Telecom Telefónica launches voice assistant Aura for improved customer service

Telecom Telefónica launches voice assistant Aura for improved customer service
Telefónica has just announced the launch of Aura, an AI assistant that will facilitate the Spanish telecom’s interaction with its customers and help them manage their digital life.

The first release of Aura will be available in Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Germany, Spain and the United Kingdom. Aura will be delivered to customer devices via mobile application, in addition to third-party channels including Facebook, Google and Microsoft.

In some cases, customers will be able to talk to the network in real time through multiple channels and ask about their bill, the services contracted, data usage, and other content. Telefónica wants to make the complex simple for its customers, the company said.

Speaking at the launch, Telefónica chairman José María Álvarez-Pallete highlighted the company’s focus on AI development. Since 2012, Telefónica has invested approximately 56 billion euros in the deployment of infrastructure, the integration of all its IT systems and the development of new digital products and services. These platforms are building blocks that enabled Telefónica to develop a fourth platform where the data is securely stored and infused with artificial intelligence.

“Digitalization is the core of our business and thanks to the deep internal transformation that we have undergone in the last eight years, we have become a company of smart platforms,” Álvarez-Pallete said.

“Aura is more than a digital assistant and this launch is just the beginning. Aura will grow day by day with new capabilities and will transform the way we interact with our customers,” Telefónica Chief Data Officer Chema Alonso added.

Aura aspires to be where Telefónica customers want to be and so will be available in other channels. In this first stage it will be integrated with Facebook Messenger in Germany and Chile. Telefónica customers in these countries can include Aura among their contacts and interact with it through the chat as they like. In Chile, it will also be integrated with Facebook’s Safety Check service to help Telefónica customers connect with friends and family to let them know they are safe.

In the coming months, Aura will be integrated with Google Assistant, and by 2019, it will also work with Microsoft Cortana.

Movistar home reinvents communications in home with aura

Telefónica is also a technology provider for the home in Spain. The company has presented plans for Movistar Home, a device that brings all its services integrated with Aura’s AI capabilities. With edge computing features to process and analyze data, Movistar Home aims to become a hub where users can connect and manage all the devices in the home. Equipped with a second screen, they will be able to make voice and video calls that can be projected on the television. It will also manage the connectivity of the router and will be the voice control of television sets offering a whole new entertainment experience. Just by talking to Aura, user can change channels, schedule a recording or ask for a recommendation. Movistar Home will be initially launched in Spain later this autumn.

Empowering customers with their data

With Aura, each customer has a personal data space, the memory which securely stores in the 4th platform the data they generate when using Telefónica’s products and services. This personal data space will soon allow Aura not only to offer a personalized experience for each user but also to show customers the data they generate and give them control over how it is used.

Telefónica, Deutsche Telekom, KPN and Orange have participated in the Data Portability Cooperation, an initiative that is analyzing the implementation of portability of data in a way that adds value to customers while protecting their privacy.

Telefónica is one of the largest telecommunications companies in the world by market capitalization and number of customers with a comprehensive offering that is delivered over fixed, mobile and broadband networks. The company has operations in 17 countries and 344 million accesses around the world. Telefónica has a strong presence in Spain, Europe and Latin America.

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