IBM, Salesforce announce AI partnership

​IBM's Watson is about to get cozy with Salesforce's Einstein.
Written by Natalie Gagliordi, Contributor

IBM's Watson is about to get cozy with Salesforce's Einstein. The two tech giants announced a partnership Monday that will give Salesforce customers direct access to structured and unstructured data from Watson's artificial intelligence platform. In another component of the deal, IBM will begin using the Salesforce Service Cloud internally.

At first glance the partnership comes off as a duet of AI marketing names, but there are some technical integrations that will create a significant link between the Watson and Einstein platforms.

More specifically, APIs from IBM Watson will integrate into Salesforce and be used to combine data from the two AI platforms.

"For example, a wealth advisor will be able to unify client data, such as individual investments and risk profiles, with financial trends and public macroeconomic information from Application Integration Suite right within Salesforce to make smarter decisions for her customers," Salesforce said in a press release. The API integration and pricing information will be available in the second half of 2017.

Furthermore, IBM's The Weather Company will power a new Lightning component on the Salesforce AppExchange that will pull local forecast data from IBM Weather into Salesforce apps. This could help a insurance company, for instance, reach out to customers who may be in the path of severe weather.

And finally, the IBM-owned consulting firm Bluewolf will launch a new practice designed to help customers combine IBM Watson with Salesforce Einstein. Bluewolf will also develop new industry-specific accelerators to encourage enterprises to adopt cognitive applications.

"The combination of Einstein and Watson will make businesses smarter and our customers more successful," said Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff. "I'm thrilled to form an alliance with IBM -- no company's core values are as close to Salesforce's as IBM's. It's the best of both worlds."

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