(Bloomberg) -- Salesforce.com Inc. aims to cut the time its customers spend plugging data into its systems by weaving machine-learning technology from acquisition RelateIQ into its software for managing sales accounts.
SalesforceIQ, unveiled Tuesday at the company’s Dreamforce annual conference in San Francisco, follows the company’s purchase of startup RelateIQ Inc. for $390 million in 2014. RelateIQ made tools that automatically keep track of a salesperson’s interactions with customers, log that information, and use predictive technology to offer helpful reminders about when they should get back in contact. That technology has been directly integrated with Salesforce’s largest single product by revenue, Sales Cloud.
Salesforce calls the approach of its IQ technology "relationship intelligence," with the goal of reducing the amount of time spent manually entering information, said Adam Evans, chief technology officer of SalesforceIQ. Instead, the predictive software automatically looks through e-mail exchanges with customers and pulls in relevant data, he said.
"It knows all the records I have in Salesforce, all the context I have in my team," Evans said in an interview. "If I want to create a new record, I can go and do that with a couple of clicks and everything is pre-populated."
The technology is available now on a test basis for all Sales Cloud customers. Salesforce wouldn’t disclose if SalesforceIQ will eventually be a paid-for feature or will be free. The product should be generally available in early 2016, the company said. Customers can also access the same features through a standalone product called SalesforceIQ for Small Business, which costs $25 a month, but doesn’t hook directly into Sales Cloud.
Many companies are seeking to add machine-learning capabilities to their products. Storage company Box Inc. acquired a startup called dLoop in late 2013 to automatically categorize documents, and human-resources company Workday Inc. bought Identified in February 2014 to help it add predictive capabilities to its software.
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