If you want to implement AI in your business processes or develop an application based on artificial intelligence, the success of this initiative will depend not only on the idea and its potential for your business but also on the company that you choose as your partner. In this article, the SPD Group reviewed Top AI Companies and talked about how to select the best vendor for implementing AI solutions.
Top AI Companies 2020 Research Results
To help you navigate the AI services market, SPD Group tested five companies from different countries and gathered the results into a comprehensive picture. As part of this study, companies were evaluated based on response speed, qualifications, remote interaction, prices, level of service, and scaling.
A company received the highest score from Kiev and Tel Aviv, since
- They showed the best qualifications – all projects completed by the company have a very narrow specialization, thanks to which they can solve the most non-standard tasks related to Artificial Intelligence AI and machine learning.
- The responsiveness of the response was terrific and was only 30 minutes, and it was possible to get a reaction from the COO.
- The company shows very competent management, which begins with a technical director and gradually extends to the entire team. The development process documented by the contract and may also be regulated by the NDA.
- The company very carefully approaches the planning of the budget and time. Provided that the company received all the necessary data from the client and they are correct, the team can predict the timing and cost with maximum accuracy.
- If during development, a client makes changes to his requirements, the company immediately reassesses the necessary time and finances to save the client from surprises at the end of development.
- The team is ready to support and scale your project for as long as you need it.
In general, this was a picture of the ideal AI companies, and that is why it won first place in the study. Moreover, you can use these criteria to find your best partner, and in the meantime, we will tell you some more important things that you need to pay attention to before making the final decision about hiring an AI development company.
How to Choose an AI Vendor in 6 Steps
So, you already understood how the process should be built in an ideal way. Now let’s look at the real steps that will help you get such a seamless collaboration, as well as important indicators that you need to check before you start.
Set the Right Goals and Make Sure That You and the AI Companies Understand Them the Same Way
Of course, AI development should have a goal. “Everyone does it” or “Competitors have already done it” – these are, at best, reasons, but not goals. For example, if you want to develop an AI companies solution for your retail business, then your final goal should be expressed in quantitative terms – for example, increase sales by x%.
Moreover, your goal is where your conversation with the AI Company’s representative should begin. If he did not ask you a question about why you need it, this is a bad sign.
Find out What Technologies They Use for Their Business
There is nothing shameful in this question. No one will tell you what a secret for business is, but if the company somehow solves the problem that is in tune with your business, then this is also an opportunity for them to show that they deserve to be your partner. And you can be sure that you can follow in the footsteps of a successful strategy, solving your business tasks.
Contact Previous Customers and Ask for Real Reviews
Unfortunately, fake reviews are a reality, including for the IT sector. The only way to get real feedback is to ask a direct question to someone who has already contacted this company. Do not hesitate to ask for contacts from previous customers – honest companies will give them to you with pleasure, and will only be happy to confirm their reputation in your eyes.
If you have preliminary ideas about which technologies to use for your plan, this is undoubtedly good. However, the opinion of a professional will also not be excessive. Therefore, do not rush to give up advice, but do not speed to agree – ask to argue how exactly this technology will manifest itself in development and what benefits this decision has for you.
Ask About Time and Cost
If the company has rich experience and an extensive portfolio, then with a high probability, it already had to solve problems similar to yours. And therefore, they will be able to predict the necessary time and financial costs. However, remember that nothing can be 100% accurate, and in any case, leave a small margin of both time and money for development.
Key Selection Criteria
Now let’s look at the criteria that you need to evaluate before you begin.
The right business approach. The company pursues your goals first, and only then – it is own.
- Duration of work in the market: Newly created companies can resort to dumping, only to get you as a client. Pay attention to this point when discussing the introductory price.
- Using AI technology in their business: It would be at least strange if the company offering AI solutions did not use them in their business.
- Availability of portfolio and real reviews: Feel free to ask to talk about previous experiences and contact previous customers.
- Established communication: Your potential partner should immediately describe to you how you will interact within each sprint.
- All team members in one place: It is an ideal option. However, if the company suits you according to all other criteria, then a dedicated team can also be capable of the proper organization of work and communication.
- Well-established teamwork system: Firstly, the team must support the Agile methodology to ensure the flexibility of development at each stage, and secondly, the tools for working within the team should be professional. Skype or Trello is not very professional, although this approach may work.
- Narrow specialization and professionalism: If a company says that it equally successfully develops WordPress sites and AI systems, then this is at least strange.
- The opportunity for your participation in the development: Honest and reliable companies always invite a client to the office for the first meeting, and then once a few weeks for a personal assessment of the result.
Choosing Data Science Consulting Company – Let’s Make a Final Decision
We recommend evaluating a potential partner for developing AI systems based on these criteria. Also, you can conduct your research and testing of companies based on our algorithm. In any case, do not limit your choices and request preliminary consultation in several places at once to understand which criteria are the most important for you.
Helen Kovalenko is IT Project Manager at SPD Group AI Development Company. She is working in a Data Science Team over the NLP, Computer Vision, and Fraud Detection solutions, and gladly shares her researches and developments in her blog posts.