Salesforce’s artificial intelligence project receives strong feedback

SQDM shares an article published by TheStreet portal, sharing strategic advances on CRM and artificial intelligence systems.

During the week of March 6, Salesforce held a small meeting with less than 60 people at its main office in San Francisco.  They announced that Einstein AI (Artificial Intelligence) is now available to all of their sales, service, marketing, trade and other clients, to the point of naming their presentation “The Year of Einstein”.  Salesforce also announced a strategic alliance with IBM, in which they are combining the power of Einstein with IBM’s Watson solution to provide more ingenious analytical possibilities for companies.

Clearly, Salesforce has great ambitions for Einstein AI; as the company states on its website: “Einstein is like having your own data scientist to guide you on your way.

Einstein is a product of nearly $600 million in acquisitions and three years of internal development.  The artificial intelligence project was announced in September and was announced during the Dreamforce event, Salesforce’s annual conference.  It became clear last week that Einstein’s capabilities have improved seriously since October, according to a note Pacific Crest sent to investors last Wednesday.

During last week’s press and customer event, Richard Socher demonstrated how Coca-Cola uses an artificial intelligence-enhanced inventory application to improve storage efficiency.  The application uses object detection to make instant inventory updates.  After the demonstration, Barry Simpson, Coca-Cola’s CIO, said: “We have 24 million customers and 16 million refrigerators powered by artificial intelligence.  Being able to find better ways to optimize inventory and improve the customer experience is really important to us.

A second demonstration was made by Alex Dayon who showed how the amazon web services sales team employs Einstein to improve the time required to turn a lead into a sale.  Ariel Kelman of amazon web services said, “The Salesforce platform has been incredibly important to us. We needed something that would move very quickly. Salesforce has grown with us.

After the event, Pacific Crest presented a positive report based on the two demonstrations saying, “Salesforce is enabling significant operational improvements in these global companies, which testifies to the way Salesforce leverages data and artificial intelligence in unique ways.  Additionally, Davidson said the demos were “compelling” but noted that the updated features come at a cost to the customer.

Pacific Crest said that, as an important differentiator for the company, Einstein could help Salesforce maintain its momentum by doing business with large customers.  Additionally, the alliance with IBM Watson can give customers in common “unparalleled industry and end-user knowledge.

Pacific Crest concluded its report by saying that Salesforce shares are among the favorites to be acquired by 2017.

Pacific Crest released a news release on Wednesday that raised Salesforce’s target price from $95 to $106, saying it was then more confident in the company’s artificial intelligence strategy after talking to industry contacts, competitors and management.  “Success in the artificial intelligence strategy could support increases in price, stock gains and customer retention over time.

This process of solving specific problems for customers, which can then be replicated, is an important reason for the increased confidence in Einstein: “It is a highly automated process where Salesforce can populate various statistical models, which can then be tested on a customer’s data, determining what the best solution is for that specific line or process and then applying the correct models so that the AI algorithm can begin to learn.  The company was diligent in creating internal and external processes that can be easily replicated.  This should facilitate relatively rapid acceleration within their new and existing customer base.

Pacific Crest believes that Salesforce has an industry advantage with this early incorporation of artificial intelligence into a CRM solution.  The company is more confident that “Salesforce can turn its early wins in artificial intelligence-executed at 50 pilot customers-into a competitive advantage that can be easily replicated through an automated data capture and modeling process.

Salesforce’s revenue is also expected to increase by $129 million.  “The CRM industry could reach $36 billion this year and it’s estimated that every 25 basis points of new participation can add $90 million in revenue.  Additionally, each 50 basis point reduction could add another $39 million,” he explained.

Based on conversations Salesforce has had over the past two weeks, artificial intelligence is more of a built-in capability in software than a product category – which is a good thing.  “In the end, users get solutions that address real-world problems, not a new product category.  To that end, we are excited about the series of early opportunities Salesforce has generated by solving problem areas that are very specific to customers.

Read the full article, here.

For more than ten years SQDM -Software Quality Driven Management- has advised a number of companies with professional consulting services on CRM solutions.  SQDM is an official business partner of world-class manufacturers in these technologies, including Salesforce, Oracle and Microsoft.

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