These agreements reinforce our strategy of being the best partners for companies to face digital transformation with guarantees, complementing solutions based on our own technology with the best services from our partners
Madrid, June 28, 2021.- Telefonica Tech, Telefonica’s digital business holding, and IBM today announced new hybrid cloud solutions that will help fuel enterprise digital transformation using artificial intelligence (AI) and blockchain technology. These solutions, an AI-powered virtual assistant and a blockchain platform for enterprise assets, are part of Telefonica and IBM’s ongoing work together to embrace an open hybrid cloud strategy that can speed how enterprises innovate to meet the evolving needs of today’s customers.
As many enterprises digitally transform to drive new revenue streams and customer satisfaction, they are increasingly embracing advanced cloud-based technologies like AI and blockchain. For example, almost a third of the IT professionals surveyed in IBM’s Global AI Adoption Index 2021, conducted by Morning Consult, say their business is using AI, with 43 percent reporting they are accelerating AI adoption as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. But with many enterprises using multiple cloud and IT platforms, deploying and tailoring advanced technologies across these environments can be challenging.
"These agreements reinforce our strategy of being the best partners for companies to face digital transformation with guarantees, complementing solutions based on our own technology with the best services from our partners," said Gonzalo Martín-Villa, CEO of IoT&Big Data at Telefonica Tech.
"IBM and Telefonica share a vision to bring next gen enterprise solutions to customers that address their unique digital transformation needs. The new offerings we’re announcing today are key to accelerating the value Telefonica can drive from adopting an open hybrid cloud strategy that can speed the delivery of these solutions to market. By harnessing technologies like AI and blockchain via an agile platform that enables flexible deployment – on prem or on any cloud -- customers can leverage and tailor these solutions to support their specific innovation strategies," said Steve Canepa, Global Managing Director and General Manager, IBM Communications Sector.
Virtual Assistant Enables Flexibility in Deployment, Customization
Telefonica Tech and IBM have created an AI-powered virtual assistant solution to streamline customer service for enterprises and public entities. IBM Global Business Services (GBS) trained and implemented the solution, which uses IBM Watson Assistant and is deployed on Telefónica Tech's Cloud Garden, a hybrid cloud platform that runs on Red Hat OpenShift. Companies can have a 24x7 customer service capability that is adaptable to different use cases and can be securely integrated into an omnichannel environment.
Telefonica Tech and IBM built the solution based on Cloud Garden’s containers as a service platform. This architecture enables customers to gain greater flexibility in how they build, deploy and tailor the solution across any cloud or on-premises environment depending on their unique needs and requirements. Customers can more easily incorporate these solutions and adapt them to their existing telecommunications platforms.
Using the natural language processing capabilities of IBM Watson Assistant, the new solution is designed to increase efficiency and enhance the customer experience by providing fast, consistent and trusted information across a variety of messaging platforms, applications, devices or channels. The solution helps to remove the challenges of long wait times and tedious searches by automating frequently asked questions and common tasks such as helping with changes to customer information, billing questions, claims processing, and more.
As a result, the automation and movement of customer data frees up human customer service agents to focus on the most complex customer issues. Additionally, the solution helps to automate how companies process internal functions like IT support, human resources processes, collection, debt and direct debit processes, and more.
Blockchain solution optimizes supply chain and asset management
At the same time, Telefonica Tech and IBM have built a new solution using the IBM Blockchain Platform, based on open hybrid cloud technologies, to improve how companies trace their assets throughout the supply chain. The solution provides end-to-end supply chain visibility and securely enables traceability of any type of material with an open standard. Designed to be customized and scaled out, Telefónica Global Technology is first using the solution internally and will start implementing it in its asset management and supply chain ecosystem in Spain and Germany, with the aim of extending it to other operators of the Group.
This platform, built using IBM GBS’ user-centric approach and based on Red Hat OpenShift, allows customization of participants, transactions, locations and status of materials, is adaptable to numerous use cases, and can be deployed via any cloud or on-prem environment a customer chooses.
At any time, the provenance or location of an asset can be reviewed by the manufacturer, suppliers or transformers, quality control companies and the end customer in a common, visible, standard and immutable repository. The blockchain technology enables the entire ecosystem of companies involved in the supply, installation and consumption of assets to interact in an efficient and easily accessible way, ensuring traceability throughout the lifecycle of the asset.
Telefonica Tech and IBM are exploring the possibility of commercializing this solution in the local and international business market, offering a blockchain traceability platform solution that allows companies to establish their own secure data exchange ecosystem with their supply chain partners.