IBM and Salesforce team up on artificial intelligence

IBM’s Watson met Salesforce’s Einstein in a deal the companies said could help healthcare organizations advance data-driven decision making. 
By Jack McCarthy
06:43 AM

IBM and Salesforce partnered to integrate IBM’s Watson AI capabilities directly into the Salesforce Intelligent Customer Success Platform. The overarching goal is to combine deep customer insights from Salesforce Einstein with Watson's structured and unstructured data across many sources and industries including weather, healthcare, financial services and retail, the vendors said.

Both companies already have in place healthcare platforms that stand to benefit from the initiative: IBM Watson for Oncology analyzes a patient’s medical information against a vast array of data and expertise to provide evidence-based treatment options while Salesforce’s Health Cloud patient management software incorporates Einstein.

In addition to tools for application integration and weather insights, the partnership will combine predictive analytics and unstructured Watson data with Salesforce Einstein to enable data-driven decision making, the companies said, which could enable personalized and localized campaigns to patients.

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

IBM CEO Ginni Rometty added that within a few years many major decisions, be those of a personal or business nature, will be made with the help of AI and cognitive technologies.

“This year we expect Watson will touch one billion people,” Rometty said, “through everything from oncology and retail to tax preparation and cars.”  

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