451 Research announced the publication of a complimentary research report, “Emerging vendors in the bots space,” which shows that despite the relatively recent emergence of smart bots a number of startups focused on natural language processing (NLP) and building bots are generating investor interest as they begin to transition their customer base from trials into paying customers as early as this year.
451 Research’s analysts believe that bots are the new tech gold rush. Although media hype has put the spotlight on smart bots and their use for customer engagement and ‘conversational commerce’, 451 Research believes their impact extends beyond consumer-facing apps.
The report profiles 12 innovative vendors focused on natural language processing (NLP) and other technologies for bot building and integration with messaging applications. These vendors were chosen because they are working on innovative technologies to help companies use smart bots to transform the ways they engage with customers, partners and employees.
Bot-framework platform services include hosting, testing, databases for storing bots, user and application data, and bot statistics and usage data. The services provided by these platforms are very similar, but the vendors featured in this category are seeking differentiation based on advanced features, including NLP and machine learning capabilities, bots-building with minimal coding, a visual editor component and integration into standard dev toolchain. Emerging contenders in this space covered in the report are:
NLP services are the ‘smart’ component in smart bots and focus primarily on developing conversational user interfaces. The vendors selected in this subcategory are specialist and pure-play vendors with strong IP; and some, but not all, are beginning to gain market traction. The report focuses on:
The primary focus for service connectors is in connecting web services, messaging channels and APIs. Startsups covered in the report are:
- Flow XO
Raúl Castañón-Martínez, Senior Analyst at 451 Research noted, “Most of the vendors we cover in this report are early-stage startups, and not many have launched general availability of their products, but we can see how rapidly the industry is evolving. With demand for their services set to grow over the next 12 months, we expect many of these vendors will actively seek outside investment to continue their product development efforts and to expand their business development activities. We also expect that many vendors will begin to transition their customer base from trials into paying customers as early as this year.
“Market hype makes it challenging to identify startups with more substantial offerings, but some companies are showing progress. The vendors included in our report do not make for an exhaustive list, but they are playing a significant role in defining how the space is evolving. They are also good examples for each of the categories, and together they provide a comprehensive vision of the emerging bots space,” added Castañón-Martínez.