‘I have Apple in my veins’

Investing & Retiring


Salesforce’s partnership with Apple may be new, but Marc Benioff has felt connected to the iPhone maker for decades, the Salesforce chief told CNBC on Tuesday.

Having worked at Apple in the 1980s as a programmer, “I have Apple in my veins,” Benioff told “Mad Money” host Jim Cramer in an exclusive interview at Dreamforce, Salesforce’s annual networking confab held in San Francisco.

“I’ll tell you right now that it’s so important to us to have this amazing new relationship with Apple and [CEO] Tim Cook, the ability to bring together Apple developers, Apple customers, our developers, our customers, and to show incredible new ways that you can connect with your customer,” Benioff said.

With the partnership, Salesforce will enable its mobile apps with Siri, Apple’s voice assistant. In exchange, the customer relations giant will help build out its clients’ mobile apps with specialized features for Apple devices.

Leveraging the power of Apple’s mobile devices, voice-enabled communication and Salesforce’s artificial intelligence platform, Einstein, the partnership will help “enhance [the] customer experience” at companies like Marriott, a Salesforce customer.

In the Tuesday interview, Benioff demonstrated how a Marriott hotel guest might use the new features, which include being able to request for Siri to adjust a hotel room’s lightning and temperature.

“I don’t think that anybody can walk away from Apple products,” Benioff said, noting that every business is aware of the power the iPhone wields. “It’s the No. 1 mobile device in the world and the innovation that they’re laying out is incredible.”

“Of course, we have many amazing strategic alliances and strategic partners, but I am thrilled to welcome Apple to our family and all these Dreamforce attendees are thrilled to learn how to connect these amazing Apple mobile devices right onto our customer success platform,” the CEO continued.

Still, Benioff maintained that he loves “all of our children” in reference to Salesforce’s high-profile partners, including e-commerce colossus Amazon.

“We’re going to get to Google too, I’m sure,” he quipped.

“But today, we have an amazing new relationship with Amazon. We’re taking our relationship with Amazon Web Services to a new level. That whole community of developers is here. Those are the AWS developers, they call them. They’re doing incredible things on the cloud. We’re cloud brothers, Amazon and Salesforce. And we’re going to just show how you can use AWS in a new way.”

Salesforce’s stock hit a new 52-week high Tuesday, settling up 0.06 percent at $158.87 a share. Shares of Apple rose slightly, closing at $222.19.



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