In an interview with Insights Success, Faizel Lakhani, the CEO of Guavus, provides an update on the company, discusses how communications service providers (CSPs) are using Guavus’ AI and analytics solutions, and shares his views on where the AI industry is headed and specifics on how CSPs can take advantage to expand their business and provide an improved customer experience.
Below are highlights of the interview we conducted with Faizel:
Give a brief overview of Guavus, its uniqueness, and its vision.
Guavus is at the forefront of artificial intelligence (AI)- based, real-time analytics and machine learning (ML) innovation – we’re driving digital transformation at all of the Tier 1 mobile service operators and at 6 of the 7 world’s largest telecommunications providers. Using our Reflex solution, customers are able to analyze big data in real-time and take decisive actions to lower costs, increase efficiencies and dramatically improve their end-to-end customer experience – all with the scale and security required for next-gen 5G and IoT networks.
We were founded on two key values, which still guide us today. First, we understand that our value lies not simply in analyzing data to offer a superior interpretation of the world, but in fact using data to change the world – that is, to drive decisions which save money, make money or otherwise help our customers transform how they run their businesses. Second, our perspective has always been that service providers’ and Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) providers’ major product is the customer experience they deliver. Therefore, the machine learning and data analytics lens should always be with the subscriber at the center. As simple as this sounds, the implications of this perspective are transformative for our customers who today deal in a world focused on network elements and aggregate traffic flows.
Our customers’ success is our success. Deploying our solutions is only the first step in the process towards operational efficiencies, OPEX savings, and an improved Net Promoter Score (NPS). We work hand-in-hand with all key stakeholders within a customer’s business to best understand their success criteria, what’s needed to guide their teams in order to realize the maximum benefit, and constantly strive to improve the user experience for advanced analytics. We combine data and computer science with vast domain expertise to provide a robust yet open solution that will evolve with our customers’ business needs, now and in the future.
Describe your company’s AI and analytics solutions and how they’re addressing the needs of your customers today.
We offer an AI/ML-based platform called the Guavus Reflex Analytics Fabric that makes the development, deployment and operation of AI/ML-based applications simple and fast. The struggles with using analytics for transformation are: injesting the data, wrangling the data into a useful form, applying the analytics on the data to result in outcomes, and operationalizing the outcomes into the business. We’ve built a solution that simplifies the first three and aids in the fourth. We also offer specific CSP analytics applications for network operations, customer care, marketing, data monetization, IoT, and security, including:
- Live Ops: adaptive analytics to correlate, identify, and understand subscriber-impacting events in real time and then recommend steps to repair.
- Proactive Ops: proactively anticipate events that may cause network problems, identify which ones will have the biggest customer impact and take automated actions as needed.
- Smart Care: integrates with existing customer care systems and recommends resolutions through advanced predictive algorithms and AI.
- Marketing Insight: dynamic customer segments can be created based on particular campaigns and targeted offers presented in real time to increase acceptance rates.
- Smart Industry & IoT: an out-of-the-box solution that can run at the edge or in a central location to automatically pinpoint customer behaviors and preferences, classify asset usage, identify performance issues and root causes, and take closed-loop actions.
- Alarm IQ: harnesses the power of AI to eliminate alarm noise without requiring changes to NOC operator workflows.
Where do you think AI in telecom is headed and how can CSPs take advantage of AI and analytics in the future?
We believe that our CSP customers are at an inflection point with the adoption of 5G, increasing reliance on network virtualization and introduction of AI in their operations. The use of advanced analytics, AI and automation become critically important as networks densify, network services diversify, and customer experience becomes one of the primary metrics tracked by CSPs. In order to be successful in their digital transformation, CSPs will require:
- Turnkey use cases: solutions that address specific needs and can be integrated quickly; most will run on a broader company platform, but the specific use case is paramount.
- Analytics that are real-time and predictive.
- Scale and seamless integration, and must have the ability to interactively explore their data to increase a network analytics solution’s usefulness, as well as APIs and other capability exposures that enable the solution to feed into automated operations.
- Future-proofed analytics investments: analytics solutions that demonstrate they can handle network slicing, virtualized networks, and new service types.
About the Leader
Faizel joined the company in 2017 after decades of senior leadership roles in telecommunications as well as enterprise security and networking companies. Under Faizel’s leadership, Guavus has achieved double-digit year-on-year revenue growth, winning new business from leading CSPs worldwide, and the company has been recognized in the industry as a leader in the CSP segment for AI and analytics.
Faizel has played a critical role in the integration and partnership of Guavus and Thales – a €19 billion aerospace, defense, transportation and digital identity and security technology supplier that acquired Guavus in 2017 and is integrating Guavus analytics into its solutions. He has fostered partnerships as well with Cisco and Gemalto, and in 2018 led Guavus’ acquisition of SQLstream, a leading provider of streaming edge analytics – enabling Guavus to uniquely offer CSPs and IoT customers full network edge-to-core access to real-time, cloud-enabled streaming analytics to address their growing big data needs.