How communication service providers can thrive by embracing a digital transformation
At TM Forum’s Digital Transformation World Series, Blue Prism participated in a 5-part webinar, including customers, Bell Canada and Telia, and technology partners, Clevva and Inspection2. The first webinar “The need for end-to-end automation to realize the value of 5G” was introduced by TM Forum’s VP of AI & Customer Experience Aaron Boasman-Patel. Attendees debated the future of both artificial intelligence (AI) and automation in the telecommunications industry, particularly in an era when 5G will enable new business models and consumer experiences.
According to Boasman-Patel, communication service providers (CSPs) should consider the following questions for communication service providers (CSPs):
- What does full end-to-end automation look like, and why is it critical for the future success of CSPs?
- Where should CSPs start their journey to increase automation across IT and networks?
- What are the greatest challenges as we move to automation?
- How should the governance of automation be managed?
- Why is it important to empower employees by automating repetitive tasks and freeing up staff?
- How can CSPs use automation in the deployment aspect of 5G?
The transition to 5G is going to require more than just tinkering at the edges. Boasman-Patel says, “This is all about unlocking the potential as we go beyond connectivity because 70% of 5G era growth is based on fundamentally changing your whole operating model. You've got to go through a whole-scale transformation. And that's because a lot of the opportunities in 5G will rely on massive machine-type communications and ultra-reliable, low latency.”
It’s important that CSPs rise to the challenge, he added because revenues from traditional services are flatlining. There are around 13 billion connections to the internet today, but — depending on which analyst report you read — this will rise to 30 billion connections by 2025, and manual processes just can’t scale within this digital paradigm.
Priorities for CSPs
Jann Gorske, senior director and North America practice leader of telecommunications at Blue Prism, says there are now four priorities for CSPs. The first is to enhance the customer experience with personalization, transparency, and convenience as its main characteristics. The second is to address the multi-access edge computing (MEC) and internet of things (IoT) solution ecosystem. Establishing new revenue streams by driving new multi-industry offerings for businesses and consumers is the third. And, lastly, it will be important to operationalize and monetize 5G.
“The introduction of 5G will represent a fundamental transformation of the role wireless network technologies CSPs will play in society,” said Gorske. “It will have great potential in terms of full services and intelligent automation is a key driver to enhance the customer experience.”
The NOC of the Future
Next, James Harrison, founder, and CEO of Inspection2, explained how automation can help build the network operations center (NOC) of the future by blending data from different monitoring systems.
“There are numerous vendors deployed within a NOC. That's where intelligent automation comes in by collecting various information from all different vendors. By creating that connected fabric, CSPs can maximize operational efficiencies and predict failure faster by building an end-to-end AI or machine learning predictive maintenance model.”
“Most operators only have a 90% accuracy level on their inventories,” said Harrison. By bringing more regular drone inspections together with engineers’ photography, they can create a digital twin of their networks.
This digital double can reduce the number of maintenance visits companies need to make to individual towers because engineers can access an up-to-date photogrammetry model to assess the cause of a problem and the equipment needed to fix it.
End-to-end automation requires a complete rethinking of business operations, so an open-mindedness to new technologies will be crucial for future success, especially alongside the 5G rollout.
In the following two sessions, we’ll find out even more from Alisa DiStaso, Contact Center Solutions director at Blue Prism, and Mark Pedersen, co-founder, and head of technology sales at Clevva. The discussion will include the role of intelligent automation in improving the customer experience and the future of contact centers.