Nokia on Monday unleashed a new suite of cognitive analytics and artificial intelligence tools that opens additional avenues for operators to monetize their network data and slash customer care costs.
The three-part offering includes two analytics capabilities – Nokia Cognitive Analytics for Crowd Insight and Nokia Analytics Office – and an artificial intelligence system with machine learning called Nokia Autonomous Care.
The Crowd Insight tool can reportedly open new revenue streams for operators by allowing them to share insights from their network with third parties – including what people are doing, where they’re going, when, and the demographics of those customers. According to Nokia’s Head of Analytics Marketing Shelley Schlueter, the data can help outside entities like businesses and municipalities better tailor their advertising and offerings to hit the right demographics at the right time and in the right place. For example, she said, a business renting a digital billboard could change its ad based on who’s passing on the highway at a given time of day, and municipalities could use it to hone public services like bus routes.
Unlike data from GPS systems or a particular app, Schlueter said telco data is multi-dimensional and comes in real time. Telcos have a unique position in being able to offer such detailed and valuable segment data, she said.
The offering comes on the heels of Congress’ recent decision to roll back the FCC’s broadband privacy rules for internet service providers. The move sparked outcry from concerned consumer groups who warned the decision would open the flood gates for ISPs to sell customer data. But operators like Verizon, AT&T, and Comcast all indicated they don’t sell the “personal web browsing history” of their customers.
In Nokia’s new offering, Schlueter said the telco data is anonymized to protect individual identities while revealing the detailed segment data that’s useful to third parties. Schlueter said Nokia has been working on this offering for some time now, and since the data is anonymized it wouldn’t have been blocked by the broadband privacy rules anyway.
Analytics Office and Autonomous Care
The sister offering to Crowd Insights – Nokia Analytics Office – serves a similar function, but helps operators look inward to optimize their customer experience, data monetization, service operation centers, and network automation.
Speaking of automation, Nokia is hoping its Autonomous Care offering will help telcos take a significant bite out of their customer care costs.
According to Nokia’s Head of OSS Marketing Rich Crowe, Autonomous Care is a system in which AI bots predict and resolve residential customer problems (like interference and DSL issues) before they even happen but also pitch in with a natural language interface to field customer care calls.
Crowe indicated in a study with a Tier-1 operator, the system proved capable of predicting 70 percent of residential issues up to two hours in advance, and resolving them before complaints could be lodged. Additionally, when customers did actually call the care center, the Autonomous Care bots were able to handle around 80 percent of issues without any human assistance. And even when human interaction was needed, the bots also proved useful in completing basic tasks for call center agents, Crowe reported.
Though the exact savings from the system will depend on the size of the operator, Crowe said the system has the potential to slash customer care costs from dollars per minute to pennies per minute. Improved customer care could also provide other benefits, like reducing churn and helping operators retain “silent switchers” – or people who just leave rather than calling to complain – through its predictive capabilities.
As a whole, Crowe and Schlueter said the new suite of cognitive and AI capabilities represents just the “tip of the iceberg” of what the company is working on in the space. There’s a lot more from Nokia coming down the pipe in the machine learning segment, they noted.
Nokia’s Analytics Office is available today. The Cognitive Analytics for Crowd Insights and Autonomous Care products are in presale now, with availability coming in the third quarter, the company said.