giant Salesforce has announced Salesforce Einstein, its new initiative to embed artificial intelligence (AI) across its CRM (customer relationship management) platform. Yesterday's seemingly well-timed news from Salesforce came just ahead of rival Oracle’s Open World keynote address.
Some of the Einstein features will be included in existing services, while others will be available for an additional charge. “With Salesforce Einstein, we are delivering the world's smartest CRM," said Marc Benioff (pictured above), chairman and CEO of Salesforce, in a statement. "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.”
AI for the CRM Set
The new Einstein features will be able to deliver more predictive and personalized customer experiences across sales, service, marketing, commerce, and other areas, according to the company.
The goal is to help Salesforce clients better monetize their existing data by applying AI capabilities across a variety of data types, including customer data, email, calendar, e-commerce, and social data streams. Einstein can even incorporate information from sources such as tweets and IoT (Internet of Things) signals, which it can then use to build predictive models.
Like other AI systems, Salesforce expects that Einstein will be able to learn as it works, enabling it to customize its models for different customers, automatically discover relevant insights, predict future behaviors, proactively recommend best next actions, and learn which tasks can be automated.
Predictive Scoring, Automatic Routing, New Research Group
One of the new AI features, for example, is predictive lead scoring. The feature, aimed at Salesforce’s Sales Cloud clients, allows sales reps to focus on their best leads. Einstein can alert reps when deals are trending up or down, automatically log email and calendar activity with the right Salesforce record, and, analyze them to deliver predictions.
Similarly, Salesforce’s customer service platform includes features that automatically pre-populate case fields to correctly route cases to the right customer service agent to help agents resolve customer issues faster. It can also provide service agents with prepared responses and predict the amount of time they will need to resolve particular issues, improving customer service productivity.
For marketing clients, Einstein will offer predictive scoring capabilities to gauge the probability that customers will respond to emails, and help build custom audience segments based on predicted behaviors. It will even help predict the best times to deliver messages based on customers' past behaviors.
Salesforce also announced a new research group that will focus on accelerating AI innovation for enterprises. The team will be lead by Richard Socher, chief scientist at Salesforce. The new division will focus on AI capabilities such as deep learning, natural language processing, and computer vision, the company said.
Salesforce will let people get their hands on Einstein for the first time at the company’s Dreamforce conference that runs from October 4-7 in San Francisco.