Spotlight on Tech

Exploring Telecom’s AI Imperatives

September 13, 2023
minute read

Rakuten Symphony CMO Geoff Hollingworth recently spoke with Sean Kinney at RCRWireless News about the transformative power of AI in telecom. Geoff emphasized that to thrive in a new paradigm, leveraging data and insights from analytics will be crucial. He posits that the essence of AI begins with data access and highlights Rakuten’s role at the forefront of digital transformation following work to wholly digitize network operations processes.

Key takeaways from the interview include:   

The difference between institutional vs. digital knowledge: Geoff points out how a large amount of operational knowledge, especially in legacy systems, is tied up in analog forms, like spreadsheets or in people's memories. This knowledge isn't readily available for AI processing. The point is made that many established operators face the challenge of not having digitized data, which forms the backbone of AI's decision-making capabilities.

Role of data in AI: Data drives AI. When organizations seek AI solutions, the foundational question to ask is about their current decision-making processes and the nature and availability of the data they base their decisions on. If an organization lacks adequate data, expecting AI to make better decisions becomes unrealistic.

Urgency for a data-driven strategy: There's a growing emphasis on the importance of having a strategy and executing. Geoff clarifies that the urgency is not about AI but enabling faster and better decision-making within the telecommunications industry. AI becomes a valuable tool once the foundation of data is well established. 

Future of an AI-powered telecommunications sector: In Geoff's view, a company that optimally utilizes its data and employs AI solutions effectively will operate much more efficiently, akin to the difference in business economics between Amazon Web Services and traditional enterprise IT server vendors. This shift would allow for a more customer-centric focus, reducing operational focus from 70% to 20%.

Check out the full video for more insight!

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