New Zealand based artificial intelligence software vendor Ambit is pursuing a channel strategy to drive business for its SaaS-based technology.
CEO Josh Comrie told Reseller News that in New Zealand, the company has worked direct to market to win major accounts such as ACC, Vector, Tower, Vodafone and others, but has also built a three-tier channel and expects around half its sales to flow from that in future.
Ambit's distribution partner in New Zealand is Vodafone, which sees the technology as an opportunity to elevate its discussions to the CIO/CDO level when selling networking and communications products.
With expansion into Australia now accelerating after a capital raising, that relationship has not yet been replicated across the ditch.
Ambit, which dubs itself a "conversation platform", announced it had raised $1.75 million last month to fund development and growth.
The company's platform enables organisations to design, build, integrate and analyse "digital employees".
The second layer of Ambit's channel is its integration and value-added reseller partnerships, with Jade and Fusion 5. As the company expands into Australia and beyond, this is set to be an area of focus for the company as it helps ensure better outcomes for customers.
Comrie, who is relocating to Sydney to drive growth there, said both companies have a strong Australian presence.
Finally there are development partners such as current partner Paymark and potentially other large software and platform developers. These companies all require user interfaces and will move towards conversation at some point, Comrie said.
Ambit is the intelligence behind several conversational interfaces such as Vodafone’s Tui, KPMG’s Kea, Flexigroup’s Bosley, Glassons’ Charlie, and Vector’s Watt.
New investors include Sir David Levene’s investment vehicle Lewis Holdings and Sir Stephen Tindall’s K1W1.
After Australia the company is also eyeing the US market to win a share of what is expected to be a high-growth opportunity. The company has appointed a partner there but details are currently confidential.
“By 2020, the AI market is estimated to be worth US$1.2 trillion and the natural language processing industry is expected to reach US$13.4 billion," Comrie said.
Major competitors are the developers of bespoke services such as Datacom, Accenture and Intergen.
However, because it is delivered as SaaS, Ambit is claiming an advantage. The platform enables completion of what would otherwise be a 12-month project within four to eight weeks, Comrie said.
"Today nobody would consider building a CRM system from the bottom up," he said. "There's no reason to, it's a platform play."
Comrie and and COO Tim Warren co-founded Ambit with technologist and CTO Gareth Cronin. The company has more than 20 staff.