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Salesforce declares AWS partnership to enable intelligent applications

Salesforce and Amazon Web Services have declared a ‘strategic partnership’ that is claimed to enable the easier creation of artificial intelligence-infused applications

Salesforce and Amazon Web Services (AWS) have announced a “strategic partnership” that they say will make it easier for developers to make applications that harness the cloud provider’s services and connect data across their respective technologies. The development is being presented as a “significant expansion” of an existing business relationship.

Salesforce also has relationships with the other hyperscale cloud providers Microsoft, Google and Alibaba.

According to a statement from the two suppliers, customers will be able to deploy pre-built applications that combine AWS and Salesforce Customer 360 – a tool that allows companies to connect Salesforce apps and build a single view of a customer. This will, it is claimed, make it easier to make use of AWS’s voice, video and artificial intelligence (AI) services natively with Salesforce business applications.

Andy Jassy, CEO of Amazon Web Services, said: “For more than five years, our customers have benefited from a tight relationship between AWS and Salesforce. Now we are taking the partnership to the next level by integrating our offerings, so developers using both AWS and Salesforce can build unified applications much faster and simpler than ever before.”

Marc Benioff, chairman and CEO at Salesforce, added: “This is Salesforce’s largest and most important strategic partnership to date, and a milestone partnership for the technology industry that is grounded in our shared value of customer success.

“With a more unified Salesforce and AWS platform, we can extend the power of Customer 360 to help customers connect all of their data, apps and devices to create a single source of truth across sales, service, marketing and commerce, and achieve success from anywhere.”

Salesforce said customers will be able to embed AWS services for voice, video, AI and machine learning directly in new applications for sales, service, and industry vertical use cases, buying out-of-the-box tools directly and consuming the integrated AWS services on a pay-as-you-go basis.

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Victor Bultó, president of Novartis Pharmaceuticals Corporation, said in support of the announcement: “The future of medicine and the patient experience are as dependent on technology and innovation as they are on efficiency and speed. Unifying our platforms with Salesforce and AWS gives us the opportunity to optimise our resources and focus our approach by simplifying the customer and developer experience to innovate faster and, ultimately, improve patient outcomes. It is how we can reimagine medicine for today and the future.”

Another Salesforce customer, Alpheus Mangale, chief engineering officer at Standard Bank Group, said: “Technology is ushering in a new era of innovation for the financial services industry, where new digital solutions make the customer experience more personal and convenient. The Salesforce and AWS partnership does exactly this, and is helping Standard Bank to innovate faster and provide greater value for our customers throughout the African region.”

As an example of what is different about the new iteration of the existing relationship, Salesforce said customers can activate virtual call centres with Amazon Connect and AWS AI/machine learning services, pre-integrated into both Sales Cloud and Service Cloud.

They can also make use of AWS technologies such as Amazon Chime SDK, embedded real-time communication capabilities; Amazon Textract, data extraction from scanned documents; and Amazon Comprehend, natural language processing, within Salesforce Industry Clouds.

Update, 29 June 2021. Computer Weekly has received this comment from a Salesforce spokesperson:

“The latest partnership expansion is unique to the two companies in that this is a move from ‘integration’ towards ‘unification’. The partnership will make it easier for joint Salesforce and AWS customers – such as Novartis and Standard Bank – to use both technologies to build and launch custom applications, natively leverage AWS services in Salesforce, and securely connect data and workflows across both Salesforce and AWS. 

“This is all about simplifying developers’ lives and empowering them to develop applications however they want, from wherever they want globally, at any scale. Developers that use both Salesforce and AWS will be able to innovate faster with pre-built applications that combine AWS and Salesforce Customer 360. Uniquely, these customers will be able to seamlessly deploy AWS’s voice, video, and AI services natively with Salesforce business applications. 

“Salesforce is fully committed to working with all major public cloud providers across the IT space and this announcement does not change our relationship with them. Customers who choose not to purchase our joint offerings with AWS can continue to use integrations we offer today with other leading cloud providers.”

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