Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) businesses don't just sell their product once like traditional, perpetual license vendors. In essence, they must re-sell customers every month, and profitability often starts later in the customer lifecycle. Because of this dynamic, SaaS businesses are increasingly focusing on Customer Success – an emerging function that ensures SaaS customers receive continuous value and remain loyal users. To help their customers succeed, companies must identify which accounts are struggling, as well as why and what to do about it. SaaS providers have massive amounts of data about their customers, but they often don't know what to do with it.
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Salesforce late last week disclosed the details of some recent acquisitions in machine learning, shedding some light on the commitment that the CRM giant is making to strengthen its AI capabilities. The company spent 32.8 million on the AI startup MetaMind in April, according to a Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) disclosure form. As Business Insider notes, the disclosure notes that 31.2 million of its investment was recorded as goodwill -- the amount in excess of the company's fair market value. Meanwhile, Salesforce disclosed that it spent another 41.6 million on another two companies last quarter, which includes the machine learning startup PredictionIO. The acquisitions last quarter followed several other investments that Salesforce has made in machine learning, like its purchases of MinHash and TempoAI.