The rapid advance in the relationship between IBM and Salesforce has largely been driven by IBM's acquisition of Bluewolf, one of the earliest and largest of Salesforce's systems integration partners.
Corrine Sklar, CMO of Bluewolf, told CRN that the conversation between the CEOs resonated, and the channel also has a huge role to play in presenting artificial intelligence to customers the right way.
Even if customers don't ask, "it is our responsibility to bring up those issues," Sklar said.
The Russian manipulation of Facebook is a great example, she said. Big tech companies have lots of data, but often don’t spot the problems they're not looking for.
"In our world, our responsibility with Salesforce together is to question these things and be able to have an open dialogue with our customers," Sklar said.
Salesforce customers are just starting their AI journeys, and most aren't aware yet of the difficult issues that can arise. Partners that will lead in the future are the ones "putting AI in the core of their mindset," she said.
The partnership between IBM and Salesforce that was forged only eight months ago is moving incredibly fast, and will grow beyond its current focus on artificial intelligence, Sklar predicted.
"You can see the chemistry between them. I think this partnership is only getting started," she told CRN.