ARTIFICIAL intelligence developer Xegen is on the verge of going to market with its Intellagents software.
The company, which began as a business incubation start-up at AUT Technology Park, is now ready to commercialise and take its AI software to the international market.
Xegen director Ian Shields says the company will sell directly in Australasia and has secured overseas partners in Singapore and Europe.
“We’re looking to secure more partners and recognise the need for consulting partners. At the moment we’re in early talks with BI tool specialists in this country, they have to realise we aren’t in competition with them,” he says. The company is based on a research project that founder Ian Carter undertook for Massey and Auckland universities in 2002 on the lack of usability of BI tools.
“The problem is that BI tools aren’t cheap and because of the complexity end up with only senior management able to use them. Our mission was to come up with a tool that required minimum training and allowed people to input questions. It’s a big saviour really given that we live in a data-rich environment,” says Shields.
Shields describes the cost of going to market as huge and says the company has been keen to keep burden rates low during development.
“So far we’ve only used contract staff. It’s in our business plan to take on staff but that’s dependent on sales. There’s still a lot of development to do and the plan is to produce two versions, one for large companies and one for SMEs.
“We’re not bleeding edge technology — our stuff is business hardened. Getting the pilot running is critical and then we need to get some sales in our own back yard. If we have proof of concept up and running overseas sales will be much easier.”