Here’s what Salesforce thinks is giving it an edge over Microsoft and Oracle – CNBC

At next month’s Dreamforce, Salesforce’s mammoth annual customer conference that takes over downtown San Francisco, the company will introduce technology called Einstein, which it’s describing as the “world’s first comprehensive AI for CRM.”

On the company’s second-quarter conference call in August, Benioff called it “AI for everyone.”

Salesforce executives on Thursday gave a group of reporters an early look at Einstein in preparation for the unveiling. The general idea, as the name implies, is that sales tools are getting a whole lot smarter.

Who are the best prospects to call this week? Which leads are most likely to become prospective clients? Why am I getting outsold by my competitors in certain markets? How long will it take a deal to close?

These are the types of questions that Einstein aims to answer, in turn leading to more frequent conversions and more efficient sales teams. The same technology can be applied to marketing, customer support and commerce data, thanks to a team of 175 data scientists and a string of deep technology acquisitions.

Developers on AppExchange will get to utilize the same AI software in deploying their own apps.

“Each and every product that we market and sell will be impacted by AI,” said Alex Dayon, president and chief product officer at the San Francisco-based company. “It’s really an investment for the long run.”

According to CB Insights, more than 30 private companies working to advance artificial intelligence have been acquired in the past five years, and Salesforce has been among the most active buyers along with Alphabet, Intel and Apple. Salesforce’s Chief Scientist Richard Socher joined the company in April through the acquisition of deep learning start-up MetaMind.

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