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Salesforce explains why, when it has Einstein, it needs Watson’s intelligence
It turns out that Einstein knows customer data, but Watson knows the world.
The artificial intelligence namesakes for Einstein (whose birthday is today) and IBM CEO Thomas Watson are getting together.
IBM’s Watson intelligent platform is being made available within Salesforce’s Marketing, Service, Sales and Commerce Clouds. Announced recently, the companies’ global strategic partnership is designed to add Watson’s brand of intelligence to the Einstein layer of intelligence that Salesforce has embedded throughout its platform.
Additionally, IBM is setting up a new Global Business Services practice to help clients deploy the combined smartness.
But, I asked Salesforce VP of Data and Analytics Leslie Fine, when you have Einstein on board, why do you need more intelligence?
She replied via email that Watson provides “predictive insights from unstructured data inside or outside an enterprise [including weather, healthcare, financial services and retail] together with predictive insights from customer data delivered by Salesforce Einstein.”
Via a Lightning component on Salesforce’s AppExchange, for instance, weather insights from IBM-owned The Weather Company can inform business decisions. A personalized email campaign might automatically make shopping suggestions geared to an upcoming snowstorm forecast.
Or, she said, a campaign could be designed around Watson-provided retail shopping patterns in a given area, based in part on how those patterns are affected by such factors as weather.
A tastier example
Fine also suggested another, tastier use case:
“… [L]et’s say a health and fitness brand could target customers with healthy recipes tailored specifically for each customer. By combining Watson data (maybe this includes recent health study data, nutritional food data, info on local foods that are in season) with Salesforce’s customer-specific nutritional history and preferences, this solution could provide real-time suggestions and feedback on individual consumers’ choice of meals.”
In his spare time, Watson has been practicing his skills at creating original recipes that employ user-suggested ingredients, since he has been learning about how human flavors work.
Scott Webb, president of business management consultant Avionos, told me via email that his company has experienced this firsthand working with Kellogg’s Bear Naked brand, where IBM’s Chef Watson was integrated into Salesforce for bearnakedcustom.com.
“The solution,” he said, “combined traditional customer analytics in Salesforce with a massive inventory of ingredients and recipes in Watson to provide real-time suggestions and feedback on individual consumers’ choices of customized granola.”