November 8 by Gene Eun

It’s been a great week so far at Dreamforce in San Francisco. Dreamforce offers an opportunity to get away from the normal daily routine and immerse oneself in all things Salesforce-related, and this year has been no exception. During his opening keynote, Marc Benioff called the new era of growth in the tech industry the 4th industrial revolution, one that’s being fueled by innovations like autonomous vehicles, nanotechnology, mobile computing, and artificial intelligence (AI). Marc spoke of how these new technologies, particularly AI, are helping companies to transform themselves and connect with customers in new ways. So it shouldn’t be to anyone’s surprise that AI and its potential uses to increase business efficiency and productivity are all the rage at Dreamforce this year.

Applied AI in the World Around Us

AI, once only a topic for sci-fi movies and research papers, is now being used or considered by a growing number of forward-thinking businesses. The incorporation of AI such as machine learning, bots and intelligent agents within business applications is still in its infant stages and the number of use cases is still relatively small. For all the potential benefits that AI can bring to bear, making AI actionable and consumable is still easier said than done. While there are many sessions and talk about AI at this year’s Dreamforce, there still seems to be very few real-life instances of AI being used in a practical way.

If you were lucky enough to attend Apttus’ Dreamforce session titled Using Applied AI to Accelerate Revenue Generation and Maximize Business Outcomes, you saw one of the few examples of how businesses can leverage AI today in order to simplify and accelerate their Quote-to-Cash process. The session was presented by Apttus’ Chief Revenue Officer, Kamal Ahluwalia, who shared how Apttus’ Quote-to-Cash applications enhanced with AI are delivering positive business impacts to our customers today.

Using Applied AI to Transform Businesses

Kamal was also joined by Angelia Herrin, Editor of Harvard Business Review (HBR) who presented key findings of the recent HBR study Artificial Intelligence for Maximizing Revenue which explains how businesses can use AI to transform their B2B processes and commerce. For example, the study found that sixty percent of executives believe their future success depends on the successful implementation of AI. Angelia also provided several use cases for AI to streamline common sales processes such as recommending products to cross-sell and up-sell and providing guidance on prices and discounts. She also shared what HBR sees unfolding in the future with respect to the use of applied AI in the enterprise.

The remainder of the session focused on a demo of Max, Apttus’ intelligent agent that provides a conversational interface that enables users to easily interact with their Quote-to-Cash and CRM applications using natural language processing (NLP).

As AI technology matures, the number of AI uses cases and innovations will continue to grow almost exponentially. No one really knows how widely adopted and pervasive AI technology will have become by next year’s Dreamforce. One thing is certain, Apttus will be here again leading the charge in AI innovation.

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