Vodafone hopes a new artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) platform built on Google Cloud will dramatically enhance its ability to use intelligence in its back-end and consumer-facing operations.
The new ‘AI Booster’ platform can handle thousands of ML models a day, providing the scale necessary for the operator to use the technology across its global markets.
The capability of the platform accelerates development time from around five months to just four weeks, enhancing Vodafone’s agility and the ability to deliver new services for both its internal teams and its customers. Areas of interest include customer experience, network performance and research and development.
“It is easier said than done to embed AI and ML into the fabric of the organisation and rapidly build and deploy ML use cases at scale in a highly regulated industry,” explained James Ma, Head of Technical Account Management, Telco, EMEA at Google Cloud. “Accomplishing this task means not only having the right platform infrastructure, but also developing new skills, ways of working, and processes. “
“As a technology platform, we’re incredibly proud of building a cutting-edge MLOps platform based on best-in-class Google Cloud architecture with in-built automation, scalability and security,” added Ashish Vijayvargia, Analytics Product Lead at Vodafone.
“The result is we’re delivering more value from data science, while embedding reliability engineering principles throughout.”
AI Booster builds on a global data platform built by the two organisations last year. The ‘Nucleus’ platform houses a system ‘Dynamo’ that collects and migrates information from Vodafone's various repositories around the world into a single cloud-based resource. This ‘data ocean’ provides the vast amounts of data that the ML models on AI Booster rely on to function.
Vodafone is also moving its entire SAP environment and all of its Big Data and Business Intelligence workloads to Google Cloud, while it is also using cloud-based performance management tools across its entire operation.
“Vodafone’s flourishing relationship with Google Cloud is a vital aspect of our evolution toward becoming a world-leading tech communications company,” said Cengiz Ucbenli, Global Head of Big Data and AI, Innovation and Governance at Vodafone. “It accelerates our ability to create faster, more scalable solutions to business challenges like improving customer loyalty and enhancing customer experience, whilst keeping Vodafone at the forefront of AI and data science.”
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Steve McCaskill is TechRadar Pro's resident mobile industry expert, covering all aspects of the UK and global news, from operators to service providers and everything in between. He is a former editor of Silicon UK and journalist with over a decade's experience in the technology industry, writing about technology, in particular, telecoms, mobile and sports tech, sports, video games and media.