TechNavio and/or Sandler Research recently published a new report entitled “Global Intelligent Virtual Assistant Market 2014-2018.” The report is available from both TechNavio and Sandler Research and I’m unclear on the relationship between the two organizations.
The report is very optimistic in terms of the expected growth rate of the burgeoning IVA industry, predicting a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 39.32 percent over the period 2013-2018.
The synopsis of the report indicates that it differentiates between three key regional markets: Americas, EMEA, and APAC. It also examines the IVA market within four major market segments, which they call Banking and Financial Sector, Education Sector, Travel Sector, and Retail Sector.
The summary published by TechNavio lets the cat out of the bag in terms of the top-rated intelligent virtual assistant vendors. Top ranking goes to Creative Virtual Ltd., eGain Corp., IntelliResponse, NextIT Corp. and Nuance. These top companies appear to be listed in alphabetical order.
The report also lists other IVA vendors that made the list of prominent companies. There are some notable omissions from this secondary list. One omission is Artificial Solutions, which not only offers virtual assistant technology, but which recently announced a network for connecting specialized virtual assistants with other assistants, which they call the Teneo Network of Knowledge. Also missing from the list of vendors is Expertmaker. Both Artificial Solutions and Expertmaker made the list of IVA vendors in the recent Enterprise Intelligent Assistant report by Opus Research.
Smaller, independent chatbot platform providers such as BOT libre! and Second Ego don’t make the list either, which is probably not surprising given their recent appearance in the marketplace and the fact that they have low market penetration at this point.
The report examines the demand for cloud-based intelligent virtual assistants versus for on premises solutions. It also provides potential buyers of IVA services with market buying criteria. A large portion of the report is focused on a detailed analysis of each of the five top-ranked IVA companies, including in-depth looks at the business and a strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats (SWOT) analysis.
Though I don’t have access to the full report, there are a few takeaways from just reading the summary:
- Firstly, it seems that the word “assistant” is becoming more entrenched, displacing the use of the word “agent” to describe conversational user interfaces that offer personal assistance to customers or individual users. This continues the confusion between human “virtual assistants” offering administrative business services out of their home offices versus “virtual assistants” that are conversational software programs. I suppose that’s just something we’ll have to live with.
- Secondly, although the top-ranked IVA vendors service most of the customers employing the technology, the marketplace is still diffuse and competitive. It’ll be interesting to see if there’s a consolidation in vendors over the coming few years as the IVA market expands.
The report can be purchased directly from either Sandler Research or TechNavio. A single user license to the report is listed at $2500.