AI: the perfect storm in telecom

Amidst a digital reinvention of the global economy, telecom is shaping up the frontiers of possibilities. Network growth is expected at 73% (5x the previous growth rates), and communication channels are growing more diverse and complex than ever.

To tame this complexity and supercharge growth, telcos are tapping into AI en masse – 63.5% are implementing AI to enhance network infrastructure, and others are betting on the technology to optimize field operations and prevent fraud.

But one of the most compelling applications of AI remains untapped by most – i.e., in Communication Platform as a Service (CPaaS) offerings. While 95% of global businesses will be leveraging CPaaS solutions to meet rising customer demands by 2025, telcos must become the enablers of superior customer experiences to win this opportunity. And AI will be a key technology that will help telcos power-rich interactions through their CPaaS platforms.

How AI complements CPaaS to transform engagement

CPaaS solutions have already redefined the scope of communication between enterprises and their customers, by introducing more channels like OTT messaging and voice, enabling developers to embed them into applications.

AI takes this one step further – it enables more effective orchestration across the channel mix and makes engagement more meaningful for both customers and businesses.

Here are a few ways in which AI transforms customer engagement with CPaaS:

  1. Hyper-personalization: AI can anticipate the needs of different customers at various points in their journey, generate targeted content for each customer, and enable them to communicate with the brand on their own time and through a channel of their choice.
  2. Contextual engagement: AI-powered chatbots can help businesses deliver meaningful responses to customer messages in real-time, and deliver on their needs faster while getting them right in the first attempt.
  3. Real-time insights: CPaaS solutions bring live analytics capabilities through AI – like the ability to infer customer sentiment during a voice call/text, and recommendations for actions to enhance CSAT with each interaction.
  4. Channel orchestration: Finally, AI can help businesses build a 360-degree picture of all interactions with a customer, and build continuity in fragmented conversations across channels.

Finally, AI brings other capabilities like real-time speech-to-text, translations for multilingual interactions, and improved fraud prevention to CPaaS solutions.

AI-powered CPaaS: a gold mine for telcos

Customer engagement has become a prized commodity in an experience-driven economy. While CPaaS solutions are an essential element for enabling better engagement, these are not enough. The good news is that AI is the answer to this looming gap, as it solves some of the long-standing challenges associated with engaging customers digitally.

Below are some of the wins that telcos can score with AI-powered CPaaS.

Gaining competitive advantage

Today, capabilities like 24×7 engagement, embedded conversational interfaces, and personalization are becoming a strategic necessity in every industry. With AI-powered CPaaS solutions, telcos can help enterprises meet these demands effectively, and deliver innovative features within their platforms.

Moreover, AI capabilities are gaining momentum across sectors and communication is no different. For instance, generative AI capabilities are redefining the possibilities of customer engagement. In this dynamic market, AI gives telcos a competitive edge over their peers and enables them to stay agile and adapt to shifting digital trends in the market.

Increasing operational efficiency

AI significantly reduces the amount of manual effort that goes into driving customer engagement via CPaaS platforms. Conversational AI can automate text-based OTT interactions, and suppress the volume of voice-based interactions which costs a lot more for businesses.

In addition, AI can also draw key insights from logs of customer interactions, and help businesses take further steps to enhance the customer experience.

Improving security and compliance

In the evolving data security landscape, AI has become crucial to combat complex threat actors. Software-orchestrated network and communication systems like CPaaS, it helps telcos anticipate risks before they materialize into breaches and enable them to plug revenue leakages associated with fraudulent activity (which amounts to 2.22% of their total revenues).

Moreover, AI is also helping telcos meet the varying regulatory requirements across different markets. For instance, it can help them comply with stringent data privacy and data residency regulations to which CPaaS systems are subject, especially as they handle large volumes of sensitive and personal data.

A word on the future of AI-powered telecom

While the industry witnesses the possibilities of AI, telecom businesses must stay laser-focused on its impact on CPaaS, because this technology will be central in curating customer experience in an increasingly digital economy.

The demand for mass personalization of customer engagement is here to stay, and AI will be essential in helping enterprises meet this demand cost-effectively. For telcos, the incentives to embrace AI and CPaaS are numerous – from revenue growth to increased competitive advantage and enhanced end-user experience.

Therefore, doubling down on innovative AI-powered CPaaS solutions like NGAGE will be an essential strategic play for telcos that have their eyes set on the present and the future of this industry.

Deshbandhu Bansal

Deshbandhu Bansal

Deshbandhu is the Chief Operating Officer (COO) and Head of Comviva's Cloud Communication Solutions portfolio. He has over 17 years of experience in the IT and Telecom industry, with a specialization in business development...