OpenAI's Altman pitches ChatGPT Enterprise to large firms, including some Microsoft customers

OpenAI's Altman pitches ChatGPT Enterprise to large firms, including some Microsoft customers



OpenAI's Altman pitches ChatGPT Enterprise to large firms, including some Microsoft customers

15 Apr, 2024

Sam Altman, CEO of OpenAI, has convened gatherings with hundreds of executives from Fortune 500 companies in San Francisco, New York, and London this month. At these events, Altman and other OpenAI leaders presented AI services tailored for corporate use, sometimes competing directly with their financial supporter, Microsoft, according to attendees who spoke to Reuters. These roadshow-like events highlight OpenAI's efforts to diversify its revenue streams by tapping into corporate markets worldwide, potentially encroaching on the territory of its key partner. The trio of meetings with senior corporate leaders, two in the U.S. last week and one in London on Monday, had not been previously disclosed.

Altman addressed over 100 executives in each city, offering product demonstrations alongside COO Brad Lightcap. These demonstrations included showcases of ChatGPT Enterprise, an enterprise-grade version of their popular chatbot; software facilitating connections between customer applications and OpenAI's AI services, known as APIs; and their new text-to-video models. OpenAI assured potential customers that data from ChatGPT Enterprise would not be used to train its models. Executives from various industries, such as finance, healthcare, and energy, were engaged in discussions about potential applications, such as call-center management and translation. OpenAI pointed out that the consumer version of its chatbot is already widely adopted by Fortune 500 companies.

During the events, some attendees questioned why they should pay for ChatGPT Enterprise when they are already Microsoft customers. Altman and Lightcap responded by emphasizing the advantages of paying for the enterprise service, including direct collaboration with the OpenAI team, access to the latest models, and opportunities for customized AI products.

Both OpenAI and Microsoft declined to comment on the matter. OpenAI, previously valued at $86 billion, has been striving to broaden its revenue streams since the rapid rise in popularity of ChatGPT in late 2022. The company aims to achieve its projected $1 billion revenue target for 2024 by expanding its offerings to enterprises. Lightcap reported to Bloomberg that the number of users signed up for ChatGPT Enterprise and Team has surpassed 600,000, up from around 150,000 in January.

Lightcap, primarily focused on enterprise adoption at OpenAI, has also been engaging with Hollywood studio executives to promote the company's Sora video creation tool. This technology, capable of generating and refining videos based on textual descriptions, has garnered both excitement and concern within the creative industry. Two major Hollywood studios have expressed interest in gaining early access to explore its applications, although concerns remain about the video sources used to train Sora, the reliability of the output, and its ability to protect copyrighted works. Additionally, Altman participated in a leadership retreat hosted by Fox and News Corp last October, engaging in a question-and-answer session, according to a source familiar with the event.