The two Fortune 500 companies, International Business Machines corp. (IBM) and Salesforce, have agreed to integrate their artificial intelligence platforms and some of their software and service components. As part of the deal, Salesforce customers could make use of the data from IBM's Watson artificial intelligence platforms whereas IBM would be deploying Salesforce Service Cloud for internal use, more or less a sign of good will. The value of the new agreement nor the pricing details are disclosed.

Similar to many others in the tech industry, both companies are making huge investments in machine learning as well as artificial intelligence to enable computer applications to get new levels of insights from the user data. This would help in bringing in new capabilities and provide better offerings to customers.

Salesforce's Einstein is developed to analyze the data and categorize them. The AI capability of Einstein is well-known for providing insights from the customer-specific data. IBM's Watson is designed to interpret non-categorized information like social media posts or text from research papers. The capabilities of Watson are widely available as a set of cloud services, which customers can integrate with their applications. Combining both these AI platform capabilities could bring in highly targeted campaigns to the customers.

The Prominent Parts Of The Deal

  •  IBM's Watson APIs will be available for integration with Salesforce. Organizations leveraging Salesforce could now experience new features thanks to the Watson AI platform.
  • IBM acquired Weather Company would provide new components on Salesforce AppExchange to enable users easily get relevant weather information into their apps.
  • Bluewolf, an IBM-owned company, will be offering a new practice which combines IBM Watson with Einstein (Salesforce's AI capability)

What The Agreement Means For IBM

The agreement does put IBM's Watson in the forefront of a large business audience. IBM Watson did, however, receive some bad publicity in February due to the report from University of Texas auditors on a Watson project at the MD Anderson hospital. With IBM tailoring its artificial intelligence system to serve a large number of industries such as automobiles, financial services, and health care, it can certainly add value to any data-analytic offerings.

What The Agreement Means For Salesforce

With more competition coming from various tech powerhouses, the new partnership will help Salesforce to add broader AI capabilities from IBM to its products. Again, with IBM agreeing to use the customer-service software from Salesforce, it makes Salesforce a leading customer. Moreover, the global strategy could help the staggering growth ambitions of Salesforce.

Although both companies are looking to reach out to more customers by combining their capabilities, it seems they are not sharing revenue. The new offerings would be available from the second half of the year onwards, focusing on helping different companies to generate better sales from products and services. While other tech companies would love to bring in a high level of personalized engagement, this new strategic partnership between Salesforce and IBM would be tough to compete.

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