, unified view of every IBM customer.
The deal will see IBM Watson APIs integrated into Salesforce, bringing predictive insights from unstructured data together with predictive insights from customer data delivered by Salesforce Einstein.
Further, customers will be able to bring together on-premise enterprise and cloud data with specialised integration products for Salesforce, via the IBM Application Integration Suite for Salesforce.
For IBM chairman, president and chief executive officer, Ginny Rometty, the partnership is expected to see Watson help serve millions of Salesforce customers and developers to provide “an unprecedented understanding of customers”.
"This year we expect Watson will touch one billion people – through everything from oncology and retail to tax preparation and cars,” Rometty said.