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Thought Leaders in Artificial Intelligence: Prashant Kumar, CTO of Cardinality (Part 2)

Posted on Friday, Oct 15th 2021

Sramana Mitra: Do you operate as a product or a services company?

Prashant Kumar: We are primarily an ISV but we have a consulting part as well. We deliver use cases for the customers. 

Sramana Mitra: Let’s start with the Telefonica use case. It sounds like that is what you broke into the market with. What is that use case that you started with?

Prashant Kumar: The primary use case that we looked at was every telco in the world has a lot of reporting requirements. This could be regulatory-based. This could be they trying to measure themselves against the competition. They make a lot of phones drive around and then try to extrapolate it around the network. We thought, “Why can’t we do this virtually?” We should be able to simulate and work at scale.

That was our first use case, which was to deliver the experience of having customers at individual locations. It was a gamechanger for Telefonica. Something that they were able to do for £7 million, now they could do at one-tenth of the cost and do it constantly. That was our primary driver. One of the key things for data is how do you put the foundation of it.

Usually, most of our competition would use the top-to-bottom approach where they’re so fixated on the use case that they lose the bigger picture. The plumbing of the data goes all wrong. Every time they have to deliver a new use case, everything has to be done from scratch. Because we had already done all of these things, we delivered this use case, but we took a bottom-to-top approach where it was easy to expand and scale out. That’s where our product was born – to have a ground-up approach. 

Sramana Mitra: I understand all the scalability questions. What is the customer problem that you solve with such scalable infrastructure?

Prashant Kumar: The biggest challenge for every service industry is customer experience. The primary outcome of this deployment is to measure customer experience and deliver value in terms of customer happiness. That was the primary problem we ended up solving by bringing data from multiple places and putting context around it and saying, “This customer doesn’t get good experience at 11AM.”

We predicted customer happiness factor as well. We delivered a much more precise view of customer experience and also more insights around how to fix that customer experience if there are any issues. It was primarily built on the idea of NPS but went deeper with our machine learning expertise.

Sramana Mitra: So you would call it customer 360?

Prashant Kumar: Customer 360 is bringing data in one place, which is what we did. On top of that, we actually started predicting that this customer is having issues. 

Sramana Mitra: I will get into technology and platform questions in a bit, but I want to first hear more about use cases and business problems that you’re solving. I imagine this is a use case that you’re repeating elsewhere up and down the telecom value chain. Are there other use cases you want to discuss before we get into how you’re doing these things?

Prashant Kumar: Data silo is not a very sexy problem to solve, but the moment you demolish data silos in a big organization like Vodafone, it starts creating value on its own. On top of that, we have delivered smart CapEx kind of use cases to figure out where the issue is coming in. The reason why this is important is because the amount of investment going into these things is huge.

Just to put this in context, an average European telco will probably be spending $0.5 billion to $1.5 billion every year. You’re talking about quite a few million dollars of savings. On the marketing side, we help solve simple problems. As 5G is getting launched, which customers would you be moving to 5G? Those are things that we have been solving on the marketing side.

This segment is part 2 in the series : Thought Leaders in Artificial Intelligence: Prashant Kumar, CTO of Cardinality
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