VMO2 Go All in on AI With Google Cloud Assistance

Virgin Media O2 look to improve customer service as they continue transformation into a digital telco, with data behind their decisions.

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With the Virgin Media O2 integration in full swing, the company have been overhauling its older back office systems, upgrading and migrating them over to Google Cloud. This effort has gone so well for the company that it’s actively paving the way for more ambitious projects that are set to commence over the next couple of years.

”Our project in the pipeline is our plan to incorporate large language models (LLMs) into our customer service chatbots by leveraging all our existing data from previous customer interactions. This would have previously been impossible, but with Google Cloud, we will be able to use this data to greatly improve the customer experience.”

Alberto Rey Villaverde, Director of Advanced Analytics and Data Science at VMO2

With this, Villaverde took note of some of the improvements VMO2 has seen since the migration, especially when it comes to gleaning relevant insights from the masses of data it captures.

”As data analysts, our goal is to use the data at our disposal to gather insights to increase efficiency, target customers and improve our products. However, we don’t always have a precise question in mind from the outset. We come to the data with high-level problems we want to explore, we ask a question, get an answer, and then refine our journey from there. Iteration is the key.”

In the back office system, each query took hours to process, meaning that questions had to be incredibly specific or refining a query to a useful insight could take days or even weeks. Now though, execution time is around 40 seconds, meaning the time it takes to get to that valuable insight can be measured in hours or even minutes.

Due to this migration, VMO2 has also been able to build richer, more detailed customer profiles. This presents more innovative ways to target new customers and launch personalised offers.

Cloud-based insights also get used to improve VMO2’s network monitoring, reducing the time taken to model changes to the network from six months to just an hour.

”This allows us to continually model any changes to the network before implementing them.”

In addition, crunching the numbers like this is helping VMO2 to reduce the amount of unnecessary engineer call-outs, which has a positive effect on it’s carbon footprint. Every time an engineer is sent out to fix a fault in the network that doesn’t quite exist, the data from both the engineer’s assessment and the network are analysed, making it easier to identify when there are faults that don’t necessitate an engineer on the scene.

A telco working alongside a hyperscaler like this isn’t all too unusual in recent years. In the UK alone, BT have been working with Amazon Web Services and Google Cloud for many years. They assist in the ongoing digital transformation of the UK.

Either way, its interesting to get a more detailed description on what the benefits of cloud migration actually do for a business.

In going forward, VMO2 share plans to publicise the data insights across the business, allowing every relevant department to see them. Villaverde states that this will empower them to take informed decisions at a faster rate and with more independence, making for a more agile operation.

”This is an essential part of our journey to becoming the modern telecommunications company that we want to be, where data underpins every decision we make.”

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