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Salesforce will introduce artificial intelligence (AI) and predictive capabilities into its customer relationship management (CRM) product as soon as October as it starts to roll our Einstein across its cloud products.

During a phone question and answer session last week general manager of Einstein, John Ball, said: "You will see [Einstein] powering AI across all of our clouds and there are many features coming. We do three releases a year and Einstein will be powering every release from now on, starting with the winter release in October."

Salesforce is being coy in terms of pricing, saying that some capabilities will come with existing cloud licenses and editions, and some coming at a premium. The pricing of each feature will only be known once it is made generally available, except Community Cloud, Commerce Cloud and Analytics Cloud capabilities, which are included in existing licenses and detailed below.

Salesforce has been working on Einstein for the last two years, spending more than $4 billion on AI specialist acquisitions like MetaMind, RelateIQ and BeyondCore, and building a team of 175 data scientists along the way.

What is Salesforce Einstein?

Ball said that Einstein is built into customer success platform "to surface those insights in context for business users".

"We enable sales professionals to find better prospects and close more deals through predictive lead scoring and automatic data capture to convert leads into opportunities and opportunities into deals."

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AI is only as powerful as the data which powers it. Salesforce has plenty of that though and a range of data collected by Salesforce products will be used to train Einstein's predictive models. This includes: customer data, activity data from Chatter, email, calendar and ecommerce information, social data streams and even IoT signals. Einstein will continue to adapt to changing user behaviour as data comes into the cloud platform.

Salesforce is also opening up Einstein capabilities for App Cloud users and developers to bring AI features, such as predictive or suggested actions, into new or existing apps.

Ball said: "Part of the vision and reality today is that Einstein is baked deep into the customer success platform, so taking and configuring and extending existing apps with Einstein fields and partners building on the customer success platform means Einstein will make all apps smarter, including those on the exchange."

Salesforce will be rolling out training for Einstein features, but most customers will be able to benefit straight away simply by using it. Ball said: "In Sales Cloud a customer will instantly have the ability to focus their sales with opportunity insights and lead scores."

Salesforce Einstein features

Here is a quick cloud-by-cloud breakdown of the AI-rich features we know about so far.

Sales Cloud Einstein will include predictive lead scoring, opportunity insights which alert reps if a deal is trending up or down, and automated activity capture to log email and calendar activity with the right Salesforce record and deliver predictions. 

Service Cloud Einstein will include recommended case classification which will automatically pre-populate key case fields and route them to the right agent predictively. Recommended responses will push the most likely responses to service agents and the platform will predict close times related to issues.

Marketing Cloud Einstein now includes predictive scoring related to the likelihood of a customer engaging with an email, automated send-time optimisation and predictive audiences, which will build custom audience segments based on predicted behaviours. 

Commerce Cloud Einstein includes Amazon-style product recommendations, predictive sort and commerce insights. Product recommendations are generally available and included as part of the Commerce Cloud license.

Community Cloud Einstein now includes recommended experts, articles and topics, automated service escalation and newsfeed insights. Automated community case escalation and recommended experts, files and groups are generally available and included as part of the Community Cloud license.

Analytics Cloud Einstein customers will be able to access predictive wave apps to uncover future patterns for any business process, smart data discovery which will help users find and explain insights from their data, and automated analytics to prioritise insights. Smart data discovery is generally available and priced according to the volume of data and number of users.

IoT Cloud Einstein will include predictive device scoring, recommend best next actions for service processes and marketing journeys, and automated IoT rules optimisation.

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