How C3 AI is Redefining Business Operations and Value Creation with AI

Estimated read time 6 min read

Glance of C3.AI

Helmed by seasoned Silicon Valley dynamo Tom Siebel, C3 AI stands at the forefront of the enterprise AI application software industry. Its crux lies in a robust suite of fully cohesive products, namely the C3 AI Application Platform and the C3 AI Applications. This potent duo is instrumental in facilitating, executing, and managing enterprise AI applications, while also offering a range of industry-specific SaaS enterprise AI solutions. Their goal? To propel the digital metamorphosis of global organizations into the AI-powered future.

The unique charm of C3 AI’s offering lies in their patented model-driven architecture that permeates both the Application Platform and Applications. This characteristic simplifies and expedites not just the development of Enterprise AI applications, but also their deployment and governance. All this is powered by a business model primarily centered around subscriptions.

The C3 AI software platform takes it a notch higher. It offers developers the leverage to create applications rapidly, drawing on conceptual models of every element needed by an Enterprise AI application. Gone are the days of laboring over long, intricate structured programming code to define, manage, and integrate the myriad data and microservices components. C3 AI’s platform whittles down the effort and intricacy of enterprise AI software engineering, morphing a complex problem into an efficient, manageable process.

What’s C3 AI‘s secret sauce?

Unleashing Enterprise AI Software Potential

C3 AI is known for its singular, cohesive solution that empowers customers to speedily build, execute, and manage broad-scale Enterprise AI applications across any infrastructure. Be it on major public cloud ecosystems, private or hybrid environments, or directly on the customers’ servers and processors, C3 AI’s applications can take flight effortlessly.

One of C3 AI’s strengths is in providing an effective counter to AI vendor lock-in for customers and partners. The company boasts five key pillars of software solutions, known collectively as C3 AI Software:

C3 AI Application Platform

This one-stop platform-as-a-service offering enables customers to imagine, build, deploy, and operate Enterprise AI applications on a grand scale. The platform’s versatility allows customers to create their own tailor-made Enterprise AI applications and modify, manage, and operate C3 AI Applications.

The C3 AI Application Platform’s secret weapon is a unique model-driven architecture that simplifies and accelerates the creation of enterprise AI applications. It features an “abstraction layer” that lets developers create applications using conceptual models of necessary elements, negating the need for lengthy code.

This Application Platform grants both C3 AI and its clientele the ability to develop Enterprise AI applications through conceptual models of every element the application requires—such as data objects, computing resources, data processing services, AI, and machine learning services—, sidestepping the need for convoluted, extensive code.

C3 AI Applications

C3 AI Applications is a burgeoning collection of plug-and-play, cross-industry, and industry-specific Enterprise AI applications that cater to a broad spectrum of crucial, high-value use cases. Implementing AI applications in production is a breeze, typically taking one to six months. These applications are extendable and customizable to meet customers’ specific needs.

C3 AI caters to several industries with applications such as Inventory Optimization, Supply Network Risk, Customer Churn Management, Production Schedule Optimization, Predictive Maintenance, Fraud Detection, and Energy Management.

Moreover, C3 AI provides comprehensive Enterprise AI application solutions tailor-made for various industry segments like oil and gas, chemicals, utilities, manufacturing, financial services, defense, intelligence, aerospace, healthcare, retail, and telecommunications. For each sector, C3 AI has already deployed or plans to launch an integrated suite of AI applications addressing the complete value chain.

C3 AI Ex Machina

Positioned as a no-code solution, C3 AI Ex Machina gives business analysts without data science training the power to perform data science tasks like building, configuring, and training AI models.

C3 AI Ex Machina can operate as a standalone application, replacing outdated tools with its modern, cloud-native, highly scalable architecture. In tandem with the C3 AI Application Platform, it often serves as the primary tool for non-developer business analysts to build, train, and fine-tune models.


The C3 AI CRM solution allows clients to harness the full power of Enterprise AI in their existing CRM systems, complete with sales, marketing, and customer service functionality.

This CRM solution caters to specific industry needs, designed to service sectors such as financial services, healthcare, telecommunications, oil and gas, manufacturing, utilities, aerospace, automotive, public sector, defense, and intelligence.

C3 AI Data Vision

C3 AI Data Vision is an AI-powered product offering knowledge and insight, enabling advanced network and temporal analytics through a visually interactive, workflow-enabled interface.

What’s the magic behind C3 AI’s business model?

Value Creation

C3 AI paints a bold vision: enable businesses to scale AI across all corners of their operations. Customers can implement AI applications and models to optimize every product, asset, customer transaction, and more, across all regions and sectors. The implementation is swift, with customers being able to deploy AI applications and witness results in as little as one to two quarters.

The value C3 AI creates is far from trivial, unlocking sustained value—often amounting to hundreds of millions to billions of dollars annually—stemming from reduced costs, increased revenue, and higher margins. Coupled with the robust governance of AI, ensured through C3 AI’s unified platform that offers data lineage and model governance, the company’s proposition is compelling.

Getting the Word Out: Partnerships and Sales Model

C3 AI’s growth has been fueled by strategic relationships with tech heavyweights including Amazon Web Services, Baker Hughes, ENGIE, Fidelity National Information Services, Google Cloud, Microsoft, and Raytheon. Together, these powerhouses bring to the table a vast pool of resources to establish and nurture C3 AI customer relationships on a global scale.

The company’s alliances extend to four main categories: Industry Partners, Hyperscale Cloud and Infrastructure Partners, Consulting and Services, and Independent Software Vendors. These partnerships combine C3 AI’s Enterprise AI expertise with the partners’ domain knowledge to deliver cutting-edge solutions to joint customers.

In terms of sales, C3 AI’s strategy has been focused on achieving early leadership through large enterprise sales, then swiftly moving down-market to target small and medium business segments. The sales process typically starts with product and technical presentations about C3 AI, leading to a paid trial. During this trial, C3 AI deploys a production-level application representative of the customer’s AI and digital transformation requirements.

Reaping the Rewards: Revenue Model

C3 AI’s financial health is robust, with revenues hitting $253 million in FY22. The revenue mix consists of subscription and professional services revenue. The company primarily operates a subscription-based business model that includes software, maintenance, and support services. Subscriptions accounted for 82% of the total revenue in FY22.

Professional services, including implementation services, training, and prioritized engineering services, also contribute to the company’s financial success. This underlines the company’s commitment to providing comprehensive support for its customers throughout their AI adoption journey.


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