3 Gennaio 2024

Generative AI provides a big boost to the telecommunications industry

We’ve moved beyond the hype—generative AI works, and the telecommunications industry is feeling its true impact. Microsoft recently commissioned a study which showed that for every United States dollar that a company invests in AI, it realizes an average return of USD3.50. We just launched a special Work Trend Index report that showed a massive increase in employee productivity; it also showed that 77% of Microsoft Copilot users said that once they used Copilot, they didn’t want to give it up. Those are real benefits that telcos are seeing today, and they are eager to explore what’s next—how can they do more with generative AI and their data investments, their intelligent applications, and their businesses?

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The big impact of generative AI

Discussions about the potential of generative AI on the telco industry are everywhere. “IDC is projecting that generative AI will add nearly USD10 trillion to global GDP over the next 10 years.”1 Other analysts are projecting telco productivity increases in the billions for customer service, marketing, sales, app development, network insights, and operations. At Microsoft, we’ve already seen the benefits of generative AI across the company. The Microsoft global customer support team streamlined operational efficiency while delivering exceptional customer satisfaction with Copilot in Dynamics 365 Customer Service. There was a 31% increase in first call resolution and a 12% increase in customer satisfaction. Learn more about modernizing your customer service experience with Microsoft Dynamics 365 Customer Service. The Microsoft Customer and Partner Solutions organization used Microsoft Copilot for Sales to simplify workflows and help its sellers more efficiently build relationships with clients.

What does generative AI do for telco?

Generative AI empowers telco to work with vast amounts of data, identify patterns, and generate novel solutions, promising to transform traditional practices and foster industry-wide innovations. By embracing generative AI, telco companies can overcome challenges, unlock new revenue streams, improve operational efficiency, and deliver exceptional customer experiences. It’s a key ingredient in accelerating the transformation from telco to techco. And with so many potential applications for generative AI, it’s important to identify what has worked so far. To provide some inspiration, here are a few success stories that show us generative AI’s potential to transform the industry and drive substantial value.

Elevating customer experiences

Indonesian telco company Telkomsel introduced Veronika—a virtual assistant that integrates Microsoft Azure OpenAI Service. Veronika is rooted in natural language processing and machine learning, and according to Vice President of Customer Journey and Digital Experience at Telkomsel, Danang Andrainto, “Veronika continues to innovate by integrating the best AI technology to infuse intelligence into its functions, resulting in the delivery of solutions that are progressively more accurate.” Veronika recommends telco packages based on customers’ needs, and it can quickly and accurately address customer concerns. Here’s more of the story of Veronika and how generative AI is making it better.

And Veronika isn’t the only one. Bots are becoming more popular and effective in providing a digital-first customer experience. They can handle complex queries, improve customer engagement, and reduce operational costs. They can reduce the average handling time and save millions of dollars per month. These bots can help customers with various tasks, such as checking balances, paying bills, troubleshooting issues, and finding the best deals. They can build personalized scripts for next-best offers based on real-time data and insights. They can enhance end-to-end call center engagements from customer inquiry summarization, providing real-time information to resolve questions for sales agents, to analyze live sentiment, and to suggest personalized scripts for next-best offers; and they can create post-call analyses on agent performances. They can also create customer-sentiment analysis to help monitor and improve customer experiences across multiple touchpoints. Bots are transforming customer care strategies for many businesses around the world.

Bots are helping employees too. South African telco group MTN launched SiYa—an employee bot that can assist workers with inquiries, information on company policies, and employee-to-company interactions. And ultimately, MTN hopes SiYa can help customers with purchases, advice, and service. “By harnessing the power of AI and APIs, we are not only future-proofing our operations but ensuring that our customers, both internal and external, can look forward to a more streamlined, efficient, and data-driven experience,” MTN South Africa CEO Charles Molapisi says.

Aimee is BT Group’s new digital assistant. Kevin Lee, Chief Digital Officer for Consumer Division of BT Group, says, “Our pilots with generative AI with Microsoft are designed to see if we can more rapidly make Aimee the most personal, customer-focused, intelligent digital assistant delivering value through every interaction.” But Lee says he doesn’t want Aimee to replace human-to-human interactions; he wants Aimee to help customers meet their needs more efficiently and accurately. Aimee is meant to be a support, and her role is unlimited.

Accelerate network operation

If we look to the technical side of things, generative AI can improve network operations for operators too. Three UK leveraged Azure Operator Insights by creating and optimizing network configurations, policies, and parameters based on the data collected from the network performance, traffic, and user behavior. Generative AI can learn from the existing network settings and generate new ones that can enhance the network’s efficiency, reliability, and security. For example, generative AI could help design and deploy optimal network slices for different use cases and customers or adjust the network parameters to cope with changing demand and conditions. Generative AI can also help to automate network management tasks like fault detection, diagnosis, and resolution by generating and executing appropriate actions based on the network state and the desired outcomes. It can use natural language processing and generation to enable more human-like interactions between network operators and the network systems, using voice commands to control the network functions or receiving natural language explanations of the network status and its issues. Generative AI applications for network operation include:

  • Generative AI can be used to optimize Radio Access Network Configuration Optimization parameters based on the network performance data and the operators.
  • Generative AI can generate and execute network policies, configurations, and actions based on the network data and the operator’s goals.

Organizations can be more efficient

Generative AI can help make knowledge management more efficient with the ability to increase the productivity of HR, finance, legal, and customer service departments. By using bots, organizations can provide faster and more accurate answers to their employees and customers. For example, Finland’s largest telco and tech company, Elisa, has used Microsoft Copilot for Microsoft 365, which helps knowledge workers with various tasks, such as finding documents, scheduling meetings, and creating reports. Katja Bäckström, Elisa’s Senior Vice President, Customer Service and Customer Service with Copilot, says, “With Copilot, traditional data entry is eliminated, and customer data can be accessed directly from customer discussions. Copilot can easily be asked about the latest actions with the customer and a proposal for creating the next agenda. In the end, Copilot improves both the employee experience and the customer experience.”

Multinational tech and telco company Lumen uses Copilot. Lumen’s customer service teams surface relevant policies with Copilot, they summarize tickets, and they easily find repair instructions from manuals. They can quickly create presentations, new business proposals, and statements of work. “Our people are seeing immediate productivity improvements with Copilot, allowing them to focus on more value-added activities each day,” Kate Johnson, president and CEO of Lumen Technologies, Inc. says.

Marketing and sales benefit from generative AI

But can generative AI help your marketing and sales departments?

Generative AI can help create appealing and customized content for different audiences and channels, such as blog posts, social media posts, landing pages, email campaigns, and more. For example, a telco operator could use generative AI to create titles, summaries, keywords, or captions for their online content based on the target audience’s interests and actions. 

Generative AI can also help classify and segment customers based on their attributes, desires, preferences, and actions, using data from various sources, like web analytics, customer relationship management platforms, or social media. A telco operator could use generative AI to group their customers into different profiles, for example, such as the innovators, the loyalists, and the value seekers. They could then adjust their messages and offers accordingly. 

Generative AI can help recommend appropriate and personalized products or services to customers based on factors such as their previous purchases, web history, and feedback. For example, a telco operator could use generative AI to suggest the best bundle, plan, or add-on for each customer, based on their budget, needs, and usage patterns. 

Generative AI can help create interested and qualified leads for the sales team by finding and contacting potential customers who match the ideal customer profile, using data from various sources like third-party databases, social media, or web analytics. For example, a telco operator could use generative AI to create leads for their business solutions by identifying and reaching out to prospects who are searching for similar services, have high intent, and meet the criteria of decision makers.

Amdocs, in partnership with Microsoft, launched a unified Customer Engagement Platform, leveraging the power of generative AI. Integrated with Microsoft Dynamics 365, it is an all-encompassing AI-powered marketing, sales, commerce, and customer service platform serving consumer and enterprise customers on a single, open, telco, and cloud-native platform.

Developer productivity

With GitHub Copilot for Business, 46% of new code is now written by AI, and developer productivity has increased by over 55%. AT&T uses Azure OpenAI Service in a few ways. It moves legacy code into modern code using generative AI, which helps the developers focus on creating modern tools and experiences for workers and customers. AT&T employees can ask generative AI questions about their insurance plans or getting hardware for a new employee. And AI helps with storage problems or computer issues company wide. Read more about AT&T’s developers and generative AI.

GitHub Copilot simplifies the creation and consumption of TM Forum Open APIs by generating the required code that complies to the API guidelines in the development language of your choice.

Accelerate your own generative AI journey with Microsoft

Partner with Azure OpenAI Service to transform your telco organization with AI-driven solutions for enhanced operations, innovative services, and exceptional customer experiences. The service offers many opportunities to explore AI-driven solutions for your organization. We hope to see you at Mobile World Congress 2024 as well. We’ll be there talking about how AI is accelerating the telco industry’s transformation.

About the study
The IDC study, commissioned by Microsoft, is based on results from 2,109 enterprise organizations totaling more than 13 million employees worldwide across 16 countries globally. Through the questionnaire, respondents were identified as the decision maker for AI within their organization.   

1Official Microsoft Blog, New study validates the business value and opportunity of AI, November 2023

The post Generative AI provides a big boost to the telecommunications industry appeared first on Microsoft Industry Blogs.

Source: Microsoft Industry Blog