AI to drive digital transformation, up revenue amongst APAC telcos : GlobalData

Mumbai: Most telcos in the APAC region are integrating AI (artificial intelligence) tools and platforms into their existing business processes and vertical specific functionalities.

This is to enhance customer experience (CX) and services offerings, and ultimately bolster revenue margins, finds GlobalData research.

GlobalData’s research revealed 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.

“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,” said Sunil Kumar Verma, ICT Analyst – GlobalData.

“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,” added Verma.

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.

“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,” added Verma.

“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,” he concluded.

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