SalesForce: Einstein Meets Watson

05/02/2017 2:50 am EST

Focus: TECHNOLOGY

Rob DeFrancesco

Founder, Tech-Stock Prospector

In early March, Salesforce (CRM) — a member of our Vulture Portfolio —  and IBM (IBM) announced an integration of their artificial intelligence (AI) services, bringing together Einstein and Watson, notes technology expert Rob DeFrancesco, editor of Tech-Stock Prospector.

The two AI platforms will seamlessly connect to enable improved customer engagement across sales, service, marketing and commerce.

IBM will also expand its global business services associated with Salesforce by debuting a new practice to help deploy the combined Watson and Einstein capabilities. The integration is expected to be available starting in 2H 2017.

One example of a potential use case: Combining local shopping patterns, weather and retail industry data from Watson with customer-specific shopping data and preferences from Einstein would enable retailers to send shoppers personalized and localized email campaigns.

While there’s no revenue sharing on deals (it’s purely a technology partnership), the arrangement does include IBM signing up for Salesforce’s Service Cloud companywide, a significant win.

BofA/Merrill recently added Salesforce to its U.S. 1 List as a favorite large-cap idea for 2017. The firm expects the shares to continue to outperform, driven by reduced M&A worries, quarterly revenue beats, new product catalysts (including AI upsells) and under-appreciated long-term margin leverage.

Piper Jaffray maintains its price target of $100, saying a recent series of meetings with president Keith Block provided a clear message of the company’s growth plans.

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