Adobe and Microsoft have joined forces, combining Adobe's Sensei artificial intelligence (AI) with Microsoft's data to give Adobe customers more automated, intelligence-based business feedback. By plugging into Microsoft's ecosystem, Adobe can pull rich insights from Microsoft's customer relationship management (CRM) and data visualization tools, among other platforms.
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Adobe Sensei is now armed with a new trove of data from Microsoft Dynamics 365, Microsoft Power BI, and Microsoft Azure, from which it can draw on its algorithm-based recommendations. Both companies are also working to add Adobe Sensei to Microsoft tools; however, there is no timeline for when this reverse integration will be available.
Here's an excellent example of how Adobe Sensei and Microsoft work together today: A financial services client working within Adobe Analytics can take existing Adobe data, combine it with Microsoft's data ecosystem, and then feed all of that information into Sensei. The AI tool will run algorithmic attribution using all of the information from both vendors to make a recommendation for better advertising spend. Then, the financial services company can plug those results back into Adobe Analytics and Microsoft Power BI to visualize how the new program might work.
Although users can funnel Microsoft data into Adobe systems to take advantage of Sensei's AI, Sensei is not currently live within Microsoft platforms according to Amit Ahuja, Vice President of Emerging Businesses at Adobe. "The goal is to one day combine Adobe's Sensei to build it onto Microsoft's tools in order to provide machine learning [ML] automation to improve selling, service, and marketing," Ahuja said. "A lot of the work around Sensei is being done with Microsoft but there is no timeline for when it will be turned on [on Microsoft's end]."
What Else Can They Do?
Adobe and Microsoft Dynamics 365 will let Microsoft users who are also users of Adobe's analytics and marketing automation tools build unified customer profiles. Data can be funneled between all systems in real time to let marketers and sales reps take advantage of the most pertinent data, regardless of which system they're using. This leverages both company's machine learning and streaming analytical technologies.
The integration also lets Adobe users pull behavioral data into Power BI, Microsoft's business intelligence (BI) tool, to understand and visualize the impact of marketing automation campaigns and subsequent analysis. Finally, Adobe Experience Manager Sites Managed Service is able to run on Microsoft Azure. This means Adobe users can seamlessly pull Microsoft data onto cloud-managed websites in an organic process, without having to tie together additional vendor applications.
The integration follows a series of CRM-focused AI announcements by Adobe and Microsoft competitors. Earlier this month, Salesforce announced that its new AI virtual assistant, Salesforce Einstein, would be generally available to all Salesforce users across all disciplines, including helpdesk and e-commerce clients. And, of course, IBM Watson, the granddaddy of AI, will also be added to Salesforce to pull new ML and AI into the CRM tool. Similarly, Zoho CRM recently added Zoho Zia, an AI-based virtual assistant, to deliver unprompted, data-based recommendations to sales staff whenever they are using Zoho CRM (and to third parties who wish to add Zia to tools that lack AI functionality).
Why the rush to AI? Gartner Research predicts that 85 percent of customer interactions will be managed without a human within the next three years. Plus, within the next year, they predict digital assistants will be able to use technology similar to Einstein Vision to recognize customers by the shape of their faces.
A New Look for Adobe
Adobe has also unveiled the Adobe Experience Cloud, an overarching Adobe platform comprised of the Adobe Marketing Cloud and the Adobe Analytics Cloud. The new suite leverages Adobe Sensei to provide a comprehensive Adobe experience across all digital disciplines.
Adobe Experience Cloud includes the new Adobe Advertising Cloud, which is designed to help businesses manage advertising across traditional TV and digital formats. Adobe Advertising Cloud offers search management tools as well as automated display, social, video, and programmatic TV ad buying.