• Operator purchases three-year licence, with AI tech set to support long-term aim of becoming CX “champion”.

O2 adopts ‘conversational’ AI-based platform

O2 adopts ‘conversational’ AI-based platform

Source: Artificial Solutions

Telefónica Deutschland’s (O2 Germany) signed a three‑year deal with Artificial Solutions to use LUIS^Teneo, the ‘conversational’ artificial intelligence (AI) specialist’s Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) chatbot solution.

The deal looks set to support O2’s digital-led customer experience (CX) improvement efforts (Telefónicawatch, #145). LUIS^Teneo — which runs on Microsoft’s cloud infrastructure service Azure — is said to provide more efficient way of building virtual agents and bots, and is marketed as a means of delivering automated responses to customer queries and accumulating insights into consumer habits through machine learning.

The software promises to simplify processes and reduce demands on customer contact centre staff. The solution is said to be effective in more than 80 languages, and O2 is initially rolling out the new consumer-facing bots in two languages: German and Turkish. The operator added it may opt to expand the number of languages supported in the near future.

Honing in on digital CX

A short note in O2 Germany’s latest Annual Report, for the year to 31 December 2020, said the operating business’ (OB) sees AI as a key tool in helping it make “interaction with customers simpler and more intuitive” and deliver optimisation around conversion to sales.

The move comes with the OB overhauling its IT architecture and migrating to the cloud as part of its ongoing digitalisation programme, driven by Chief Technology & Information Officer Mallik Rao in 2019 (Telefónicawatch, #152 and passim). O2’s corporate goal is to become a “mobile customer and digital champion” by 2022, of which the automation customer service delivery and CX improvements are key facets (Telefónicawatch, #138, #145, and passim).

The German operator recently flagged plans to reduce its customer contact centre centres in the country from seven to five, with digital channels fast becoming the principal means of correspondence with its customer base (Telefónicawatch, #152).

Alongside O2, Artificial Solutions’s client roster includes Folksham, Shell, Swisscom, and Skoda. The Swedish vendor is seeking to accelerate customer acquisition after adopting a recurring revenue-based model, which has seen it move away from offering perpetual service licences which incurred substantial upfront investment from clients. It recently highlighted a “positive market response” to the change, and has sought to frame its deal with O2 Germany as emblematic.