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Vodafone looks to Google to enhance intelligence game

Google has announced it has won out to host Vodafone’s strategic cloud platform for data analytics, business intelligence, and machine learning.

The intelligence platform, known as Neuron, allows the company to utilize real-time data analytics. It is one element of the digital transformation journey aimed at putting data as the keystone of operations. The Google Cloud Platform will be used to bring multiple data sources into a standardized format, as well as migrating Vodafone’s existing software to the cloud.

“We’re in an era of businesses leveraging the cloud to reinvent themselves and create entirely new offerings and services,” said Thomas Kurian, CEO at Google Cloud. “We’re excited that Vodafone has decided to leverage Google Cloud to ensure they successfully make the journey of business transformation.”

Vodafone might be the centre of the story here, though it is hardly alone in shifting data processing and storage away from owned-premises into partner data centres. Telecom Italia is another which is working with Google, though there are several cloud companies fighting to secure contracts with the telcos, which should be viewed as lucrative customers.

The Neuron initiative is an effort from Vodafone to embed more intelligence capabilities at the core of the business. Not only does this enable the team to offer a broader portfolio of services, but it will also ensure cost-efficiencies and proactive processes are realised for internal benefits, such as increased subscriber retention.

Intelligence is not a new concept for Vodafone, though bringing in the Google team will certainly add some more tools. On the customer experience front, Vodafone has been surging forward with the application of artificial intelligence with TOBi, a virtual assistant which not only interacts with customers to save phone calls, but aids customer service agents by presenting the most relevant information and making recommendations in real-time.

The telco industry has been slow to embrace the intelligence era, slow in comparison to the likes of Big Tech at least, though it does seem to be making progress.

With roughly 3.3 billion smartphones in use around the world, the telcos have access to a ridiculous amount of information to help in areas such as preventing customer churn, improving quality of service, targeted marketing, predictive maintenance and network planning. This data is available, they just need to figure out how to use it.

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