Tuesday, 24 September 2019 15:03

Telcos integrate artificial intelligence platforms into business processes Featured

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Telcos in the Asia-Pacific region are integrating artificial intelligence tools and platforms into their existing business processes and vertical specific functionalities to enhance customer experience and services offerings - ultimately bolstering revenue margins, according to a new global analyst report.

Research by analyst GlobalData reveals that telcos are integrating AI in application areas such as E-care (digital customer interactions/transactions), digital processes (user-friendly customer usable interfaces, including digital in-store experience) and agile business models by leveraging AI and machine learning (ML)-based analytics tools.

GlobalData’s research reveals that telcos are integrating AI in application areas such as E-care (digital customer interactions/transactions), digital processes (user-friendly customer usable interfaces, including digital in-store experience) and agile business models by leveraging AI and machine learning (ML)-based analytics tools.

Sunil Kumar Verma, ICT analyst at GlobalData, comments says “telcos continue to transform themselves from being a core ‘voice and messaging data service provider’ to a ‘digital service provider’ by leveraging smart digital technologies in line with changing customer requirements and competitive business dynamics”.

“The three major factors, which result in high expenses for telcos primarily around customers include customer acquisition costs, expenses related in customer loyalty/churn management programs and costs related to procure/deploy software and tools for customer relationship management/product lifecycle management.”

Verma says telcos leverage AI in their digital transformation journey, primarily in three major aspects related to business model and operational strategies:

  • Expand existing business/product offerings to cater to diverse customer demand. South Korean Telco LGU+ introduced ‘Call Taxi Calling for the Disabled’ service in March 2019 to allow users to book taxis with voice command by leveraging AI speakers.
  • Optimise business processes/functions to increase their service delivery capabilities. Korea Telecom developed AI solution ‘Dr Lauren’ in November 2018 to detect telecommunications failures by collecting and analyzing data generated by network.
  • Transform services portfolios by being more digital. Singtel partnered with Microsoft in April 2019 to introduce an AI-powered IoT network over Microsoft Azure. The network combines the features of connectivity with cloud for IoT services, thereby accelerating the digital transformation amongst the enterprises.

According to the GlobalData telcos can leverage AI to monetise the data generated from diverse devices in a connected ecosystem – and AI can help telcos in positioning their future 5G network to be deployed into intelligently manageable networks via network performance optimisation.

GlobalData says robots/virtual assistants based on AI can be leveraged to interact with customers for product promotions and resolve issues at initial levels to enhance customer care capabilities and reduce human intervention, thereby lowering the operating costs.

And based on initial interactions, these can further be enhanced to handle higher/complex queries/interactions.

“Telcos must focus on the creation and implementation of AI into their business process strategies, either by developing in-house AI-based ecosystem or by strategically leveraging the capabilities of specialist AI firms,” Verma said.

“An agile business model comprising of AI and leveraging the other features supported by ML, cloud and big data, business intelligence (BI) and analytics capabilities will help them in harnessing the potential business benefits of digital transformation.”

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Peter Dinham is a co-founder of iTWire and a 35-year veteran journalist and corporate communications consultant. He has worked as a journalist in all forms of media – newspapers/magazines, radio, television, press agency and now, online – including with the Canberra Times, The Examiner (Tasmania), the ABC and AAP-Reuters. As a freelance journalist he also had articles published in Australian and overseas magazines. He worked in the corporate communications/public relations sector, in-house with an airline, and as a senior executive in Australia of the world’s largest communications consultancy, Burson-Marsteller. He also ran his own communications consultancy and was a co-founder in Australia of the global photographic agency, the Image Bank (now Getty Images).

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