Watson and Einstein are putting their heads together to deliver new heights of intelligence. But this isn’t some kind of alliance in the afterlife between IBM’s visionary CEO and the genius physicist. Instead, it’s a strategic partnership that will merge two prominent AI technologies—IBM’s Watson and Salesforce’s Einstein—to help companies make smarter decisions in areas including sales, service, marketing and commerce.
IBM and Salesforce in March announced that the Watson/Einstein alliance will attain superior customer relationship management (CRM), Adweek reports. Insights produced by Watson will be fed into Salesforce’s Intelligent Customer Success Platform. This will allow Watson’s wide-ranging reservoir of structured and unstructured data—including retail, weather, healthcare and financial services—to be used in combination with Einstein’s deep expertise on customers.
Einstein already provides CRM-related AI features, such as predicting the success of sales leads, forecasting quarterly bookings and recommending which products and marketing materials to pitch to prospects. However, the integration of Watson APIs into Einstein stands to greatly enhance those capabilities.
For instance, an insurance company might use Watson’s weather insights to warn its customers to take shelter from an impending hailstorm, said IBM CEO Ginni Rometty, in comments made to Fortune. This same kind of data could even allow an insurer to suggest that customers change their policies to cover expected severe weather events.
In another example, Watson could provide data on shopping patterns, weather forecasts and retail trends in a specific area, which then would be augmented with Einstein’s customer-specific spending data. Used together, these insights could help retailers generate individualized email advertisements targeted at local consumers.
IBM believes the use of AI in CRM will have major ramifications for companies and their customers.
“This year we expect Watson will touch one billion people—through everything from oncology and retail to tax preparation and cars,” Rometty said in a press-release statement. “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.”
Pratik Dhebri is senior director of product management at Veritone. He works with AI developers and cognitive engine providers to architect and monetize algorithms and applications. Learn more about our platform and join the Veritone developer ecosystem today.