Unveiling Einstein: Salesforce's Channel Heads To Dreamforce Eager To Get Into The AI Game

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Salesforce partners headed to the Dreamforce mega-conference taking place this week in San Francisco are eagerly awaiting their introduction to Einstein, a broad set of artificial intelligence capabilities that will be infused into almost all of the CRM leader's products.

Dreamforce will be ​Einstein's coming-out party after months of Salesforce teasing an array of cognitive capabilities, such as machine learning and deep learning, that assist users in developing and maintaining relationships with their customers.

The AI technology will be offered as native enhancements to apps like the Sales, Service, Marketing, IoT and Analytics clouds, as well as a stand-alone development platform partners can leverage to customize intelligent solutions.

[Related: InsideSales Reveals Revamped Sales Acceleration Platform Ahead Of Dreamforce]

As is often the case with the introduction of cutting-edge technologies into established product lines, however, it will be incumbent on the channel to figure out how to monetize Einstein by putting it in the hands of customers.

"Ideally, we'll be able to create entirely new enhancements to sales, service and marketing processes using Einstein as a toolset that ultimately drives better user decision-making," Glenn Weinstein, CIO of Indianapolis-based Salesforce partner Appirio, told CRN.

Salesforce has a large role to play in helping partners, and customers, anticipate those use cases for the platform-native AI, Weinstein added.

Charles Landry, chief revenue officer at SpringML, a Salesforce partner based in Pleasanton, Calif., said Einstein will boost the practices of partners that already focus on bringing AI solutions to market.

"As a provider of predictive analytics and machine-learning techniques, we think it's great wind in the sails," Landry told CRN. "We think it's going to be a great platform for us and other partners to develop against."

But even beyond gaining access to a development platform — both programmatic and declarative — to power custom AI projects, Salesforce partners will benefit from the status Einstein helps the CRM vendor secure in a competitive market, Jim Sinai, vice president of marketing at Salesforce, told CRN.

"Whether you're an SI or an ISV, you're looking to partner and align with the most forward-thinking technology vendors out there," Sinai told CRN.

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