Telstra Expands AI Usage for Enhanced Customer Experience After Successful Generative AI Pilots

Telstra is set to expand the implementation of two internally developed generative AI solutions following successful pilots with frontline teams, enabling more efficient and successful customer interactions. These solutions, One Sentence Summary and Ask Telstra, leverage the capabilities of Microsoft Cloud and Azure OpenAI, built within secure platforms to ensure consumer privacy. One Sentence Summary utilizes Azure OpenAI’s language model to condense recent customer interactions into concise summaries, enhancing the efficiency of interactions and reducing the need for customers to repeat information. Trials in 2023 demonstrated a 90% time-saving for employees and a 20% decrease in follow-up contact. The tool also proved effective in handling challenging circumstances, prompting Telstra to extend its rollout to all contact center and store teams in 2024.

Ask Telstra, powered by Microsoft Azure OpenAI Service and Azure AI Search, allows employees to quickly search internal knowledge bases for information through AI-generated responses. The tool, introduced to 200 frontline team members in late 2023, will gradually extend to all contact center and store teams throughout 2024. Positive feedback from the pilot revealed an 80% agreement on the technology’s positive impact on customer interactions.

Telstra’s ability to rapidly innovate and deploy AI solutions is attributed to the simplification and modernization of its data ecosystem, in collaboration with partners such as Microsoft and Accenture. This transformation is supported by robust frameworks and controls ensuring responsible, ethical, and secure AI development. Kim Krogh Andersen, Telstra’s Group Executive Product & Technology, emphasizes the strategic collaboration with Microsoft and Accenture, stating that it positions Telstra to harness the power of generative AI responsibly.

Andersen highlights Telstra’s journey of simplification, modernization, and a 100% API-first approach to product development, coupled with the migration of workloads to the public cloud and the construction of reusable AI capabilities. The collaboration with Accenture accelerates these efforts, enabling Telstra to scale bespoke generative AI tools like Ask Telstra and One Sentence Summary, facilitating quicker, more effective, and personalized customer interactions.

Strategic partnerships, such as those with Microsoft and Accenture, are seen as crucial for shared success. Steven Worrall, Managing Director of Microsoft Australia & New Zealand, expresses excitement about Telstra’s leadership in AI and the positive impact of AI solutions on frontline workers and the broader organization. Karthik Narain, Group Chief Executive, Technology at Accenture, praises Telstra’s efforts to become an AI-fueled organization and acknowledges the global recognition of its responsible and ethical AI approach, hoping it will encourage further advancements in the industry.

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