10 Questions to Ask Your AI/RPA Vendor

When you are looking to engage a AI/RPA vendor, there will definitely be a lot of questions on your mind. As a AI/RPA vendor, here are 10 questions that are essential to ask.

1. Does the vendor have experience in your domain?

Most of the AI or RPA projects will require the project team to work closely with the business users. If the AI or RPA consultants does not have the knowledge of the domain, they will spend plenty of time trying to understand your business process and terms. This will cost you your valuable time.

2. How do they ensure the machine model they build for you remains relevant?

Machine learning models are built based on past data. However, if the business environment changes, the machine learning model will be less accurate. The vendor must have a way to refresh the training of the models. Or else, you need to spend extra time recreating new models and retraining the robot.

3. Who are their team members?

Does their team members have relevant experience? Do they communicate well with your team? Having the right chemistry and communication is important in order to to complete the project successfully.

4. Are their staff permanent or are they contract workers?

Many big companies do not have permanent consultants. They might only hire staff when they receive a new project. This is very risky as no one will be there to support/help you when the project is completed. The company might not have the capability to help you with any issues once the project/contract has ended.

5. What technologies are they using for their vendor project?

Are they using the latest programming language to develop their software? Is this programming language popular? If their programming language is not popular/well known, you may face issues getting support.

6. Are they going to provide knowledge transfer after the project?

Most vendors will agree on this. However, it is good to check with them or their past customers. You may have to pay high maintenance fee if the vendor refuse to transfer knowledge. Do they also have a good way to train your team?

7. Do they have sufficient projects to stay in your location?

When you get an AI/RPA consultant, it is important that they are supported by the product vendor. So that if the consultant is not around, the product vendor will continue to support them. Does the product have enough customers in your area? If not, they might withdraw anytime.

8. What types of support are you getting after the project?

Can you still speak to the consultant who implemented your project? It is important to be able to get the consultant you worked with since day 1. If not, is the software easy enough to be understood by you and your team?

9. Will the key consultant stay with you the whole project?

It is good to ensure that the vendor has a way to ensure the key consultant is working with you from day 1 to the end of the project. If not, if you key consultant leaves, you will need to go over everything again with your new consultant. This will cause you to waste your time and money.

10. Are the solutions maintainable and upgradable in the future?

When the vendor upgrades the software, is it backward compatible? Some products are difficult to upgrade when there is new version. Instead, they need you to redo the project. This can be very costly for you.

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Written by: Christopher Lim

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