“We cannot solve our problems with the same kind of thinking that we used when we created them,” Albert Einstein.

Fig. 9.2 Einstein from Salesforce applies AI to customer data

With this statement in mind Salesforce set out to rework its popular suite of customer facing cloud-based business products for companies, based on AI called Einstein. After a long planning period and the strategic investments in AI talent and companies, the AI enhanced suite was released in early 2017. You, as a business person, might know the challenges with CRM systems and other customer facing tools in service and marketing. Today’s tools give you a means to manage your data but the true value of this information lies between the lines and has to be extracted from the figures. You have to build models to understand the data and act upon it in such a way that you can leverage its full potential. Most implementations we have seen in our careers do not even come close to utilizing the potential. People get bogged down in transferring the data into the system, keeping it up to date and relevant and doing mass actions to act on it. But, since AI is good at understanding data, and detecting trends, associations and causes, it can prepare the right decisions and allow you to act or even takes control of acting with the right response at the right moment. Some new areas are discovering new insights about your customers like who are your best customers, predicting outcomes to make smarter decisions like what offer to send to customers and identifying which customers are considering leaving you. It recommends the next sales, service, and marketing actions.

By integrating AI in its suite of cloud-based applications, Einstein is removing the complexity of AI and enabling any company to deliver smarter, personalized and more predictive customer experiences. For example the Salesforce CRM Software delivers automated customer insights to its user based on AI. Powered by advanced machine learning, deep learning, predictive analytics, natural language processing and smart data discovery, Salesforce claims that Einstein’s models will be automatically customized for every single customer. It will learn, self-tune, and get smarter with every interaction and additional piece of data. And this intelligence is embedded directly into the context of your business data.

Salesforce’s cloud-first strategy and experience and understanding of ecosystems plays nicely in leveraging AI on a bigger scale. The Einstein API allows 3rd party developers to create their own apps, utilizing the API resources and integrating with customer data. One example of integrating AI-based vision with AI-based customer preference can be taken from real estate app “The Dreamhouse”. Customers are shown real estate images, compiled by Einstein’s AI from a pool of offerings, based on their profiles behavior preferences built by the CRM AI. Sound impressive? It even improves over time. If Einstein is anywhere near as useful as Salesforce claims, the technology will supplant some human workers ?— maybe a lot of them.

Some key insights from this example:

Leverage the value of data – and CRM systems are likely to have lots of data. Instead of people wasting time trying to make sense of it and acting upon it, let AI do the work. It will be a lot faster and more thorough.

Learns and improves over time – customer data grows over time, in fact most of the insights come during the customer life cycle. AI continues to learn and improve its learning to better suit your customers preferences.

Improve all aspects – once you have mastered the AI technology it allows you to improve all aspects of your offering. Salesforce has integrated Einstein AI into all of its cloud offerings thus improving the way it works and adding new AI-based capabilities.

Build a platform – Einstein AI enhances the Salesforce offering, making it more valuable to its customers and allowing Salesforce to charge a premium price. By integrating additional data sources and providing an API to external sources it increases its value exponentially, while the competition is struggling and falling behind.

Leverage 3rd party developers – One company cannot create all value scenarios and apps for such diverse industries. By providing access to Einstein Services like image recognition and coupling those with Salesforce-based data services, Salesforce customers get a richer set of software services without requiring development by its customers.

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