Apttus, the quote-to-cash service is putting AI to work in contract processing in an effort to speed up a highly inefficient system and close sales faster. "Some organizations may value cost reduction, while others may prioritize risk reduction or maximizing sales growth," he explained. In other words by applying intelligence to the contract process, these companies should work more efficiently, which should move the entire sales process along to bring sales to fruition much faster. If the sale closes, Apttus also handles the contract and eventually collects the money.
Salesforce's investment arm is launching a $50 million fund to invest in AI-focused startups. Salesforce Ventures, the investment arm of cloud-computing giant Salesforce, is launching a $50 million fund to invest in startups focused on artificial intelligence, according to Reuters. Salesforce has been working more and more with artificial intelligence (AI) through its Salesforce Einstein tool, which marks its first year on Tuesday. More than 7,000 developers are building AI apps with Einstein, according to Matt Garratt, vice president of Salesforce Ventures.
Salesforce thinks it has found a way to improve forecasting accuracy in its Einstein Sales Cloud product with everyone's go-to tool of late, artificial intelligence. Einstein Forecasting "allows business leaders, sales leaders, to be able to make company decisions because you have predictive information at hand," she said. The technology uses 24 months of trailing sales data to model current sales pipelines for both individual sales representatives and teams, and surfaces that through a dashboard that lets managers detect budding problems before the last two weeks of the quarter. Forecasting is part of Sales Cloud Einstein in Salesforce's flagship customer-relationship management product.
The venture arm of Salesforce.com is launching a $50 million fund to invest in startups employing artificial intelligence, the cloud computing firm told Reuters on Tuesday. "There's a tremendous surge in companies who are providing unique AI innovations," said John Somorjai, executive vice president of Salesforce Ventures. Venture capital investment in AI startups is rising quickly. For 2017, global financing for AI startups is projected to surpass $10.8 billion - nearly double the $5.6 billion spent in 2016, according to research firm CB Insights.
Salesforce said Tuesday that the $50 million would go into setting up the Salesforce AI Innovation Fund, which, as the company put it, is dedicated to "bringing AI to every step of the sales cycle, from building pipeline and closing deals, to growing the business." Chief Executive Brian Krzanich himself said Intel has put more than $1 billion into AI companies through its Intel Capital investment division. And even as median home prices are up across all the Bay Area counties, nowhere have they gone up more than in Santa Clara County, where the median home price of $1.15 million has risen 17.9 percent from a year ago. What a Day it Was: That pretty much sums up how Apple Chief Executive Tim Cook described last week's debut of the iPhone X and ARKit, the new Apple augmented reality platform that will be part of the new iOS 11 release.
Salesforce's Einstein artificial intelligence platform celebrates its one-year anniversary this week and the CRM giant is marking the occasion with the launch of several new features. "Now, equipped with predictive and intelligent capabilities, Sales Cloud Einstein has cracked the traditionally flawed forecasting model, bringing AI to every step of the sales cycle." Salesforce also announced the launch of a $50 venture million fund that will invest in startups focused on artificial intelligence. The fund is via Salesforce Ventures and it will encourage companies to build AI capabilities on the Salesforce platform, thereby making Einstein more powerful.
The backdrop for Benioff's comments was debate around the impact of technology and innovation on the UN's 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Benioff cited recent comments made by Russian President Vladimir Putin to the effect that the country that controls mastery of AI can control the world. In San Francisco, we have taxis without taxi drivers, buses without bus drivers, trucks without truck drivers, cargo ships without crews. There was a wider sustainable development and innovation debate that went on, which we'll pick up on tomorrow, but the idea of AI as a basic human right is a very interesting topic in its own right.
This includes Big Data, machine learning and artificial intelligence companies, as well as startups where data is the "secret sauce" or the core competitive moat I very actively invest in the space through companies like ActionIQ, Dataiku, x.ai, Sense360 and HyperScience. I also blog extensively on those topics and run Data Driven NYC, a big community of 14,000 Big Data and AI enthusiasts. Sure, I'm told people internally at Salesforce freaked out a little bit when Marc Benioff made all those big claims about Einstein [Salesforce's new AI] last year, but part of it comes with the territory of big personalities. They're very active on the investment front through Salesforce Ventures, and Marc Benioff has personally invested in all these different startups that leverage machine learning.
Leading organizations are aligning marketing around a customer journey strategy, leveraging data analytics, and embracing AI -- all part of a heavily integrated, omnichannel effort built on a solid martech backbone. Today, around two-thirds of marketers feel like they are leading the customer experience initiative across the business, and 61% say they've become more focused on evolving from a traditional marketing structure to roles aligned with a customer journey strategy. High performers are about 2.5x more likely to say that their martech stack is delivering increased productivity, better analytic insights and improved marketing efficiencies than their underperforming peers. You can learn more about how customer experience is reshaping the mindsets of today's top marketers by downloading the complete 50-page "State of Marketing" research report from the Salesforce website (free PDF after completing a simple contact form).