As we all know, 5G is right around the corner and has already arrived in a few cities around the world. While CSPs are still trying to find proper use-cases for 5G to increase their revenue, it is known in the telecommunications industry that initially, 5G will not have much impact on ARPU (Average Revenue Per User), as consumers are already content with high-speed internet provided globally by 4G Network. In the webinar “Leveraging 5G: new products, services and experiences” , Anand Shelkhe (Head of 5G Solutions & Delivery, Bluemarble, Comviva) observed that CSPs will need to use 5G for increasing ARPA (Average Revenue Per Account) by focusing more on Industry 4.0 revolution and B2B Enterprise use-cases. Telcos will move from simple Communication Providers to solution enablers and solution creators. One such use-case is Hyperautomation and Gartner has classified it as a top strategic technology trend for 2022.
So, what is Hyperautomation from a Telco perspective?
Imagine Paul McCartney is playing a concert in the iconic Madison Square Garden, New York. Along with loud music, flashing lights and beautiful costumes, audiences will also expect a high-quality experience from the network for sharing real-time pictures and videos on social media. Presently, it is a challenge for operators to meet this sudden increase in network traffic as a lot of preparation goes into this from increasing network capacity to providing service assurance.
But what if a network engineer could just feed in the calendar that there is an event, and one day before event, the network will prepare itself. Expansion, testing, monitoring during the event that everything is doing fine and at the end, clean up and go back to normal state. As Sagiv Draznin (Head of Product Architecture & Strategic planning, Microsoft), aptly puts it – “This is the network of the future, and it is powered by Hyperautomation.”
Hyperautomation is the convergence of various technologies to automate processes. Automating a process is not a new thing in the organisation as Robotics Process Automation (RPA) has existed for decades. Hyperautomation is an evolution of that task. Robotics automates a linear process – it can go from point A to point B and it can take a finite number of paths to reach there. With Hyperautomation, we introduce an ability to think in that process and make an informed decision as we go along. The output is a decision and we put that decision into action in some way. This is Hyperautomation and it requires some form of technology to achieve that. By marrying RPA with Artificial Intelligence (AI) tools, Hyperautomation enables virtually any repetitive task executed by business users to be automated.
As explained by David Shannon (Head of Hyperautomation, SAS), we can use workflow capabilities in Mendix and Microsoft Power Automate to achieve this. Using the RPA toolset, we can create automation workflows to interact with an employee in the organisation. Using several types of AI together, we can forecast a network & it can tell us the best possible outcomes. For example, it can tell us the best way we can achieve the service quality for Paul McCarthy’s gig and tell us what to prioritise while the show is going on (Video streaming over voice calls) and this should be in real-time with ultra-low latency.
This ability of organisations to design the workflow, design the AI that goes into this and deploy it into microservices distributed over the cloud platform is considered Hyperautomation.
Legacy organizations are going through digital transformations and Hyperautomation enables it on three horizons –
1. Cost implications and cost benefits,
2. Increase productivity
3. Increase innovation
Will Hyperautomation replace human jobs?
Hyperautomation starts to automate some processes that would always require some human intervention. This starts to free up your workforce from repetitive tasks. Although people might be worried that this will lead to loss of jobs, studies have shown that organizations that deploy automation end up increasing their headcount as they can add even more products to their portfolio and increase sales which leads to more employment. Hyperautomation allows us to worry less about routine tasks and focus more on innovation & productivity.
Companies like Microsoft, SAS & Mendix are working on democratising access to Hyperautomation by using Low-Code and Drag-and-Drop UI. Complicated workflow development can be done easily, and it enables people not trained in complex programming languages to help in new development. This opens up the workforce and provides access to delivering products and services much more rapidly.
So, will Hyperautomation replace human jobs? The answer is a simple quote – “Robots are not here to take away our jobs. They are here to give us a promotion.” – Manjunath Bhat (Research Director, Gartner)