CXO

IBM and Salesforce double down on AI, announce Watson + Einstein collaboration

The expanded partnership, focused on delivering deeper insights, will see each firm become a preferred provider for the other.

Building a slide deck, pitch, or presentation? Here are the big takeaways:
  • IBM and Salesforce are expanding their strategic partnership, combining IBM Cloud and Watson with Salesforce Quip and Einstein for more insights.
  • IBM will become a preferred cloud services provider for Salesforce, while Salesforce will become a preferred customer engagement platform for IBM.

Salesforce and IBM announced an expansion of their strategic partnership on Friday, with the firms combining the power of IBM Cloud and Watson services with Salesforce Quip and Salesforce Service Cloud Einstein, the firms announced in a joint press release Friday.

Two top tech firms like Salesforce and IBM connecting their artificial intelligence (AI) platforms reinforces the growing value of AI and big data in the enterprise. AI, especially, is taking center stage as one of the battleground technologies for business, and this is a clear example of two CEOs making a move to reinforce that with their partnership.

In the release, IBM CEO Ginni Rometty said that the combination of Watson and Einstein will "help enterprises make smarter business decisions." Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff echoed this sentiment, saying in the release that the combo will "deliver even more innovation to empower companies to connect with their customers in a whole new way, leveraging the power of the cloud and AI."

SEE: IT leader's guide to the future of artificial intelligence (Tech Pro Research)

Specifically, the Watson/Einstein combination will provide actionable next steps in a given process, the release said. This could potentially help users strengthen customer relationships, or automate more processes with custom-triggered actions based on how the AI interprets a recent call or chat experience.

In addition to the firms connecting their AI platforms, they will share preferred vendor status for one another in specific areas. For Salesforce, IBM will become a preferred cloud services provider and, for IBM, Salesforce will become a preferred customer engagement platform, the release said.

Another result of the partnership will be the development of some IBM Watson Quip Live Apps. With these apps, which can be embedded into a Quip document, users will have access to Watson's cognitive computing when working in the document creation and editing platform, the release said.

The expansion builds on a joint solutions partnership that was originally announced by the companies back in March 2017. Currently, the partnership serves more than 4,000 joint customers, the release said, including Autodesk.

"Combining the AI power of Watson and IBM Cloud with insights from Salesforce has helped Autodesk better understand its customers and ultimately create a transformed customer experience," Rachael Cotton, senior manager of machine assisted service engagement for Autodesk, said in the release.

Also see

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Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff (left) and IBM CEO Ginni Rometty.

Image: IBM, Salesforce

About Conner Forrest

Conner Forrest is a Senior Editor for TechRepublic. He covers enterprise technology and is interested in the convergence of tech and culture.

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