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Salesforce's Marc Benioff details cloud giant's push into A.I., dishes on secret client

Key Points
  • "Mad Money" host Jim Cramer speaks with Salesforce chief Marc Benioff after earnings.
  • Benioff discusses his cloud company's artificial intelligence platform and new clients, one of which he kept secret.
  • Benioff also responds to the recent disbanding of the president's councils of top CEOs.
CRM's Benioff on push into AI

Shares of Salesforce may have ticked down after the company's earnings beat, but CEO Marc Benioff was entirely forward-looking when he discussed his cloud giant's prospects with CNBC.

"We're really seeing this incredible new capability that's driving so much growth in enterprise software, artificial intelligence, and Salesforce is the first to deliver artificial intelligence in all of our products that are helping our customers do machine learning and machine intelligence and deep learning using Einstein," Benioff told "Mad Money " host Jim Cramer on Tuesday.

Einstein, Salesforce's A.I. platform, was rolled out in 2016 as the company turned its focus to cutting-edge developments in the world of software, Benioff said.

"I think everybody understands how important the cloud is. It's the single most transformative technology in enterprise software today. I think everybody understands mobility because everybody's got a cellphone and lots of apps and seen how they've moved off of PCs and onto mobility," Benioff said. "Einstein is Salesforce's AI platform that is really the next generation of Salesforce's products and it's in the hands of all of our customers right now and making a huge difference. It makes them have the ability to make much smarter decisions about their business each and every day."

On top of its earnings beat, Salesforce hit an annual revenue run-rate, or future revenue forecast, of over $10 billion faster than any other enterprise software company, ever.

Benioff touted the software giant's 24 percent revenue growth forecast, attributing it in part to the rapid growth in the customer relationship management market.

"The forecasts are that the CRM market is going to $1 trillion," Benioff told Cramer. "The CRM market has gone from being an also-ran market in enterprise software to the largest and most important market in enterprise software. It used to be operating systems, it used to be databases, it used to be other things in enterprise software. Now it's all about CRM and we are No. 1 in the fastest growing segment in enterprise software. That is growing our revenue so dramatically."

Salesforce's earnings were also driven by an array of new clients including luxury fashion brand Louis Vuitton and the United States Department of Veterans Affairs.

Benioff said Salesforce helped Louis Vuitton produce a tech-enabled watch tied to an app connected with Salesforce.

But Salesforce's biggest new client, one of the largest auto manufacturers in the world, asked the cloud company not to publicly name them.

"[They] signed a wall-to-wall agreement with us in sales, in service, in marketing, in commerce, in all these areas," Benioff said. "Very exciting."

The Department of Veterans Affairs, on the other hand, commissioned Salesforce to create an assortment of high-quality systems to help veterans connect to their customers.

When Cramer asked Benioff how he felt working for President Donald Trump's administration in light of recent controversy, the Salesforce chief offered a measured response.

"I've worked with three administrations, and I have a set of core values," Benioff said. "One of them [is] equality. Another one is love. And the things that are important to me don't change. Administrations change."

The CEO said that when Trump asked him for advice, Benioff told him to focus on apprenticeships given the rise of artificial intelligence and, following that, job displacement.

"We need to make sure we do more job retraining, and that's why we're working to have a 5 million apprenticeship dream," Benioff told Cramer. "But for the CEOs who call me and say, 'What should I do? Should I resign? Should I stay? Should I go?' I don't really know what to tell them, because I didn't join any of the councils because I really learned a long time ago the best thing I can do is just give my best advice. And the best way that I can give my best advice is not to be encumbered with any job with any administration."

Watch Marc Benioff's full interview here:

Salesforce's Marc Benioff details cloud giant's push into AI, dishes on secret client

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