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Process Of Project Selection
1.2 Identify the Factors that Contribute to the Process of Project Selection

BothSORTLY andChatBot are related to customer experience, satisfaction and growth. Therefore, the comparison is a necessity for successful and adequate selection of a project.

BandCamp’s senior management uses three general approaches to evaluate the significance of these projects: User Feedback, Technical Evaluation, and Financial Comparison. Presented below are the outcomes of each approach and their relevant conclusions.

BandCamp’s website displayed a survey for a month. The survey asked users which of the following functionalities/projects they would prefer to see on the website.

The following projects were presented:

  1. SORTLY
  2. CampBot
  3. Categories
  4. MenuBar
  5. Aesthetics

The numbers collected by the survey has shown the following picture:

Process Of Project SelectionAccording to the gathered data, an improved sorting engine prevails above the rest of the projects. Chris (2017) reports thatthe good search functionality is one of the vital factors for increasing revenue in 2018. Project like SORTLY will increase users experience, most importantly by increasing users trust in the website, and it is also highly likely to boost the brand name popularity.

  1. CampBot

According to Darvin.AI (2017), chatbot applications are very expensive to develop and these are some of the reasons.

Backend: The chatbot always needs a backend to handle massages and process them. Also, the backend will contain all the business logic, together with integrations with existing legacy code. Another important part of the backend is the conversational intelligence, so that the bot knows how to deal with conversations with users. So, the backend cost will be:

Task Tools Hours Cost
Server Setup & Deployment AWS, Node.js, MS Bot Framework 4 ~£240.00

Channels: After everything is finished in the backend, endpoints will need to be established to integrate with each channel, and each channel integration is different. In general, however, the practice is to setup endpoints to communicate messages relying on authorisations and access tokens (Darvin.AI, 2017).

Task Tools Hours Cost
Channel Integration & Setup MS Bot Framework 4 ~£240.00
Channel UI Config CampBot 4 ~£240.00
Config of rich UI JavaScript, HTML, CSS 16 ~£950.00

Natural Language Understanding: After everything so far is finished, and messages have been successfully communicated, it is required to use some Natural Language Processing (NLP) to extract entities or/and intents from the users’ messages (Darvin.AI, 2017).

Task Tools Hours Cost
Setup NLP Service – Basic Expressions Wit.ai, Api.ai, Luis 8 ~£480.00
Training NLP Service Wit.ai, Api.ai, Luis 40 ~£2,400.00
Data Extraction & Validation .NET, Node.js 40 ~£2,400.00

Conversational Intelligence: At this point things are starting to get sophisticated. The design of an intelligent conversation derivative out of NLP extracts can be a nightmare for the development team. Algorithms are required for each conversation, and without any more details here are the costs (Darvin.AI, 2017).

Task Tools Hours Cost
Decision-tree Algorithm to Handle Conversations Based on NLP Extract .NET, Node.js 160 ~£9.600.00
Integration with Existing Services (middleware) .NET, Node.js 40 ~£2.400.00

Integrations: Integrate with the existing system so chatbot can execute business processes of Bancamp.com. Such process might be the purchase of albums, songs etc. The integration involves business logic validation, rules and many other technicalities (Darvin.AI, 2017).

Task Tools Hours Cost
Middleware API (business logic, validations, operations etc.) .NET, Node.js 200 ~£12.000.00

Total cost of chatbot:

According to the experiences of Darvin.AI (2017):

Tasks Hours Cost
Implementation of Chatbot ~320 ~£18.900.00
Integration with Existing System ~200 ~£12.000.00
Administration UI (optional) ~70 ~£4000.00
Total ~£35.000

An optional Control Panel can be added, which will further increase the total cost. As presented above the price highly exceeds the amount granted by the management. There is an option for this project, to use external open source or commercial solutions, customised to fit Bandcamp.com requirements. However, this will create a dependence, where Bandcamp.com is dependent on a third-party, for the development, maintenance and future support of the chatbot. This is an element that Bandcamp’s management will prefer to avoid.

  1. SHORTLY

Project SHORTLY can be implemented within the given infrastructure and for Bandcamp’s needs could be relatively easy to develop, maintain and support. As SHORTLY, is a simpler project it will not require as much breakdown of the costs of each task. However, this does not mean the importance of understanding the project costs is inferior.

According to Heng (2016), there are three main methods of adding a search engine on a website.

  1. Installing Own Search Engine Script
  2. Using a Free or Commercial Third Party Hosted Search Engine Service
  3. Using the Major Search Engines

As it is expected to use ElasticSearch to develop the solution for SHORTLY, the second method is applicable.

Advantages/Disadvantages of Method 2:

Factors Cost
Human Cost
Hardware
Software
Maintenance
Support
Total

According to Heng (2016), adding a search engine on the website improves site navigation. This means that Bandcamp.com users will be enabled to find items in the website way easier, potentially increasing sales. Also, Chris (2017) stated in his research that good website search engines enhances organisational reputation and attracts more users.

Evaluate projects in terms of functionality and user experience.

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