What are the biggest commercial issues related to being a WFM partner of SolvedBy.Ai?

June 6, 2023

This article discusses some of the questions that potential and existing WFM partners of SolvedBy.Ai have asked us. In particular around data protection, the relationship with our sister company, ShopWorks and intellectual property.

Overall, we see our background in WFM as a huge positive to our partners; it has allowed us to develop a world-class set of AI solutions explicitly designed for WFM vendors. However, we have also taken the necessary steps to ensure our partners feel comfortable using our products.

This article is only of interest to a WFM vendor that is considering using our Forecasting, Demand or Scheduling.Ai as a partner-ready product to enhance their own workforce management software.

WFM partners with Ai Tech

SolvedBy.Ai is the sister company of a workforce management software provider, is that an issue?

On the contrary, as mentioned above, we see it as a strength. Our Ais were:

  • Developed alongside a WFM platform: Our ten years in workforce management, often trying to solve problems we now use AI to solve in more traditional computer science ways, has given us a greater understanding of the issues. Our WFM platform supports millions of new shifts per week with diverse operating models, giving us access to enormous data to train our AIs. 
  • Developed alongside our customers: We have built the AIs using a co-development model with some of the enterprise-level customers who have known and trusted us for 10-plus years. We did this with multiple customers with different operating models, and this has helped us avoid building Ais that needed to be more problem specific. This approach also led us to develop configuration tools that evolved into the partner-ready product we now offer partners.
  • Developed by WFM engineers, product managers, and data scientists: The team who built our Ais understand WFM. Not just the problems that the customer needs solving, but now a WFM system processes data, the challenges, and how to build AIs that work with the core of a WFM system.
  • API first and don’t need to see personally identifiable information (PII): Our AIs don’t need to know the name of the person they are creating a shift for or the name of the store they are forecasting sales for. We replace PII with a unique but hashed reference that our partner can decrypt on their platform, which we only know by the hashed reference.
  • Designed to be a partner-ready product from the start: We knew we would have to discuss confidentiality and data protection, so we built a partner-ready product to make these a non-issue. In particular, we created a partner-ready product which means we don’t even need to know who the customer is. With a partner-ready product, our partner can configure all three WFM-related AIs without needing the partner or the partner’s customer to speak to our data engineers. This gives complete control over the customer relationship to the partner.

As a WFM partner of SolvedBy.Ai, how do I know my customer data is safe?

As mentioned above, SolvedBy.Ai does not receive any personally identifiable information; however, we will still need to look after your data. Our data protection approach includes the following:

  • Being ISO 27001 certified
  • Cyber essentials plus certification
  • NHS data protection tool kit certified
  • Carrying a high level of cyber insurance, which can only be obtained with high standards in data protection and cyber security.

A whole host of cyber security tasks are required to obtain this level of protection; we are happy to take you through it in detail if you are keen on working with us.

What criteria would need to be in place to mean a WFM partner didn’t have to disclose the customer’s name to SolvedBy.Ai?

We are happy to discuss commercial models, meaning we don’t need to know anything about your customer, even their names. To do this, we need to meet two essential criteria.

  • The commercial model needs to be agreed upon, which can be triggered via the data in the API. For instance, if we have decided to charge per store per week, we don’t need to know the store’s name as long as we see a hashed reference per store. Other models could be per forecast or per schedule built. 
  • We need to trust your KYC. We have high ethical standards, and we need to be comfortable that our technology is only licensed to organisations that we would be happy to supply directly.

Who owns the customer?

Our partner owns the customer, and our contract says we won’t approach them without your permission. As mentioned elsewhere, we have built a partner-ready product which allows the partner to manage every element of the client relationship without ever needing to introduce our people to the customer. 

WFM partners, who owns the customer?

What happens if a WFM partner of SolvedBy.Ai and ShopWorks both bid for the same customer?

We don’t see this as an issue. It is possible that either ShopWorks and a partner, or two partners, could be approaching the same customer. From the customer’s perspective, they are offered two different workforce management solutions with additional functionalities, pricing, implementation, and support models. Both will have world-class AI-powered features, and the customer will decide based on other factors. The same competition between vendors would happen if we needed to have our AI solution.

In addition, some of our partners only take one of our AI products, so that element of the overall solution would be differentiated.

Finally, there are plenty of other examples of products sold by multiple partners within the WFM space, such as salary advance apps, BI tools, payroll integrations, etc.

As we said, we don’t see this as a big issue.

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