AI General Thoughts on the Future, Anyone?

Salesforce is pushing their AI hard. Many of my SuiteCRM users are seriously considering spending tens of thousands of dollars to switch to Salesforce and the like for AI features.

Just looking for some general discussion around this. I can understand AI generated emails and responses could be good, but does anyone else know what kind of AI other competitive CRM’s are using?

I get the sense from talking with people that basically they think can eliminate their sales people! Use AI to create customized and personalized email campaigns and then respond to them and close the sale! I think this is a dream, but not a reality.

Are there any experts in the field in our community that could comment on what is real and what is pipe dream (at least for the foreseeable future)?

Another thing that I stress to clients is that AI is only as good as the data that’s in the CRM it’s learning from. If emails and call reports and opportuntiies, etc. aren’t been logged properly by the sales people, the AI won’t have the info it needs to base communications on!

This was a topic recently!

  1. Another fork of Sugar 6.5 Community Edition, called VTiger, from India, with a free open source version, has 4 AI features in its paid cloud hosted version, Calculus, Chatbot, Bot Manager, and Prompt Builder, which the latter one does the automatic AI follow up emails. Adding this AI feature to Suite would be a big time saver for users. Check it out:
  1. In the store there’s an AI Email Generator plugin which uses the OpenAI service to write sales and marketing emails, I’d give it a free 30 day try, to evaluate how well it could work for customers. After, it’s $19/month.
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I agree with you Paul - rather than sitting down and defining specific requirements that might or might not be solved reliably by AI, customers seem to be driven by the general hype and marketing around this topic.

Can AI really help? In general, yes.
But where and how - and is your data ready / enough for AI?
I’ve trained a few ML models and even something simple like topic categorization / spam detection is completely wrong with 1000 records. From 10.000 records on, it starts to perform better.

And yes, AI is not going to automate sales any time soon, to fire the sales team. Rather, it can support the sales team.

Other than SuiteCRM, I’m working with Zoho in several projects and Zia is their AI solution.
There are features like:

  • When is the best time to call?
  • Churn prediction
  • Data enrichment
  • Anomaly detection
  • RAG (Retrieval-Augmented Generation) in analytics
    which I see as valuable tools / features for sales and marketing teams.

One issue every SuiteCRM has for AI, is basically the amount of data.
If there are a few hundred leads inside your CRM, anomalies can’t be detected correctly, it’s just not enough data.
The SaaS apps have a huge advantage there, they could (not sure whether they do or allow them selves to do so in their toc) train models on all customer data.
It might be possible to train models on some specific jobs with general data - not sure about the performance though.

A good approach to implement AI in SuiteCRM might be to add it to the workflows.
There could be a logic like:
When a new lead is created via the webform and entered the website, open this website, write a 2 sentence summary and write it into a field Website summary.
(I’ve integrated SuiteCRM with Drupal as a customer portal - there is an interesting approach / module:

Automating email replies, well - depends on TOFU or BOFU.
I don’t think any general AI would be able to reply BOFU - that might be even difficult with a trained model on local data like and others.

Not speaking about GDPR in the first place - smaller companies in the EU might ignore this topic or don’t even know about details.
But in midsized and larger organizations, that’s a big no go.

Most of the business use at the moment seems to be questionable and being done without asking for consent when summarizing and transcribing phone calls and online meetings.
That would definitely be another great help for the sales team.

That’s an ease of use topic - it’s just so easy to hand all my (my customers) data over to Google, ChatGPT and others and they make my life so easy.
At the same time - at least in Europe - we’re at a huge disadvantage because of all the regulations.

So yes, the urge is there - clearly.
It would most likely help SuiteCRM in the marketing as well.
As for the CRM users, it would be interesting to have a list of day to day tasks and priorities to see where the AI potentials really are, in combination with an estimation of how low the fruit is hanging.
The VTiger prompt builder looks like a nice feature indeed. An implementation like this would probably require a bigger project.