For businesses, getting AI capability in 2017 is like getting a website was back in the 1990s—tech you need to have, even if you aren’t sure how you’ll use it. IBM and Salesforce today announced a partnership to make AI more useful for people working in customer relations. Salesforce users will be able to subscribe to packages including access to IBM’s Watson artificial intelligence platform to customize their outreach. This would allow companies to access to better information to target their customers, say IBM and Salesforce. For instance, with access to weather data from IBM subsidiary the Weather Company, insurers could send warnings to policyholders who may be facing a risk of flooding.
Salesforce has its own AI platform, called Einstein. Integrating Watson allows Salesforce users to expand the data and analysis. Instead of an email marketing campaign based just on what Salesforce has collected about customers, a company could refine its offers based on factors like overall retail shopping patterns and how weather might affect what people buy and when they shop—data that Watson can provide.