BT taps up Nokia for AI network monitoring software

BT Tower framed by decorative lamp post

UK telco group BT has brought in Finnish kit vendor Nokia to provide it with AVA Analytics software, which it will use to monitor its fixed networks with AI tools.

The two firms have signed a five year deal which is supposed to improve customer experience through AI and machine learning tools. AVA Analytics apparently gives call centre agents a real-time view of the operator’s network, from individual subscribers to devices, in order to more quickly deal with whatever seems to going wrong.

The new software will give BT the use of ‘automated workflows with deep analytics to deliver operational efficiency improvements and boost BT’s net promoter scores (NPS)’ – NPS being a  barometer of how likely a customer would recommend something.

Meanwhile we’re told Nokia’s Home Device Manager and Service Management Platform enables BT’s 6000 odd ‘care agents’ to remotely manage over 10 million wifi connections, with more than 100 million actions taken each day. Which certainly sounds like a lot of actions.

“Our expanded partnership with Nokia is another demonstration of our commitment to providing the best customer experience by investing in AI, analytics, and other state-of the-art technology,” said Nick Lane, Managing Director for Consumer Customer Services at BT. “Our partnership will help BT’s customer service agents provide the best service across all phone and digital channels and continue to make BT the only network to answer 100% of customer calls in the UK.”

Hamdy Farid, Senior Vice President, Business Applications at Nokia added: “Nokia AVA Fixed Network Insights is a critical component to helping operators improve network diagnosis and troubleshooting processes, while reducing unnecessary manual fixes. We are very pleased to be taking our partnership with BT to the next level with this agreement.”

BT doesn’t mind getting the wallet out for new AI tools in a pursuit of improving various parts of its large footprint of operations. In October it’s Digital unit took the wraps off a new machine learning platform which is supposed to speed up the production of AI models from 6 months to 6 days. The new platform –  called AI Accelerator – is supposed to oversee AI model deployments developed by BT Group’s data community, ‘assessing their efficacy and behaviour to drive value from the business’ 29 petabyte data estate.’

Earlier in the year drafted in Dynatrace to upgrade its service management stack with AI and automation fault detection tools, ahead of a larger deployment of ‘self-healing capabilities’. The idea with this is that BT will be able to benefit from the consolidated data across its cloud platforms, providing improved fault detection, and ‘end-to-end visibility across the service path’. It was also pitched as being able to provide early prediction and ‘remediation’ through the previously announced ServiceNow upgrades, which is ‘an estate that heals itself in real time.’

And late last year BT opened a new robotics research facility at its Adastral Park R&D site in Suffolk, which had a mission  to develop innovative robotics solutions to speed up the deployment of infrastructure.

With all this AI floating around the place perhaps the next time disgruntled BT workers vote to strike management will just hand the keys over to the robots and the algorithms.


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