AI Booster promises to optimize customer experience and improve network performance through machine learning
Google Cloud and international telco Vodafone have expanded their partnership to develop a new platform called AI booster† The new platform emphasizes artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) as a way to quickly build, deploy and scale new services for Vodafone customers and to optimize network performance.
Vodafone’s vision was “a single” [Machine Learning] platform-as-a-service” that scales horizontally and vertically for different use cases. The effort is the culmination of 18 months of AI and ML development focused on improving network performance and enabling predictive skills to improve customer experience, the companies said.
In a blog post, Google Cloud said AI Booster will enable machine learning models to go from proof of concept to production in just four weeks, 80% faster than before.
“Led by the Global Big Data & AI organization under Vodafone Commercial, the platform will leverage the latest Google technology to enable next-generation AI use cases such as optimizing customer experiences, customer loyalty and product recommendations,” explains James Ma off, lead technical account management, Telco, EMEA, Google Cloud.
Vodafone’s commercial team led the effort, Ma said, noting that the Vodafone group already has experience with AI and ML. However, he said the effort was more than just a technical solution.
“But as demand grows, it’s easier said than done to integrate AI and ML into the fabric of the organization and quickly build and deploy ML use cases at scale in a highly regulated industry. To accomplish this task, you not only need to have the right platform infrastructure, but also develop new skills, ways of working and processes,” says Ma.
Vodafone and Google Cloud extended their relationship last year to build a new integrated data platform called Nucleus, run by a system called Dynamo. The system can process up to 50 terabytes (TB) of data per day. Vodafone expected, when announcing new services for home and business customers, to align with the data-driven analytics produced by the new platform. Vodafone announced at the time that it was also migrating its SAP environment to Google Cloud.
In May, Vodafone . unveiled its new trans-EU network performance platform† Vodafone’s Unified Performance Management (UPM) was developed with Google Cloud and Cardinality.io, replacing dozens of outdated network performance tools. The company said it is deployed in 11 European countries where Vodafone offers mobile services. Vodafone promised customers “a consistently faster and highly reliable mobile experience in Europe” as a result of the new cloud-native platform that provides “a single source of clean data in the cloud”, waiting for analysis and action.
Ma said the efforts have already yielded positive results and laid the foundation for AI Booster.
“This enabled a plethora of use cases that drive business value through analytics and data science. The next step was to build industrial-scale ML capability capable of processing thousands of ML models per day in more than 18 countries, while streamlining data science processes and keeping up with technology growth,” he added. .
Sebastian Mathalikunnel, Vodafone’s AI Booster Product Manager, explained Vodafone’s goal to develop the new platform with Google Cloud.
“Our overarching vision was a single ML platform-as-a-service that scales horizontally (business use cases across markets) and vertically (from PoC to manufacturing),” he said.
Key features Vodafone required included automation of ML lifecycle compliance activities, built-in security, Google native ML tools, and standardized and embedded ML templates to accelerate adoption.