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TECHNOLOGY

Strategic partnership positioned to drive AI in retail

BY Deena M. Amato-McCoy

A new partnership will help retailers make smarter business decisions faster.

Based on a new alliance between IBM Watson and Salesforce, the companies will seamlessly connect their solutions — a move that will enable a new level of intelligent customer engagement across sales, service, marketing, and commerce, among other operations.

Specifically, the partnership will bring new insights from Watson directly into the Salesforce Einstein’s Intelligent Customer Success Platform. AI will be the foundation enabling an entirely new level of intelligent customer engagement across sales, service, marketing, commerce, among other segments.

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

For example, by combining local shopping patterns, weather and retail industry data from Watson with customer-specific shopping data and preferences from Salesforce Einstein, a retailer will be able to automatically send highly personalized and localized email campaigns to shoppers.

In addition to the technology combination, IBM is also strategically 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, the company said.

“Within a few years, every major decision — personal or business — will be made with the help of AI and cognitive technologies,” said Ginni Rometty, chairman, president and chief executive officer, IBM.

“This year we expect Watson will touch one billion people — through everything from oncology and retail to tax preparation and cars,” she said. “Now the power of Watson will serve the millions of Salesforce and Einstein customers and developers to provide an unprecedented understanding of customers.”

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