The Financial Value of A3 to Telcos

This is an update to research completed in January 2020 – and looks at the financial value of adding A3 (analytics, AI and automation) to a telco.  The next diagram provides a summary of this value using six different categories of A3 use case in the rows:

1.Making sense of complex data – Analytics and machine learning are used to understand large, mostly structured data sets. Looking for patterns, to diagnose problems and predict/prescribe resolutions

2.Automating processes – Intelligent automation and RPA enable decision making, orchestration and task completion within telco processes

3.Personalising customer interactions – Analytics and machine learning understand customer data, create segmentation, identify triggers and prescribe actions to be taken

4.Support business planning – Analytics and machine learning used in forecasting and optimization exercises.

5.Augmenting human capabilities – AI solution such as natural language processing and text analytics are used to understand human intent or sentiment.  Used within interactions between customers or employees and telco systems.

6.Frontier AI solutions– A number of individual AI solutions which have particular, specialist uses within a telco

Considering the diagram above in comparison to the version in the previous research note:

  • The colouring of the boxes remains largely unchanged from Jan 2020. Some uses of A3 were reasonably mature in that timeframe and already rolled out in a typical telco, so their value was understood
  • Then a good number of the more sophisticated uses of A3 were understood in theory but yet to be implemented. Researching these various newer uses cases in 2021 has revealed that many are now, at least partly, rolled out (with some waiting for cleaner data or more orchestration capabilities). But there were few new case studies with financial benefits that necessitated more than small changes to the 2020 financial value calculations
  • Summarizing the changes seen in the diagram:
  • The most noticeable change in uptake for A3 was in the BSS domain. Vendors and telcos were not discussing much beyond RPA and basic analytics in 2020 – but, there are now a whole range of potential uses for ML across revenue management and beyond. The question of how much additional financial value to assign to this is interesting – some of the A3 will ensure that the rating and charging systems can cope with the additional volume and complexity around 5G and IoT billing – so an allocation of revenue uplift has been assigned. But this uplift does not come close in value to the uplift from network-related A3
  • A new box for partner management has been added to the diagram. This is to allow A3 value to be added as telcos work with more partners and in new ecosystems
  • An increase in the assumed value of A3 within marketing programs – with the addition of ML to improve the design of new offers
  • The value of a previous box labelled “troubleshooting” has been subsumed into “unassisted channels” – as telcos find it difficult to implement troubleshooting tools for customers (please see below for more details)
  • Some increase in financial benefit around customer chatbots and field services, due to new case studies showing financial value