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With the goal of saving millions -- even billions -- of dollars per year in service and support costs, internet and communications service providers have been working to implement predictive automation for maintenance and repair.

The costs to service providers have been steadily rising for the past ten years, as the average number of internet-connected consumer devices -- including smart speakers, TVs, computers, phones, and smart-home products -- increased more than threefold.

But the sector's digital transformation efforts became more urgent with the onset of COVID-19 in 2020. As locked-down consumers relied on service providers to work, attend school, and be entertained at home, the costs of customer service and support spun out of control. ISPs were fielding even more support calls and rolling more service trucks to address problems that often resulted in multiple callbacks and fruitless device swaps.

The situation resulted in a terrible support experience for customers and evolved into a seriously costly operational challenge. They needed to keep costs down and customers happier. But how?

Solutions for a New Normal

With the pressure on -- top-tier service providers began to test and employ Internet of Things (IoT) platforms that gather actionable information on the devices connected to their networks—both their own equipment and consumer devices. And they found that machine learning could help them complete those maintenance and repair tasks faster and more accurately.

IoT-based automatic network diagnostics and proactive health checks enable service providers to identify network problems and offer prescriptive solutions before customers can report a problem. Here's how they work:

  1. Machine-learning models and analytics identify common types of problems with hardware, firmware, Wi-Fi, and core networks in near real-time.
  2. The platform predicts and addresses issues using setting changes, targeted reboots, interactive voice response -- or information to the operations team.
  3. When the operations teams get a heads up from the platform on the root cause, they have the time and the knowledge to fix the underlying issue.
  4. The problem is remediated before the customer notices it!

Innovation Paradigm Shift

This use of IoT & predictive A|/ML helps service providers reduce the severity of outages and shorten the time until technicians can begin resolving issues. Through this process, service providers hope to provide a better customer experience while also reducing costs and expanding margins by reducing the number of visits from technicians.

The digital transformation of the ISP is long overdue, but Ayla Networks is leading top-tier service providers to operational excellence. Discover how our purpose-built IoT platforms will benefit your company.