Verizon Launches Managed AI Service

    When it comes to artificial intelligence (AI), most organizations will have to make one of two choices. They can either invest in the technologies required to build their own AI platform or leverage one that has already been built. Verizon is betting most organizations will opt for the latter.

    Verizon this week launched Digital Customer Experience, a managed service through which Verizon will provide organizations access to bots developed by Verizon that can be trained to automate a wide variety of processes relating to customer service spanning chats, texts, email, social media and, of course, a phone.

    Alla Reznik, director of customer experience, global products and services for Verizon, says the underlying AI platform employed to deliver AI-enhanced customer interactions is the same one the telecommunications carrier relies on to automate its own customer interactions.

    Verizon will not only provide the platform, but also make available a professional services team to help customers create and train the AI models required to train bots how to successfully interact with customers, says Reznik.

    Customers need to provide the data needed to inform the AI models, which Reznik says can take anywhere from eight to 20 weeks to be trained.

    Reznik says most organizations today still don’t know where to get started when it comes to AI and when they do commit, most organizations don’t appreciate the size and scope of the effort required.

    “They vastly underestimate the amount of professional services and content curation required,” says Reznik.

    Naturally, Verizon is not the first provider of an AI platform that can be accessed as a managed service. In fact, as AI continues to evolve, IT leaders should expect to be able to choose from any number of AI managed services to build, train and deploy any number of AI models. Of course, there may be a few intrepid souls that will may prefer to build their own AI platforms. But for most organizations, the underlying AI platform is most likely going to be a means to a much larger automated business process end.


    Mike Vizard
    Mike Vizard
    Michael Vizard is a seasoned IT journalist, with nearly 30 years of experience writing and editing about enterprise IT issues. He is a contributor to publications including Programmableweb, IT Business Edge, CIOinsight and UBM Tech. He formerly was editorial director for Ziff-Davis Enterprise, where he launched the company’s custom content division, and has also served as editor in chief for CRN and InfoWorld. He also has held editorial positions at PC Week, Computerworld and Digital Review.

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