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Aligned with its strategic goal of highlighting service providers worldwide, Telecom Review had the pleasure of meeting Sue White, Head of Strategy and Marketing at Netcracker Technology, during MWC Barcelona 2024. In this exclusive interview, White sheds light on Netcracker's role in the transition of telecom providers to digital providers, the significance of Generative AI, and the company's digital transformation initiatives, which aim to foster business growth.

Netcracker is one of the world leaders in the telecom industry.  How are you helping telecom providers navigate the transition to becoming digital providers? 

Netcracker’s primary focus is to ensure that service providers achieve successful digital transformations, enabling both the business and the network to be ready for various growth strategies. However, these transformations pose significant challenges. We're discussing the integration of different networks, possibly stemming from acquisitions and consolidation, introducing new product catalogs and numerous billing systems, along with managing a number of disparate inventory systems.

All of these components need to converge and be streamlined to effectively gather customer information across any channel. The reality is that the entire IT infrastructure must undergo modernization. Our primary focus at Netcracker, within the realm of digital transformation, is to assist customers at every stage of this process. Currently, we are witnessing initial progress, such as accelerated business operations and faster service delivery, marking the early stages of transformation.

Generative AI has taken the limelight recently. How important is this technology in telecom and what role does it play in Netcracker's strategy? 

Generative AI is an incredibly powerful technology, particularly in the telecom industry where its potential for revolutionizing operations is profound. In telecom, one of the most beneficial applications lies in customer queries, enabling faster problem resolution and significant cost reduction. Moreover, within the core operations of the business, there are myriad potential uses, such as simplifying product catalogs and providing real-time network information to resolve issues promptly. Additionally, it facilitates rapid design creation, eliminating the need for prolonged consultations with design teams.

However, the adoption of Generative AI in telecom presents challenges. Netcracker focuses on addressing these challenges through primary considerations. Firstly, security is paramount, especially concerning the confidentiality of sensitive telecom data when utilizing Generative AI models, particularly those in the public domain— this aspect has been successfully addressed. Secondly, ensuring consistent quality and response from Generative AI models is essential for their effectiveness. Lastly, bridging the gap in knowledge, as Generative AI lacks inherent understanding of telecom operations, is crucial.

Netcracker plays an important role in developing use cases for these models by leveraging its expertise in telecom and accessing relevant data. Through the implementation of GenAI solutions, Netcracker aids service providers in overcoming telecom-specific challenges, effectively bridging the gap between model usage, end-users, and sensitive telecom data.

What are the primary initiatives Netcracker is focused on to help its customers drive business growth with their digital transformations? 

Netcracker is assisting its customers in many ways with various strategic initiatives. One of the primary focuses is on aiding service providers in expanding their presence in the B2B space— a significant growth area. To achieve this, we provide sophisticated management systems that enable telcos to collaborate with numerous partners, both telecom and non-telecom. This collaboration involves maintaining their own connectivity services and partnering to bundle different services together, thereby offering unique experiences to their customers.

Moreover, we are heavily invested in ensuring a user-friendly digital frontend for all customer types. This frontend facilitates access to services and allows customers to make changes and modifications as needed. The emphasis on the digital frontend is a significant focus area for us, alongside efforts to automate processes to improve service delivery, speed and agility.

Additionally, we recognize the evolving needs of some customers who are transitioning from telcos to techcos and expanding into adjacent markets.

Furthermore, we support service providers in exposing the capabilities they have within their network. For instance, when network slicing is publicly deployed, we ensure that it is easily accessible to developers through a plug-and-play mechanism. This approach enables service providers to expose and monetize these new services effectively.

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