IBM and Salesforce.com are combining their artificial intelligence platforms to boost sales of their data-analytics offerings, reports Jay Greene in The Wall Street Journal. IBM says its Watson program is cognitive tech that can “think like a human.” Meanwhile Salesforce calls its Einstein “AI for everyone,” and promises it’s like “having your own data scientist to guide you through your day.” Greene says of the hookup between the two:
The agreement is IBM’s latest move to put Watson in front of a broad business audience. The company has tailored its artificial-intelligence system, a linchpin of its effort to reinvent itself for the cloud-computing era, for a variety of industries including health care, financial services and automobiles. The Salesforce deal potentially could make the system available to any company with a sales team.
For Salesforce, the deal adds IBM’s broader AI capabilities to its products as it faces increasing competition from tech powerhouses such as Microsoft Corp. and Oracle Corp. As part of the deal, IBM agreed to use Salesforce’s customer-service software companywide, giving Salesforce a marquee customer.
IBM and Salesforce aren’t sharing revenue, but rather plan to continue selling their AI services independently. The bet is both companies will reach more customers as those capabilities work together than they would have separately.
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