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Salesforce to incorporate AI into CRM tools

26/08/2016 by Usha Tyagi


Salesforce has revealed that its next big product will introduce artificial intelligence (AI) into its global customer relationship management (CRM) tools. Talking about the firm’s latest developments, Chief Executive Marc Benioff said that the new solution, called ‘Einstein’, will take centre stage at the brand’s Dreamforce conference in October. The company has been subtly moving in on the AI market for some time, and it seems that its own product will soon be unveiled.

As yet, the details surrounding Einstein are not clear, but the move does reveal that AI will be coming to Salesforce’s flagship product. Though the big reveal is still several weeks away, Benioff has made some subtle hints about the tool. For example, he tweeted that Einstein will become the “first comprehensive AI platform for CRM.”

It was only a few months ago that the AI tool was mentioned as part of a conference with Wall Street analysts. At the time, Benioff said: “We are introducing this AI wrapper. Artificial intelligence is becoming part of Sales Cloud.” He also mentioned that Salesforce expected to see AI incorporated into all of its applications in the future.

Despite the claims that Einstein will be the first attempt to join AI with CRM, this is not strictly true. For example, Salesforce has already launched an AI tool off the back of its RelateIQ acquisition in 2014. Having bought the firm for $390 million, the SalesforceIQ Inbox app was launched as a way to help salespeople manage and prioritise their inbox. However, RelateIQ Co-Founder Steve Loughlin, who is the man in charge of running Salesforce’s app, recently announced his resignation.

Benioff is firm in his belief that AI will be the next big thing in the world of technology, though. So strong is this belief that he’s hired a team of scientists to turn to. Richard Socher, for example, is Salesforce’s Chief Scientist. The Stanford AI researcher received backing from Benioff previously to launch the MetaMind startup. This was closed down earlier in the year by Salesforce, with Socher kept on. Salesforce has also bought out other AI companies, including PredictionIO, the machine learning startup, and Tempo AI, the smart calendar application.

The true extent of Einstein is unlikely to be made clear before the big reveal in October, but Salesforce is set to make a large move as it brings AI to the CRM market. 


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