Majority of telcos in the Asia-Pacific (APAC) region are integrating artificial intelligence (AI) tools and platforms into their existing business processes and vertical specific functionalities to enhance customer experience and services offerings, and ultimately bolster revenue margins, says GlobalData, a leading data and analytics company.
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: “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.”
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Verma adds: “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.”
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.
- Optimize 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.
Telcos can leverage AI to monetize the data generated from diverse devices in a connected ecosystem. AI can help telcos in positioning their future 5G network to be deployed into intelligently manageable networks via network performance optimization.
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.
Based on initial interactions, these can further be enhanced to handle higher/complex queries/interactions.
Sunil concludes: “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.
“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.