There is a problem most independent enterprise software vendors have – how to expand the perceived usefulness of your applications in your customer’s operations.
There is a danger is doing something completely different and groundbreaking. You are not Oracle or Microsoft or any of the big software and cloud companies who can quickly jump into new markets. You most easily grow by expanding your functionality incrementally into business areas related to your core applications.
Artificial Intelligence (AI) is marketed as a giant leap by big tech. For them, AI is a giant marketing leap, but when you examine how they are using AI in their products and services, it is an incremental expansion of core functionality.
Big tech understands that one day AI may rule the world, but that path is walked one step at a time.
As an independent software vendor (ISV) you must take the same approach. You can talk big futures with customers, but you have to deliver substantial ROI in the near term to get more money from your customers. Talking about AI gives you a marketing message that can differentiate you. Delivering AI for customers is how you will make money.
Since you don’t have the financial resources to create, market, sell, and support completely new applications, your AI needs to be an extension of your current applications. This is a balancing act for you. Be too timid, and the AI message to customers is dismissed as trivial. If you are too bold, you risk overreach, and your customer’s viewing your AI efforts as too far from how they use your applications.
Consider one instance of banks deploying AI.
Mobile depositing of checks is only possible through handwriting recognition. Handwriting recognition was cutting edge AI in the 1990s. Now it is used from within an app on someone’s phone. Making mobile deposits from smartphones is an incremental service addition for the bank that uses AI.
This application of AI took about 12-15 years to move from academic research to commercial product trusted to perform financial transactions. AI functions don’t take that long anymore!
With the increase in computing power offered by cloud options, AI functions take a small percent as long to train and test as they use to. With more modular software designs, AI functions can be easily built into existing software unlike software architectures of just a few years ago. These factors and a few others mean the time to commercialize AI functions is a fraction of what it was only 5 or so years ago.
If your time to do market research, AI development, deploy, market and begin selling, takes longer than 6 months you are doing it wrong!
We usually see the time to define what AI functions customers are most willing to pay for, create an AI marketing message, and modify and expand sales processes takes longer than the development phase.
Are you ready to start adding AI to your enterprise applications?