FinancialForce Aims to Enable AI to Be Applied Across ERP and CRM Apps

    FinancialForce this week at the Dreamforce 2018 conference previewed a Fall edition of its namesake enterprise resource planning (ERP) software-as-a-service (SaaS) application that adds support for the Einstein artificial intelligence (AI) framework developed by Salesforce.

    Dan Brown, chief product officer for FinancialForce, says for AI to be truly effective, AI technologies need to bridge data typically stored in ERP and customer relationship management (CRM) applications. FinancialForce makes that simpler to accomplish because its ERP application is based on the same customer records employed by Salesforce in its CRM application.

    That’s critical because the success of any AI project is tied to the quality of the data generated, which Brown notes is much simpler to achieve when applications are based on a common set of customer records.

    As Einstein continues to evolve, Brown says, AI frameworks such as Einstein will bridge a historic divide between transaction processing and customer engagement applications. By making all that data available to a common AI framework, it becomes simpler to generate recommendations based on sales leads being generated in real time and, for example, the end of life of an existing contract recorded in an ERP application.

    “We refer to this as a post-modern ERP system,” says Brown.

    As part of that effort, FinancialForce this week also previewed a new user interface and dashboard based on the Lightning framework for developing applications already widely employed across Salesforce applications.

    It may take a while for this brave new world of AI to transform financial and sales processes. But the one thing that is clear is that the relationship between finance and sales will never be the same.

    Mike Vizard
    Mike Vizard
    Michael Vizard is a seasoned IT journalist, with nearly 30 years of experience writing and editing about enterprise IT issues. He is a contributor to publications including Programmableweb, IT Business Edge, CIOinsight and UBM Tech. He formerly was editorial director for Ziff-Davis Enterprise, where he launched the company’s custom content division, and has also served as editor in chief for CRN and InfoWorld. He also has held editorial positions at PC Week, Computerworld and Digital Review.

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