Previous work in 2020 uncovered four categories of A3 trends that will shape a telco into the mid and longer term – see left hand column in this diagram:
The diagram sets out 9 different streams of activity within a telco. The augmented customer experience describes the use of intelligence and automation to provide support for unassisted (digital) and assisted (human agent) interactions between the telco, the telco’s customers or ecosystem partners and the telco’s supplier or partners. Augmented experts provide new capabilities to assist the telco’s employees with tasks and decision making – for example, the delivery of just-in-time data, RPA and scripting to contact centre agents to improve the quality of customer calls. Intelligent automation is a catch-all category for the roll out of automations with increasing amounts of intelligence into the telcos. Lastly, AI design looks at the trend towards generation of content and, in future, creation of products, services and other assets – starting with the current hot topic of Generative AI.
The addition of new types of A3 into the telco’s customers (making them Smarter customers) will drive requirements of the telco. These include the introduction of more network APIs, the uptake of digital twin by customers and a future general environment where A3 speeds up the way in which both the telco and customer does business.
Considering the area of new technology in A3, four trends were noted: the increased use of intelligence in the underlying data/A3 management tasks within a telco. The use of A3 to create more useable and intelligent ML. The creation of specialist intelligence use case to solve specific types of problem and the research and development of more new types of hardware and compute for AI deployments.
The last rows on the diagram, described under “organization change” attempt to capture the major actions that a telco will need to undertake in order to manage deployment of the internal and external A3 defined in the rows above it. A3 trust programs describes the various governance, privacy and ethics policies that will be required. There will be the need to build trust between employees and machines and trust between the telco and its partners within the ecosystems telcos choose to participate in. Value generation includes practical activities to manage ROI and risk – including programs that stretch into relationships with partners. The concept of digital immunity is also discussed – an emerging discussion, but one which is helpful when considering how a telco can thrive in increasingly fast moving and complex environment – not only robustly managing its resilience but launching corrective action in a proactive, timely manner. Lastly, the area of skills, describes the democratization of A3, ensuring easy access to the necessary tools by all employees, the development of new skill sets by these employees. The eventual changing role of centralized A3 teams and a brief review of the new leadership skills that will be needed.