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Vodafone and Google Cloud collaboration gives rise to AI Booster platform

Vodafone and Google Cloud have gone public with details of a jointly created artificial intelligence platform that is already live in more than 18 countries

Vodafone’s big data-focused technology tie-up with Google Cloud continues to go from strength to strength, with the roll-out of a jointly created artificial intelligence (AI) platform designed to help the telco giant improve its customers’ experience.

The platform, known as AI Booster, has been 18 months in the making and its creation is part of an ongoing push by the Vodafone Commercial division to embed more AI, machine learning (ML) technologies and predictive capabilities into the company’s overall operations.

“Vodafone’s Commercial team has long focused on advancing its AI and ML capabilities to drive business results,” said James Ma, head of technical account management for telcos, covering Europe, the Middle East and Africa (EMEA) at Google Cloud, in a blog post. “Yet, as demand grows, it is easier said than done to embed AI and ML into the fabric of the organisation and rapidly build and deploy ML use cases at scale in a highly regulated industry.”

Specifically, the platform will be used to enhance the customer experience, improve network performance and accelerate the pace of Vodafone’s in-house research and development efforts, the company said.

The platform is reportedly live in more than 18 countries across the globe in which Vodafone operates, and is credited with cutting the time it takes the firm’s data scientists and developers to get products and services from proof of concept to product from five months to four weeks.

“Today, we are really proud that AI Booster is truly taking off, and went live in almost double the markets we had originally planned,” said Cornelia Schaurecker, global group director for big data and AI at Vodafone

“Together, we have used the best possible ML Ops tools and created Vodafone’s AI Booster platform to make data scientists’ lives easier, maximise value and take co-creation and scaling of use cases globally to another level.”

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AI Booster is underpinned by Google’s Vertex AI cloud-native platform, which is designed to help enterprises roll out and scale ML models more quickly by giving them access to pre-trained and custom tooling.

The emergence of AI Booster comes several months after Vodafone went public with details of how its big data partnership with Google Cloud was benefiting its business from a sustainability, efficiency and productivity perspective. This was on the back of the pair striking up a six-year strategic partnership in 2021.

“Vodafone’s flourishing relationship with Google Cloud is a vital aspect of our evolution toward becoming a world-leading tech communications company,” said Cengiz Ucbenli, global head of big data and AI, innovation, governance at Vodafone.

“It accelerates our ability to create faster, more scalable solutions to business challenges like improving customer loyalty and enhancing customer experience, while keeping Vodafone at the forefront of AI and data science.”

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