Blog Communications

Mobile World Congress 2024: AI, AI, AI

Akil Chomoko

14 March 2024

In late February, the global telecommunications ecosystem once again descended upon Barcelona for the annual Mobile World Congress industry conference. To no-one’s surprise, AI was once again the dominant theme, with widespread discussion among exhibitors and attendees alike, and too many AI-powered solutions to count.

With the dust having settled on this year’s show, we take a moment to reflect on our experiences in Barcelona and our time in the Salesforce Garden, where we showcased our AI-Optimized Concept-to-Care solution, co-developed with Salesforce:

Don’t tell me about your AI… Show me!

At last year’s MWC, Generative AI was a major focus of discussion and debate. However, few exhibitors had any actual AI-powered solutions to show. Communications Services Providers (CSPs), vendors, and solution providers were all in the nascent stages of exploring the new technology and attempting to understand how it could positively impact their respective businesses. Fast forward to 2024 and a dramatic shift from talking about AI and its possibilities to showcasing real-world AI solutions had taken place. Within the Salesforce Garden, for example, visitors were taken through each phase of the customer lifecycle and shown solutions that use AI to improve each step of the journey, from marketing and sales to fulfillment and customer service. All in all, the remarkable progress of AI development in a relatively short period was clearly evident at this year’s show.

Four days with Aria in the Salesforce Garden

As a strategic Salesforce Industries partner, we were onsite within the Salesforce Garden, demonstrating how AI can be deployed by CSPs to enhance the customer experience and upsell additional services. Visitors saw how Salesforce’s Billing Inquiry Manager, a solution built on Einstein 1, can access Aria’s rich billing capabilities and data via Aria Billing Studio, enabling customer service representatives to respond to incoming inquiries with greater speed and efficiency. The demo, which featured a fictional mobile customer upset about unexpected surcharges to their monthly invoice, revealed how AI can use billing data to quickly identify the cause of the surcharges – international calling, in this case – and suggest a new and upgraded calling plan that would avert similar future charges. Demo participants witnessed how providing personalized, proactive customer billing support via the combined AI-powered solution expedited the resolution of the issue, ultimately saving time and money, while also generating new revenue.

Ongoing concerns about trust and security

The ubiquitous topic of AI was accompanied by questions related to security and privacy. Visitors to the Salesforce Garden, and those who experienced the Aria demonstration, sought assurances that billing data sent to AI systems would remain anonymized and would not be vulnerable to pillaging by hackers or other nefarious actors. Aria’s long history of protecting customer data, and the fact that the joint Aria-Salesforce solution uses grounding and data masking to prevent AI systems from ‘learning’ and retaining customer data, helped to assuage concerns. The prevalence of these questions, however, demonstrates the level of hesitation among some regarding the speed with which AI is being introduced within solutions that require access to sensitive personal data. It is a concern that all solution and service providers must be prepared to address as they move ahead in pursuing AI strategies.

Never too early to look ahead

Given the speed with which AI has advanced just this past year, one can only imagine what next year’s MWC will bring. We can assume that by the time we reconvene in Barcelona in 2025, any prospective buyer of an AI-powered solution will expect to hear about actual deployments, see real-world results, and understand the extent to which humans are required to remain in the loop to preserve quality, trust, and control, even as AI improves. Companies wanting to be taken seriously in their AI pursuits will need to meet these expectations with confidence, while also being able to demonstrate the return on investment of their solutions if they are to remain relevant in the fast-moving AI-dominated world.  

To learn more about the Aria and Salesforce AI-Optimized Concept-to-Care solution, and how Aria Billing Studio enables Salesforce and Aria partners to deploy our solution at speed, request a demo.

Akil Chomoko

VP Product Marketing, Aria Systems. Akil leads solution marketing at Aria, building go-to-market strategies and programs in key target industries. Akil has over 20 years of experience in the telecoms industry, serving most recently in senior product marketing and management positions at MDS Global, AsiaInfo and CSG (Intec & Volubill).

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