Nigerian telcos and banks should imitate Salesforce Einstein and IBM Watson partnership

Nigerian telcos and banks should imitate Salesforce Einstein and IBM Watson partnership

It is getting harder to have innovation solely built in-house. These days companies are looking outwards to find new growth opportunities through innovations. This is the future, strategic partnerships, driven by core technology innovations.

There is a lesson here, for Nigerian banks and telcos.

Instead  of telcos complaining about OTT services and the associated revenue erosion from them, they could begin exploring how to work with these companies to have a win-win. Similarly, banks could find ways to work closely with fintechs without fear they are created to decimate them.

A new business model is emerging and today IBM Watson and Salesforce Einstein partnership shows the future.

Today’s news is about a tie-up between Salesforce.com and IBM over artificial intelligence.

The two companies plan to integrate the AI products but sell them separately. This would let IBM turn its prediction engine loose on Salesforce’s sales-oriented clients. And it would inject Salesforce’s customer-focused analytics on IBM’s business customers.

Both companies are big on buzzwords and the transformative power of headlines. Actual products from their relationship are “expected” in the “second half of 2017,” the companies said.

Salesforce is worth $57 billion and struggles to make money. IBM’s market value is $172 billion and it has a tough time growing. Might this almost-no-overlap, thousands-of-shared-clients relationship someday be more than a partnership?

Strategic technology innovation will be the order of the day. It shows humility when IBM knows that there are things Salesforce does better, despite its heritage.

In deep future, that is how business will become. Platforms will be shared and everyone will be looking for how to make money at customer facing sides. Imagine if all masts are shared without the duplication we see in some places where Airtel has its own and MTN operates one by the side, creating redundancy and inefficiencies in assets allocations.

Can one provide an AI that will drive MTN operations while MTN allows one to make money from its customer base? At the same time, that AI provides great value to MTN.

Salesforce and IBM have shown that not everything should be built in-house. This type of partnership is the future.

Again, the two companies plan to integrate the AI products but sell them separately. That is a new business model.

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