This is the second in a three-part series of reports focused on smart bots. Bots have emerged as a result of advances in artificial intelligence (AI) technologies such as natural language processing (NLP). These are coming together with voice recognition and other technologies focused on bot building and integration with messaging applications. We provide an overview of these technologies and emerging vendors that are defining the bots space.
The 451 Take
Most of the vendors covered in this report are early-stage startups; bot-building platforms emerged mostly in the last 6-12 months. A few are still in beta, while others have recently reached general availability. This paints a picture of an industry that is still in early stages, but is evolving rapidly. With demand for their services set to grow in the next year, we expect many of these vendors will begin to actively seek outside investment to continue their product development efforts and expand their business development activities. We also expect many will begin transitioning their customer base from trials into paying customers as early as this year. With the pieces of the puzzle now falling into place, we believe the next wave for mobility is ready to take off.
Emerging vendors in the bots space
As discussed in part one of our series (/reportshort?Entityld =88964), bots have become one of the key tech trends in 2016. What stands out is how rapidly bots are becoming a mainstream topic, taking over the headlines of major tech journals and keynote sessions at industry events. In the last 12 months, major OTT consumer messaging apps and leading enterprise messaging apps have jumped on the bots bandwagon. We have also seen a number of new vendors emerge in the first half of 2016 that are focused on providing bot-building tools and technologies.
We have outlined the technologies in the emerging bot space into four major categories. Our intent is to identify technologies, approaches and vendors that are playing a significant role in defining how the space is evolving. The vendors here do not make for an exhaustive list, but are good examples for each of the categories and provide a comprehensive vision of the emerging bot space.
Bot framework platforms
Bot framework platforms provide the technology and tools for building and deploying bots for consumer OTT messaging apps like Facebook Messenger, Kik and Telegram, as well as enterprise messaging platforms such as Slack. Typical services...