There’s nothing more frustrating than deciding the right AI/RPA vendor you wanna deal with — before realizing you also need approvals from the decision-makers. It’s going to take much longer to get the deal done than you’d anticipated.
Unfortunately, this is a common occurrence in deploying an AI/RPA project. However, you can avoid the situation completely by researching your vendors and asking the right questions during the discovery process.
When you are looking to engage an AI/RPA vendor, there will definitely be a lot of questions on your mind. As an 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. For example, if you are in the logistics industry, check if your vendor has successfully implemented in a logistics/ shipping/ trucking/ freight-forwarding company before.
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?
Do 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 project?
Are they using the underlying technologies that will support your growing requirements? If your vendor is using legacy or old technologies that has restriction, you may face issues getting support. For example, if a software application is built on a platform that can accommodate increasing scope of intelligence (A.I.), then you are better prepared for your future needs.
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? Or check if you have access to the original vendor (creators of the software), so that you know who to go to, in case the project implementation team decides to move elsewhere.
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 one. 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 one to the end of the project. If not, if your 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.
Our software, Gleematic are the answers to all of your questions.
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Written by: Christopher Lim