Keeping ahead of the game: How to plan your AI journey in three phases

This post was contributed by Eden Zoller, Ovum Principal Analyst, Digital Media

AI can bring benefits to all aspects of CSP operations

Eden leads Ovum’s consumer digital commerce research

AI is a key component supporting CSPs’ current and future IT systems, their platforms, and the processes they employ throughout the business. AI can have a positive impact on pretty much all aspects of CSP operations. AI can take network optimization to new levels; for example, AI can be used to optimize network configuration according to network-capacity demands, the characteristics of the traffic volumes, user behavior, and other parameters. AI can bring advanced intelligence to data analytics, particularly AI solutions that can integrate first- and third-party data. AI can enable personalization at scale, helping to make customer-facing operations and services more effective than ever before, such as with personalized plans and service bundles, more interactive marketing engagement, and proactive and efficient customer-care operations.

Practical AI for CSPs today

The arguments for implementing AI are very persuasive and, once on board, CSPs need to think how to implement the technology. We recommend taking a three-step approach: assess, build, and manage.

Assess – discover the value and opportunity AI will bring to the business

  • Evaluate the skills availability within the business.
  • Understand what data is available – which data is important, how much is being collected, and how quickly can it be extracted.
  • Create an AI strategy and timeline, and plan for which low-hanging-fruit AI applications will deliver immediate benefits.

Build – how to create AI capability

  • Decide how the AI systems are built – with in-house resources and/or with external suppliers and partners. We advise partnering with an AI expert.
  • Consider the level of sophistication/scope/integration of the AI systems – should the AI systems assist humans and/or run autonomously?
  • Where is data located? Data on the cloud can be served by cloud-based AI solutions, whereas data located at the edge of the network is best processed by AI solutions which are built into devices co-located at the edge.

Manage – how to guide and achieve transformation in adopting AI technology

  • Ensure support for AI from highest levels of the organizations in order to be able to deal with the cultural challenges that AI technology may introduce.
  • Instigate initiatives to create bottom-up acceptance – this may involve hiring people with the appropriate skills.
  • Create an AI change management steering committee to oversee technology rollout and to monitor progress. The committee must continually assess the level of expertise internally, the opportunities in the market, and state-of-the-art AI in the field.

To read more about how AI will impact the telco market, see the Amdocs white paper, written by Ovum: Act on your intelligence: seizing the AI opportunity for communications service providers

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