IBM and Salesforce Join Forces to Bring Watson and Einstein to Customer Service

IBM and Salesforce have announced that they will be combining their artificial intelligence offerings to enhance customer service capabilities when it comes to automating the process of interpreting and handling customer service calls and chats.

The is an extension of the partnership that the two companies announced back in March 2017, promising to co-develop a solution that more effectively and efficiently delivers real-time answers to customer service requests across different channels through the capabilities of Salesforce’s Quip and Einstein, and IBM’s Watson.

The two have also said they would offer their 4,000 customers deeper insight into the customer service interactions that they’re facilitating. And, as part of the expansion of the partnership, Salesforce has now named IBM a preferred cloud services provider. IBM has, meanwhile, named Salesforce its preferred customer engagement platform for sales and service.

"The combination of IBM Cloud and Watson services with Salesforce Einstein and Quip will deliver even more innovation to empower companies to connect with their customers in a whole new way, leveraging the power of the cloud and AI," Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff said in a company statement.

For IBM, the feeling is mutual. "This expanded partnership builds on the combined power of Watson and Einstein to help enterprises make smarter business decisions," Ginni Rometty, chairman, president and CEO of IBM, said in a company statement.

While combining Watson and Quip will help businesses with document management, it’s the integration between Watson and Einstein that’ll be particularly interesting to customer service teams. Together, the two platforms will offer stronger predictive analytics tools as well as better automated customer-triggered interactions that leverage the customer data stored in Salesforce and the computing power of Watson. For customers, it’s a promising technological match.

"There is a perfect marriage between Salesforce and IBM," Rachael Cotton, senior manager, machine assisted service engagement at customer company Autodesk, said in a company statement. "Salesforce is where many companies like Autodesk house enormous amounts of customer data, most of which goes untapped. Combining the AI power of Watson and IBM Cloud with insights from Salesforce has helped Autodesk better understand its customers and ultimately create a transformed customer experience."

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