Under a new strategic agreement, Dell Technologies plans to expand its use of Salesforce
's cloud-based CRM (customer relationship management) platform and sales and marketing apps to its global sales team of nearly 40,000.
Announced Wednesday, the Dell-Salesforce deal extends the relationship the two companies have had for years. It will also give Dell customer contact centers around the world new access to Service Cloud Einstein, Salesforce's artificial intelligence platform for customer service.
As part of their expanded partnership, Salesforce and Dell will also use Dell Boomi so they can share large volumes of data via the cloud. Boomi, which was acquired by Dell in 2010, provides an integration-as-a-service platform for connecting apps and data.
'No Bigger Transformation' than Dell's
"Every company's going through a dramatic digital transformation today, but I don't think any company is going through a bigger transformation than Dell," Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff said Wednesday in a televised interview with CNBC.
In the same interview, Dell chairman and CEO Michael Dell (pictured above) noted that the newly extended partnership will not only help support his company's salesforce but its global network of around 200,000 channel partners as well.
Once publicly traded, Dell went private in 2013 and has since merged with EMC in a $60-billion-plus transaction described as the biggest tech deal in history. Following the merger, which was completed last year, the combined company was rebranded as Dell Technologies.
"Dell has been a critical relationship for us to build our own infrastructure," Benioff told CNBC. "This is transformational for our industry . . . and that's why I'm so excited about Dell and Salesforce coming together to create a digital transformation not just for Dell but for all of our hundreds of thousands of customers."
New AI Capabilities for CRM
Launched in February, Salesforce's Service Cloud Einstein uses artificial intelligence to help companies better manage increasingly complex customer service needs. Among the tools it provides are analytics for faster and more proactive responses from customer service agents, machine learning for smarter case management, and an algorithm-powered mobile app for service employees in the field.
"Salesforce is helping bring together all of our customer interactions across our family of businesses, which is huge for us, and with the addition of Einstein artificial intelligence, we can make each of those interactions smarter," Dell said Wednesday in a statement.
Last week, Salesforce was also named the number-one CRM provider in the analyst firm IDC's Worldwide Semiannual Software Tracker. It was the fourth year in a row the company has maintained that position.
In April, Dell and Salesforce also signed a multi-year deal in which Salesforce committed to using Dell EMC infrastructure in its data centers and providing employees with Dell laptops. In a statement, Dell's CEO called the expanded partnership "an important milestone in our decade-long relationship."