Ericsson report: AI-powered operation is key to improving customer experience

According to a new Ericsson (NASDAQ: ERIC) report - Supercharging customer experience through AI and automation - communications service providers around the world recognize the need for immediate action on artificial intelligence (AI) and automation in their operations to boost cost-efficient customer experiences as the 5G-driven Internet of Things (IoT) and Industry 4.0 gathers pace.

Key findings include:
  • 90 percent state that AI is important in boosting customer experience
  • 8 in 10 service providers expect an increase in cost and added complexity as a result of adding new technology
  • 92 percent of service providers have refined the use of network insights to drive performance during the last year
  • 9 out of 10 place customer experience and growing revenues high of the agenda
  • 7 in 10 service providers think technological transformation is a key challenge

Peter Laurin, Senior Vice President and Head of Business Area Managed Services, Ericsson, says: “The introduction of 5G and IoT, the explosion of connected devices and the battle to stay relevant have a profound impact on the ways in which networks and IT need to be operated. As 5G is introduced around the globe, service providers are faced with the challenge of having to manage more coexisting technologies and use cases, new service requirements, virtualization and network slicing. With this in mind, the complexity of managing next-generation networks will surely grow. The Ericsson Operations Engine, our AI-driven platform for managing the networks of the future, enables service providers to leapfrog this transformation”.

The report reveals the fact that AI and Automation in operations has moved from concept to operational reality in the boardrooms of communication service providers worldwide. It also outlines how operations executives are using AI and automation to drive business outcomes and capture opportunities but also how they address challenges such as improving net promotor score (NPS) – a clear indicator of a good consumer experience – and cost efficiency.

In Thailand, Ericsson and Total Access Communication Plc (DTAC) have launched an advanced, customer-centric network operations model since January this year. This follows the signing of a partnership agreement last year whereby Ericsson is managing dtac’s network operations across the country with Ericsson Operations Engine, while dtac retains the network’s strategic planning and ownership of its assets.

Nadine Allen, Head of Ericsson Thailand, says, “We will leverage our global experience and use the latest tools and technologies in AI, automation and machine learning to leverage data-driven insights, enabling us to deliver enhanced performance focused on end-user experience.”

According to Ericsson’s research, most communication service providers are already working on AI and automation initiatives. However, they say that technology alone is not enough – new skills and ways of working are required for service providers to become more digital. These organizational changes are at least as important as the technological aspects in a successful transformation to become more digital.

The report shows that operations areas at communications service providers have always viewed themselves as heavily involved in the cost efficiency agenda. However, they now emphasize an increased customer experience focus in operations and are aware of the role they play in realizing this strategic priority of the wider business.

Ericsson continues to switch on 5G for communication service providers around the world, opening the door to new opportunities in IoT, Industry 4.0 and digitalization. The Ericsson Operations Engine creates sustainable differentiation as it evolves operations from being network-centric to user-experience-centric.  It fundamentally changes operating networks from reactive to proactive, leveraging data, automation and artificial intelligence.

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