Artificial Intelligence is one of the most important technologies of the 21st century so far, and different forms of AI have revolutionized all kinds of industries from automobiles to logistics.
You might not even have realized it, but there are so many different AI tools out there that there is almost certainly at least one (and quite possibly more than one) that can help take your business to new heights.
The problem, though, is deciding which one.
Due to the fact that there are so many of them, it can be very hard to know which ones are legit and which ones aren’t as useful as they appear.
Buying the wrong one could lead to serious disappointment and potentially even scupper your business’s plans for expansion or consolidation.
That’s why we’ve put together this guide to help you make the choice about what’s best for your business’s situation.
We’ll consider a few different AI business tools here, and take you through why we think they’re some of the best around for various key roles in today’s environment.
That’s not all though – be sure to check out our buyer’s guide and frequently asked question section below for the full lowdown on what you need to know before you make your choice.
For now, though, let’s get into the tools!
OpenEdge is an AI system that uses an advanced cognitive data science platform to provide data for a variety of purposes.
To keep things simple, it uses complex machine learning and predictive analytics to fuse internal customer data with data from a wide variety of external sources.
It then uses this combination to give specific insights that come with concrete actions that your business can then take.
For example, it is used by a US Fortune 10 retailer to predict the demographics of its customers.
It is also used by one of the US’s leading membership associations to recommend new products to their customer base.
Additionally, a large French telecommunications company uses OpenEdge to predict failure in its set-top boxes.
As you can see, it has a variety of useful predictive and analytical applications. Despite the fact that the way it works with and analyses data is very complex, it’s surprisingly simple to use.
The software that OpenEdge provides allows you to operate it with simple clicks of your mouse button.
Even if you do have any trouble with the user interface, the customer service is also excellent and should be able to help you out.
So, if your business works with data in any significant way, DataRPM might be the ideal way for you to make better use of that data.
It can enable you to better predict customer wants and needs, analyze trends, and help you solve problems before they even happen.
- Powerful analytical and predictive powers.
- Useful for a range of applications.
- Simple and intuitive user interface.
- Great customer support.
- Writing back to legacy data stores can be a chore.
One problem that exists for all businesses is coordinating meetings, appointments, and the like.
Different ones can get logged on different software – Google Calendar, Zoom, Skype, and so on – and, with everybody so busy, it can be easy to miss one, or to get the time wrong.
X.ai exists to make sure that this never happens again by integrating all appointments from all different software into one, straightforward schedule.
You’ll never have to click through four or five different tabs to try and line up all your appointments again!
Even better is the fact that it helps you to schedule meetings without you having to do the hard work of arranging them.
It can find a suitable time for you by itself and coordinate with your guests and colleagues in real time to make sure it works for them too.
It can also handle cancellations and reschedule as necessary. All you need to do is link your calendar with X.ai, and it will start to do its thing right away.
The amount of time you’ll save on long exchanges of emails with people to set up meeting times is amazing.
These will become a thing of the past with X.ai, and you’ll also love the way it eliminates human error.
However, one thing to take note of is that X.ai uses two AI bots called Amy and Andrew to coordinate things, and you can give them instructions.
A couple of users have found that some of their colleagues or clients haven’t realized that they are bots.
This has resulted in some frustrating conversations, so changing their names to make it clear that they’re not human might be a good idea.
- No need to even install anything.
- Can schedule across multiple time zones and companies.
- Very good customer service team.
- AI bots might confuse some who don’t realize they’re not human.
One thing that’s important for any business that wants to expand is to attract and cultivate new customer relationships.
That’s exactly what Conversica is designed to do by using Intelligent Virtual Assistants (IVA).
Basically, it helps your business to find and secure new customers in a fast and effective way.
It does this by automatically reaching out to potential customers, engaging with them, qualifying details, and then following up with them.
It also allows AI to work with real people for customer retention, with relatively little need for human intervention.
The company’s AI assistants are remarkably human-like, have a personal touch, and are capable of providing accurate information.
They have a huge range of purpose-built conversational skills and they’re backed up by a high-quality AI platform.
This means that they can handle a wide range of situations and topics easily.
In a busy company, the sales team is often facing the brunt. They might not have time to contact everybody and even if they do, mistakes can creep in with high workloads.
Conversica eliminates this problem, giving an assistant that doesn’t need time off and that is always there to provide support.
It can handle all potential clients and then direct the most promising ones to a human sales rep, cutting their workload and improving their performance.
- Handles most queries and conversations easily.
- Can decide which customers need to be referred to a human sales rep.
- Needs minimal oversight once set up.
- Entering in all the raw data it needs to work can be time-consuming to start with.
Handling payments is of vital importance for just about any business.
It’s not always easy though, and with a range of different incomings and outgoings, it can be hard to keep track manually.
Yooz solves that problem by providing a cloud-based purchase-to-pay (P2P) automation solution that’s fast, powerful, and simple to use.
No longer will you have to deal with paper invoices. What’s more, the invoices you do have will be processed more quickly and with much less requirement for manual input.
You’ll also be able to approve invoices no matter where you are, as long as you have an internet connection.
There’s also the option to communicate through Yooz about any given invoice.
These communications will be on the record, which is useful for keeping track of any problems or changes.
As a result of all this, your accounts payable staff will have much more time to work more effectively where they’re truly needed.
It’s also ideal for a business where staff often (or always) work from home since there’s no need for it to be accessed from a company computer to work.
It can also interface with other relevant software like Sage, Nvoicepay, and so on to unify your company’s payment system.
- Makes processing invoices much quicker.
- Can be accessed from anywhere.
- Integrates well with other relevant software.
- User interface could be improved.
Writing reports and other documents is one of the most time and labor-intensive tasks for a business. It’s not just a case of getting raw data down on a page.
A report has to explain what that data means, and why it’s important for the business. To top it off, it has to do that in a way that’s well presented, grammatically correct, and stylistically appropriate.
Quill is an AI tool that can make this process much easier.
It uses advanced Natural Language Generation software to analyze data from various sources and then present it in well-written narratives that will explain its meaning and significance.
These reports are perfect either for members of the company or customers and clients and can be created on any scale.
You can also be sure that they’ll be written in a natural, human style that makes them a pleasure to read.
It can also adapt to any specific tone or communication style that you like your business to use.
The advantage of being able to customize the reports to include the data that’s most relevant to your clients’ interests is a game changer, and will free up your staff to spend more time on work where they’re most needed.
- Flexible and can adapt to whatever tone you want it to use.
- Creates intelligent narratives, not just lists of data or simple observations.
- Free trial available.
- Can take a while to get used to when starting out.
With so many different forms of AI tools out there, it might be hard to know which ones are best for your business.
We’ll give you a bit of advice so that you can be sure you’re making the right choice.
If you have a limited budget then buying an off-the-shelf AI might be a better solution than trying to build a custom system yourself.
It takes far less time and money than building a custom one, and you won’t need an expert to help you figure out all the things that only occur to you after you’ve been working on it for months.
Plus, the benefits of having a ready-made system come with some freebies too – such as free support from the developer team – that would otherwise require paying for expensive services.
However, if you prefer to invest your resources into something that’s going to produce results, then choose custom AI systems because they’re likely to fit your needs more specifically.
Also, if you don’t have enough experience to design your own program, you’d probably be better off using an experienced development firm since they’ll already know how to design programs for businesses the same way as yours.
When choosing an AI tool, you should compare products based on their learning curve.
The lower the learning curve, the faster you will achieve a level of productivity that suits your needs while still allowing enough flexibility for growth.
So, if you plan on growing your business over the next few years, it will be worth investing in a product with low learning curves, rather than waiting until you’re fully self-sufficient before upgrading.
Ease Of Use
Related to the previous point is the concept of ease of use.
While any business tool will have some kind of learning curve, some are just harder than others to use no matter how much training you have.
If you think a certain AI-powered tool is too complex for your needs, then it might be better to go without it, especially if your business is on the smaller side, or if you don’t have employees with more advanced knowledge, training, and experience.
Whatever you decide to buy, you’ll likely need at least some support, particularly in the initial stages when you’re finding your feet with the new technology.
Even if you pay someone else to do it instead of doing it yourself, you’ll probably still either need some assistance or guidance.
But either way, it pays to go with a company that offers good customer support for the times when things aren’t going to plan.
You’ll find that a lot of AIs will integrate with other software that you might be using, and this can be very useful.
It’s ideal if an invoicing AI integrates well with your payroll software, for example.
For that reason, it’s a good idea to check which other AI tools or software suites any new technology will integrate with.
Some will be compatible with what you’re already using whereas others might not be.
Frequently Asked Questions
How Is AI Used As A Business Tool?
The two main ways that AI has become so popular within the business world are through its capacity to act as a digital assistant, and through its ability to automate tasks.
These capabilities allow companies to save money by cutting down on human labor costs, while also freeing up real humans to do other work.
Answering questions like “What time does our delivery come?” and “Do we need to add anything extra to the order?” can easily be handled without the need for a person standing there taking notes – and that’s exactly why many businesses have turned to artificial intelligence as a means to handle day-to-day operations.
Specifically, the ability of AI to crunch and analyze data to produce actionable insights is one of its greatest strengths, and is in fact one of the most important technologies in modern business.
What Is Out-Of-The-Box AI?
Sometimes also known as off-the-shelf AI, out-of-the-box AI is an AI system that will work for you with minimal setup and adjustment required.
They should be understood in contrast to custom AI systems. Custom AI systems can be built from the ground up to fit the exact needs of a specific business or even a specific situation.
While this can be fantastically useful, it also requires a huge investment of time and resources to conduct the research and testing that’s required to make it work.
Out-Of-The-Box AI requires far less time and effort at the cost of a somewhat less flexible and custom-designed product.
This makes them especially good for small businesses that can’t afford the major investment that custom AI systems require.
However, if you do want something that’s truly customizable, then you may prefer to go down the custom route.
Either way, both types of AI are extremely powerful and can be used for a wide range of purposes.
What’s The Most Important Thing To Consider When Buying An AI Tool?
One thing you can look for when choosing between these similar AI tools is the number and quality of features and functions they offer.
While every product does pretty much everything equally well, certain features may be preferable to others depending on whether you’re looking for something that offers basic functionality or something complex.
For example, a tool dedicated to writing the first draft of reports is unlikely to provide many extra features apart from making narrative reports but could save you hours in comparison to an application designed for creating highly interactive presentations.
So, there you have it, a guide to some of the best AI business tools on the market today.
As you’ll now see, these tools can fulfil a whole range of different functions for a business, and it’ll be up to you to decide where the greatest need lies for your company.
You should be perfectly equipped to make the decision if you’ve read our buyers’ guide and FAQ section, so get out there and grow that business!