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September 19, 2016updated 21 Sep 2016 2:26pm

Salesforce ships Artificial Intelligence for CRM

By Sam

Salesforce set out its Artificial Intelligence stall with the availability of ‘Einstein’ the brand for is AI efforts which are to be integrated across its clouds.

The firm said it is setting out to democratise AI by giving companies predictive features in sales, marketing, commerce and its other cloud platforms.

Salesforce will charge for some new features with others available under current licence conditions.

“With Salesforce Einstein, we are delivering the world’s smartest CRM,” said Marc Benioff, chairman and CEO, Salesforce. “Einstein is now every customer’s data scientist, making it easy for everyone to take advantage of best-in-class AI capabilities in the context of their business.”

With Salesforce Einstein, AI capabilities will be embedded across every Salesforce Cloud. Einstein leverages all the data in Salesforce—customer data; activity data from Chatter, email, calendar and ecommerce; social data streams such as tweets and images; and even IoT signals—to train predictive models. And because Salesforce has millions of users inputting information every day, it is uniquely positioned to deliver the best models for sales, service, marketing, commerce and more.

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Powered by advanced machine learning, deep learning, predictive analytics, natural language processing and smart data discovery, Einstein’s breakthrough innovations allow models to be automatically customized for every single customer. These models learn, self-tune and get smarter with every interaction and additional piece of data. Einstein will automatically discover relevant insights, predict future behavior, proactively recommend best next actions and even automate tasks. Now every Salesforce user will be able to leverage AI capabilities to deliver more personalized and predictive customer experiences:

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Sales Cloud Einstein will include Predictive Lead Scoring that enables sales reps to focus on the best leads, Opportunity Insights that alert reps when a deal is trending up or down, and Automated Activity Capture which seamlessly logs email and calendar activity with the right Salesforce record, and analyzes them to deliver predictions.

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Service Cloud Einstein will include Recommended Case Classification which will automatically pre-populate key case fields enabling predictive routing of cases to the right agent and enabling agents to resolve issues faster. Recommended Responses will push the most likely responses to service agents and Predictive Close Times will predict the time needed to resolve an issue.

Marketing Cloud Einstein now includes Predictive Scoring which will score every customer’s likelihood to engage with an email, Predictive Audiences which will build custom audience segments based on predicted behaviors and Automated Sendtime Optimization which will predict the optimal time to deliver messages based on past customer behavior.

Commerce Cloud Einstein includes Product Recommendations to personalize product recommendations to shoppers, Predictive Sort which will sort personalized search results based on likelihood to engage, and Commerce Insights that will help retailers understand product purchase correlation to power smarter merchandising and store planning.

Community Cloud Einstein now includes Recommended Experts, Articles and Topics to suggest posts, articles, experts and topic pages, Automated Service Escalation which automatically creates a case in Service Cloud if customer posts do not receive a timely response, and Newsfeed Insights which highlights the most relevant and popular content in every feed.

Analytics Cloud Einstein customers will be able to access Predictive Wave Apps to uncover future patterns for any business process, Smart Data Discovery which will help users find and explain insights from millions of data combinations in minutes, and Automated Analytics & Storytelling which will automate and prioritize the next insight users need to know.

IoT Cloud Einstein will include Predictive Device Scoring which will score data from connected IoT devices, Recommend Best Next Actions for service processes and marketing journeys, and Automated IoT Rules Optimization which will actively update the rules that govern how IoT data is managed.

In a statement Salesforce said AI is creating new ways for people to engage with technology and with one another. Various forms of AI already power some of the world’s most popular consumer experiences. Apple’s Siri leverages natural language processing to recognize voice commands. Facebook’s deep learning facial recognition algorithm can instantly identify a person with nearly 98 percent accuracy. And Amazon, Netflix and Spotify all utilize machine learning to understand how each item in their massive catalogs relates to the other and each customer’s preferences.

It said the technical expertise and infrastructure required to develop AI solutions are beyond the reach of most companies. They must bring together massive and diverse data sets, which often requires significant engineering resources to manage complex data integration processes. Specialized predictive models must then be built to extract value from the data and continuously learn from it, requiring extensive data science expertise. And infrastructure and devops support are required to maintain these models and keep all of these processes up and running. Finally, and perhaps most importantly, bringing results – the insights and recommendations from the models—to users within the context of their business requires complex integrations.

The firm will roll out a partner programme which will cover the Einstein product and said Einstein will empower everyone to quickly build AI-powered apps using the tools that millions of Salesforce developers and admins already use every day. And for data scientists and developers, there are Predictive Vision and Sentiment Services which will enable developers to train deep learning models to recognize and classify images and sentiment in text; and PredictionIO in Heroku Private Spaces, which will empower developers to build custom predictive models and put them into their apps.

Salesforce announced the formation of its Research group under Richard Socher, Chief Scientist at Salesforce and world-renowned data science researcher. Salesforce Research will be focused on delivering cutting-edge, breakthrough AI research across deep learning, natural language processing and computer vision to Salesforce’s product and engineering teams.

“Salesforce Einstein gives us a smart, personalized and predictive way to connect millions of sports fans to hundreds of thousands of their favorite team and player items across more than 300 offline and online stores that we operate across our platform,” said Chris Orton, Chief Marketing and Revenue Officer for Fanatics, the global leader in licensed sports merchandise. “The combination of AI and Salesforce CRM has been a game-changer, empowering our marketing organization to intelligently engage with fans through timely campaigns and relevant recommendations that transform the customer experience.”

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