Gen AI and the Telecom: What can Microsoft tell us?

The tech giant highlights how its Copilot tool continues to be used, as well as assessing the impact of Gen AI on the telecommunications industry

Microsoft has recently highlighted how generative AI (Gen AI) can help telcos and the wider telecommunications industry achieve maximum potential.

The rapid rise of Gen AI has caused real disruption to multiple industries, especially telecommunications, causing companies to find new ways to develop their business models. From the cloud to software-as-a-service, 2024 is shaping up to be another year of growth for the telco.

In a recent blog post, Microsoft’s Vice President of Telecommunications, Silvia Candiani, explores how sector leaders are keen to consider how they can do more with their business and investments with the power of Gen AI.

Copilot: Expanding the capabilities of workplace Gen AI

In November 2023, the technology corporation released its Work Trend Index report findings, which offered insight into how Gen AI is now being used to transform the workplace. At the time, it considered how its Copilot AI tool is used and found that 70% of users said they were more productive, with 68% stating it improved the quality of their work. Overall, users were also  29% faster in a series of tasks including searching, writing, and summarising.

Notably, the report suggested that more than three-quarters (77%) of users said that once they used Copilot, they didn’t want to give it up.

Research like this marks a notable shift in how we consider Gen AI in the workplace and how it holds the potential to revolutionise operations and improve efficiencies. Not only can tools like Copilot elevate human skills, but could also lift an entire organisation.

Microsoft is continuing to push the boundaries of Gen AI via its Copilot tool, which can be translated to telecommunications sectors. In fact, the company has recently highlighted its commitment to AI by introducing a new keyboard key specifically for Copilot. This is the first update to the Windows PC keyboard in nearly 30 years and will be available from February 2024.

The new key will enable users to search for web content easily, in addition to accessing general PC features via the app’s Gen AI functionality. The company states that it will allow Copilot to function as a kind of smart assistant that the user can pull up at any time.

Accelerating telecommunications

Moving into 2024, there have been plenty of discussions over what trends the telco industry could experience in line with AI. According to Silvia Candiani, these could include productivity increases for customer service, marketing, sales, app development, network insights and operations.

Microsoft has already seen a positive impact of Gen AI across the company in this way, with Candiani citing how the global customer support team has streamlined operational efficiency. This was done in addition to delivering exceptional customer satisfaction with Copilot in Dynamics 365 Customer Service. The findings were that first call resolution experienced a 31% increase, with a 12% increase in customer satisfaction.

These efforts have ultimately helped the company and its partners simplify workflows and build better relationships with both clients and customers.

Microsoft also cites other ways for companies to harness Gen AI. These could include bots, which the company suggests are becoming more popular and effective in providing digital-first customer experiences and solutions. This is because they can handle complex queries, improve customer engagement and reduce operational costs for a business.

Most significantly, chatbots can help reduce call time within a telco company. Additionally, they can schedule and manage customer accounts or a particular service (ie. payment information).

Candiani says: “Generative AI empowers telco to work with vast amounts of data, identify patterns, and generate novel solutions, promising to transform traditional practices and foster industry-wide innovations. 

“By embracing generative AI, telco companies can overcome challenges, unlock new revenue streams, improve operational efficiency, and deliver exceptional customer experiences.”


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