IBM and Salesforce ink global partnership on AI

IBM and Salesforce announced a global strategic partnership to deliver joint solutions designed to leverage artificial intelligence.

The partnership will solidify operations between IBM's AI platform Watson and Salesforce's Einstein AI to connect marketers with the ability to receive a new level of intelligent CRM across sales, service, marketing, commerce and more.

This practice will enable Watson to directly link into the Salesforce intelligent customer success platform, combining deep customer insights from Salesforce Einstein with IBM Watson's structured and unstructured data across many sources and industries including weather, healthcare, financial services and retail.

Together, Watson and Einstein will ingest, reason over and derive recommendations to accelerate decision making and drive greater customer success.

IBM is also investing in its global business services capabilities for Salesforce with a new practice to help clients rapidly deploy the combined IBM Watson and Salesforce Einstein capabilities.

IBM and Salesforce will not share revenue, but instead plan to continue sales of their services of AI independently. The idea is that both companies can reach more customers as the capabilities work together than if the two worked separately.

"We expect Watson will touch one billion people—through everything from oncology and retail to tax preparation and cars. Now, with today's announcement, the power of Watson will serve the millions of Salesforce and Einstein customers and developers to provide an unprecedented understanding of customers," said Ginni Rometty, chairman, president and chief executive officer, IBM.

"The combination of Einstein and Watson will make businesses smarter and our customers more successful," said Marc Benioff, chairman and CEO, Salesforce.

IBM will also build tools to integrate data from its own on-premise and cloud apps with Salesforce's apps, and a solution from its weather company unit that would allow companies to access weather data that could be used by Salesforce apps.

The first part of the offering, IBM application integration suite will be available by the end of the month. The Watson, Einstein Integration is planned for the second half of 2017.