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A New IDC MarketScape Assesses Ten General-Purpose AI Software Platform Providers

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International Data Corporation (IDC) published a new assessment of ten companies that provide general-purpose artificial intelligence (AI) software platforms. The IDC MarketScape report uses a comprehensive framework to assess these vendors relative to a set of criteria that explain both short-term and long-term success in the AI software platforms market. The evaluation also incorporates buyer perceptions of these providers’ key characteristics and capabilities.

The ten AI software platform providers evaluated in this MarketScape report are: Amazon Web Services, CognitiveScale, EdgeVerve, IBM, Loop AI Labs, Microsoft, Salesforce, SAS, Tencent, and Wipro.

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General-purpose artificial intelligence software platforms provide the functionality to analyze, organize, access, and provide advisory services based on a range of structured and unstructured information. These services generally fit into one of three categories: user/data interaction, knowledge representation, and learning. The platforms also offer APIs and microservices to build AI applications as well as the tools and methodologies to incorporate these capabilities into AI applications. The technology components of AI software platforms include text analytics, rich media analytics (such as audio, video, and image), tagging, searching, machine learning, categorization, clustering, hypothesis generation, question answering, visualization, filtering, alerting, and navigation.

“As the AI software platforms market continues to mature, customers are looking for vendors that offer a wide range of APIs and services as well as tools to help them identify, develop, and productionize AI applications. Success in this rapidly evolving space requires AI software platform vendors to continue to innovate and provide production-ready AI APIs and microservices, tools to help customers accelerate development and deployment as well as continuing to invest in people, skills, IP, and partnerships to remain competitive,” said David Schubmehl, research director, AI Software Platforms at IDC.

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Organizations are using general-purpose AI software platforms to develop and put into production process and industry applications that automatically learn, discover, and make recommendations or predictions. The disciplines where artificial intelligence/machine learning (ML) algorithms and technologies can significantly impact an organization may span a variety of areas, including finance, sales, risk management, R&D, procurement, HR, marketing, and performance management. Anti-money laundering, patient outcomes, telco churn, retail pricing, asset management, and logistics are just some examples of industry applications where AI/ML technologies have proven to be useful.

“As more organizations move their use of AI from pilots and proof of concept to production, customers are increasingly looking for vendors to partner closely with them to ensure AI success,” added Hayley Sutherland, senior research analyst for AI Software Platforms. “This includes vendor capabilities like outcomes-based pricing, co-creation of use cases, and the development of accompanying KPIs and ROI models that reflect a deep understanding of the customer’s business.”

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