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Are we there yet? Five observations on the current state of the AI Market

AI is still a long way from that — people sell (and buy) solutions, services, hours worked, API access, license fees, SAAS… Service and product comparability is as much art as science and typically ROI is calculated based on a very incomplete view of the world.

So “hours saved” on document checking for example may be a relevant metric, but more likely its simply allowing a longer tail of documents to be checked that might otherwise not be.

Chatbots are the most mature of the technologies being purchased Chatbots are the automated conversational (voice or text) interfaces that now provide the first layer of responsive customer service for many consumer websites or apps.

This market increasingly resembles the website market where what once required an expensive team to build bespoke software and hand-code individual pages is now mass-advertised on TV and built with WYSIWYG functionality at scale.

For chatbot builders the ability to access standardised tools (Amazon Alexa offers conversational technology implementation for example) means that specialist AI skills are no longer required;

And so the barriers to entry are low: one UK local government chatbot procurement request apparently received over 200 expressions of interest and several start-ups are trying to build scaled SME propositions.

This means that although pricing is not yet fixed, some of the more exorbitant bespoke prices charged by high-end software consulting firms are starting to be squeezed out of the market.

Economic scale — and this is all about returns to scale - slightly favours AWS whilst concerns about potential competition make Microsoft the least threatening supplier of the three for top tier firms.

Faculty, Filament, Dessa, and Element AI are not yet household names but they are building teams who can deliver data science or machine learning solutions at speed, and most are building bespoke software tools to make this process all the easier for their clients.

Whilst they have plenty of growth now, the question is whether they can build long-term sustainable business models or simply end up as tasty morsels on Accenture’s plate.

Adopters are hitting the crunch of reality Some companies have embraced the AI revolution — typically with a “suck it and see” approach, sometimes allied to strategic thought on what AI might mean for their competitive dynamic.

Tied to this, many companies have not done the hard business thinking on what AI could mean for their companies — which makes it difficult to justify the significant investment often required to turn cheap(ish) POCs in to business as usual.

IT leaders may add complicating bell-and-whistle specifications but are often not well positioned to build the broader consensus required for delivering transformative organisational change.

Large scale consulting firms will build more confidence in doing AI (as opposed to writing papers on “Ethics”) and will marry these capabilities to their strategy and digital transformation practices.

Specialist firms will build clearer ROI evidence and experience in making organisational change happen - some are already building strategic partnerships to help them challenge the vertically integrated monoliths.

Best Sales Intelligence Software

Sales intelligence tools offer a diverse set of insights for sales teams that eliminate the manual labor involved with creating and tailoring prospect lists for sales targeting.

Some sales intelligence platforms will identify these records as they are imported within the platform itself and alert you to their presence before they become a more significant issue later on after the records are imported.

Social Media Integration — Many sales intelligence tools offer browser extensions or plugins that can import your social connections into the platform, either as additions onto existing prospect records or as completely new sales lead lists.

Technology Prospecting — A few sales intelligence tools offer features that enable users to identify what software is being used by which prospect company and download lead lists containing the information of prospects that use the specific software.

If your company provides software solutions, you may want to take features such as these into consideration to precisely focus your efforts to best satisfy the needs of a prospect as they search for a new software vendor.

Conversational AI built for scale

“By implementing Pypestream, we have been able to support our customers at any time of the day.

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