Salesforce and IBM Are Now Friends With AI Benefits

In a major enterprise deal, Salesforce and its AI tools will now be offered as part of IBM's Garage consultancy product.

Salesforce has announced a partnership with IBM that will make the popular CRM software provider's suite of enterprise AI tools available to customers of both companies.

Specifically, the IBM Consulting arm of Big Blue will now offer implementation of Salesforce's AI tools – which include Sales GPT, Service GPT, Salesforce Einstein, Slack GPT and Marketing GPT – as a feature of its Garage digital transformation proposition.

In practice, this means that businesses that turn to IBM's consultancy expertise will now be helped to deploy Salesforce and all of its AI powers, in a landmark tie-up for both sides.

What Does IBM Get From New Salesforce Partnership?

IBM's end of the bargain is, first and foremost, that its 160,000-strong army of human consultants will be helping businesses get up and running with Salesforce and its shiny new AI capabilities. Which obviously sounds like a great deal for Salesforce!

There's more to it than just that, though. For its part, IBM will be hoping to use the process of Salesforce adoption to promote its Watsonx enterprise AI platform, which helps companies use the “data locked in backend systems” to more effectively inform software systems like, well, Salesforce.

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Big Blue will go a step further and also push its industry-specific Data Classifier as a solution to help companies map their data and make it more usable by AI tools like, well, Salesforce again. So it's far from a one-way street.

Salesforce and IBM: Friends With Benefits

In many ways, it's a logical progression for IBM and Salesforce's existing relationship. Big Blue has used Salesforce alongside Watsonx to improve its own sales and services processes over the years, so it's like going from friends to friends with benefits for the two enterprise powerhouses. Or diversifying their partner ecosystems, if you prefer.

The new offering will be available immediately through IBM Consulting and its products, namely IBM Garage. Pricing is quoted on an individual client basis by IBM.

For its part, Salesforce pricing will remain unchanged by the tie-up, having already increased in August for the first time in years.

Salesforce Dreams Big Ahead of Dreamforce

It has been a big week for Salesforce overall, with the CRM giant gearing up for its annual Dreamforce conference by announcing impressive Q2 2024 results.

It roundly beat expectations for both revenue and profit to the tune of 11% year-on-year growth, offering further proof that larger-than-life CEO Marc Benioff's recent strategy of mega bucks acquisitions (Slack and Tableau) alongside internal belt tightening (it's part of the tech layoffs club) is paying dividends, at least for investors.

It'll cap it all off with the annual shindig that is Dreamforce from September 12-14, where presumably much of those $8.60 billion earnings have been spent paying Foo Fighters to top the bill.

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Written by:
James Laird is a technology journalist with 10+ years experience working on some of the world's biggest websites. These include TechRadar, Trusted Reviews, Lifehacker, Gizmodo and The Sun, as well as industry-specific titles such as ITProPortal. His particular areas of interest and expertise are cyber security, VPNs and general hardware.
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