Apple and Salesforce have announced a partnership that will bring customer relationship management apps for iOS, including Siri functionality.
Salesforce and Apple are combining their respective relationship management platform and iOS operating system to customers to enable “powerful” new apps for business.
A strategic partnership between the companies, announced on Monday, will bring a redesigned mobile platform with new features that the companies said are exclusive to iOS. This will include support for Siri, Apple’s virtual assistant, which will be integrated with Salesforce Einstein Voice.
The partnership will also provide third parties with tools to develop native apps. These include a Salesforce Mobile SDK for iOS and an iOS App Development course on Trailhead, Saleforce’s web-based learning platform.
“Togther, Salesforce and Apple are defining a new era of mobile innovation with native apps on iOS, and empowering millions of people with access to Trailhead and the skills they need for the jobs of the future,” said Marc Benioff, Salesforce chairman and co-CEO.
Apple CEO Tim Cook added that “with the powerful combination of iPhone, iPad and iOS — the best hardware and software for business — together with native Salesforce apps and the new Salesforce SDK, we can deliver great customer experiences for businesses around the world.”
Redesigned Salesforce Mobile App “Exclusive” For iOS
The Salesforce Mobile SDK is optimised for Swift, Apples’s modern programming language, and will let businesses and developers build apps for iPhones and iPads on the Salesforce Lightning Platform.
The Salesforce Mobile App, meanwhile, will be redesigned for iOS with added features including Siri Shortcuts, Face ID, and Business Chat. Apple is also launching a new Get Started model to teach anyone to build native iOS apps in Xcode with Swift, available from Monday.
Salesforce Mobile SDK for iOS will be available by the end of 2018; the rebuilt Salesforce Mobile App will be available in early 2019; and the first-ever Trailhead Mobile App will launch later next year.
Salesforce CRM stock reportedly reached an all-time high for the company ahead of the Apple announcement.
“New Relevance” for Siri
CNBC’s Jim Cramer called the partnership “Apple’s most important effort to be in the enterprise”, bringing “new relevance” to Siri and in the process blocking Google and Amazon.
“Everybody has an Apple phone but what they’ve lacked is a tie-in with business … One of the things that has always kept Apple’s multiple lower is it’s a consumer product.
“People don’t think that everything should be typed; people want voice … Salesforce is recognising voice; I’d say [there’s] new relevance for Siri.”
“Salesforce is going to have a much better relationship with your phone.”
Salesforce introduced a voice assistant capability for its Einstein AI offering last week, calling voice the “new enterprise UI”.
In August, Salesforce reported record Q2 revenues of $3.28 billion, up 27 percent year on year. The company has a £23 billion revenue goal, said founder Marc Benioff in its earnings call, and will continue to push AI efforts going forward.
“We demonstrated our leadership in AI by open-sourcing our automatic machine learning library for structured data, which is the engine that helps power Salesforce Einstein,” he said.
“Our Salesforce research team introduced deep learning breakthroughs that make it possible for the first time for a single model to master 10 different language processing patterns at once, signififcantly improving the way machines understand the many nuances of human language.
“We’re deeply committed [to] artificial intelligence … we’re also deeply committed to the ethical and humane use of technology because we all realise that AI is developing a lot faster and going a lot farther than any of use realised.”
Salesforce’s Dreamforce event kicks off in San Francisco on Tuesday, with an expected focus on AI.