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Amdocs, in collaboration with etisalat by e&, as well as other vendors, is transforming the idea of a universal store experience into a personalized one catered to each customer who walks into the store. Read Telecom Review’s exclusive interview with Samir Moussa, Country Manager – UAE at Amdocs to learn more about this innovation and other insights on trending generative AI technology.

The launch of etisalat by e&'s first autonomous store, led by Amdocs, represents a remarkable advancement in innovation. How does this achievement reshape the industry landscape from your perspective?

First of all, this autonomous store is the first-of-its-kind for a telecom service provider globally. It provides a unique experience to the customers which they have never experienced within that domain in the past. It's a fully-autonomous AI-driven store without any human intervention. The experience is remarkable, and I invite all of etisalat by e& customers to visit the first store, which is located at the etisalat by e& office in Al Kifaf, and soon the next one will be up and running in Dubai Mall.

How does the autonomous store initiative match etisalat by e&'s vision? What makes it unique, and how will it change customer experiences?

This new experience serves etisalat by e&’s vision of transforming from being just a telecom service provider into a technology giant. It's a unique experience for the customers in the store, where there is no human interference in the customer journey.

There is a world standard for what we call the ‘average handling time’. This is the time that is taken by any agent to serve the customer in any customer interaction, happening inside a store or through any channels. Through this autonomous store experience, driven by Amdocs for etisalat by e&, we are giving the customer the opportunity to decide how much time they want to spend within the experience. They can enter the store through a QR code or by facial recognition. They can pick any item or any service, pay at any time, instantly, on a mobile app, or also at the exit gates. This will help etisalat by e& deliver a life-changing experience to the customers, that matches the nation’s digitalization efforts and also drives additional revenue.

Considering the customer engagement enhancements made possible with the autonomous store, how does generative AI elevate and further innovate these interactions and experiences?

The whole concept of the store is built around using generative AI technology. From the minute a customer enters the store, they are identified through facial recognition cameras that will track their movement inside the store. These include monitoring any items they will pick, either to take to the exit or exchange with another item. All of that is controlled by generative AI.

Today, the customer benefits from a seamless experience by interacting with different parts of the store. What we're looking to achieve jointly with etisalat by e& is that tomorrow, the customer will not need to interact with the screen or any of the devices in the store. They can simply talk to a virtual agent in their preferred language.

The agent will ask the customer about what they want to achieve – service or product – and it will be fulfilled by leveraging AI capabilities.

The second part which we're looking to work on with etisalat by e& is identifying the customer needs based on the customer profile. Today, if you're an existing customer with a device or subscription plan, all of that information is captured, and once you enter the store, the virtual agent will have all of this background information. This will help the virtual agent address the customer’s needs faster and in a more agile way.

Hence, we’re changing the whole concept from having one experience that fits everyone to a personalized experience for every customer entering the store. That's the beauty of generative AI: capturing information and using it at the right time and place.

Besides customer experience, generative AI is a prominent trend in the telco industry. Can you elaborate on how generative AI meets the telco industry's needs? Specifically, what initiatives are Amdocs undertaking to drive the telecom industry forward into the GenAI era?

Amdocs is one of the pioneers when adapting new technologies. And as you rightfully said, generative AI is a big trend going on across the world now. There are a lot of initiatives, and Amdocs was one of the first to try to shape this offering for our customers, which are mainly telecom service providers.

Amdocs is building a catalog of use cases, driven by generative AI, that will support all the customer experience required by the telecom service providers, enabling them to provide faster service and a unique experience to their customers.

Moreover, we're making sure that this catalog is secure. We have to be very careful not only to take the benefit out of generative AI but also to secure it so that we provide an efficient and perfect service to our customers.

How do you summarize the journey that Amdocs is charting in transforming the telecom industry, especially in the realms of autonomous technologies and generative AI. What future do you envision in this trajectory?

The world is changing in a very dynamic manner. As an example, this autonomous store experience with etisalat by e& started as an idea six months ago, but now, it's a reality. The collaboration between the Amdocs and etisalat by e& teams showed that this kind of innovative idea can be transformed into an actual live store in a very short period of time.

This is driven by the passion and strong expertise by both companies to lead the market and build something amazing. Iencourage every customer to visit the store, try the experience, and see what we call the ‘Store of the Future’.

The autonomous store is just a start and there are more initiatives we are currently working on with etisalat by e& and other customers globally. In the next few months, we will see more and more of these initiatives aligned with the digitalization agenda pushed by the UAE Government to make Dubai the world’s digital and AI hub.

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