On Monday, IBM and Salesforce announced a new partnership that will allow Salesforce customers to use IBM Watson along with Salesforce Einstein to generate deeper insights from their CRM data.

The partnership, announced via a press release, will see Watson access brought into the Salesforce Intelligent Customer Success Platform. Watson and Einstein will be looking at both structured and unstructured data from industries like weather, healthcare, finance, and retail, the release said.

Additionally, the IBM Application Integration Suite for Salesforce will let customers utilize on-premises and cloud data in specific applications. “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,” the press release said.

SEE: IBM Watson: The smart person’s guide

All of this sounds good, but will it really make the job of Salesforce customers any easier? Gartner analyst Penny Gillespie said that the partnership “is a marriage of data and analytical capabilities which will better connect the front and back office applications of an organization to produce more meaningful results.”

For example, Gillespie said, Einstein will get a boost from data that is usually external to a CRM application. Data such as weather, banking, brokerage, or other vertical market data will help Salesforce better connect with customers and prospects. The IBM Application Integration Suite for Salesforce will also be important, Gillespie said, as many Salesforce clients need to merge data from both delivery models.

Watson will also get its own boost from the partnership, Gillespie noted.

“Watson is enhanced by becoming more customer centric by bringing traditionally back office insights into customer facing apps, which should help IBM gain better insight into its own customers over time,” Gillespie said.

Watson will integrate with Salesforce through an API that will be available later in 2017. IBM will also deploy Salesforce Service Cloud in order to get a unified view of their customers, the release said.

The 3 big takeaways for TechRepublic readers

  1. IBM Watson and Salesforce Einstein are joining forces to glean better insights from Salesforce CRM data and help users make better customer decisions.
  2. IBM will also begin using the Salesforce Service Cloud, which will give the company a better view of its own customers and data.
  3. The integration will happen via an IBM Watson API that will be available in late 2017.