By Millicent Mannah
One of the telecommunications companies operating in Sierra Leone, Orange SL last week played host to stakeholders in the Digital Transformation sector on the understanding of ushering in the concept of Artificial Intelligence in communication, which could then be replicated among its partners.
In her statement, Haffie Haffner of Orange SL disclosed that digital transformation starts and ends with the customers underscoring how the system creates a new perspective on how businesses are run as well as enhancing speed and customer experience and is referred to as a stimulant.
She pointed out that long before now, work was done via paper, with stacks of paper and files in cabinets and shelves, adding that such adversely affects the search for information, but maintained that with digitalization, these have been transformed to digital and are held in computers.
“This system has been improved with digitalization, as things are now done in a smarter way,” she stated adding how customers in business institutions have further improved on processes.
In the case of customer services, they now have a database, which can be easily accessed and at a faster rate. This move was necessitated by customer demand, resulting in more advancements in technology. Apart from customer demand, there is the aspect of competition, as businesses compete to make their products attractive and easier to access, especially in a country like Sierra Leone, where there is a small market.
Artificial Intelligence, she furthered, has to do with computer software that are programmed to do what humans do, like helping in decision-making, etc. She stressed that Orange made digital transformation a priority, as last week, it celebrated its digital transformation, adding that for Orange, Digital Transformation is now a must, as it will re-orientate the way they do things.
She stressed that it is important that businesses integrate AI in their operations as it will improve on customer service, help in capacity building, and encourage staff not to be afraid of AI, as it will help them do better. Also it helps in cost optimization.
Orange, Hafner stressed, is a leading player in digital transformation, and it is increasing mobile penetration and optimizing mobile accessibility that are using AI.
In his presentation on Artificial Intelligence, the Managing Director of the Rokel Commercial Bank, Dr. Ekundayo Gilpin explained that the use of technology by the bank is to give service to customers in a way that is easy to access in their respective locations, and to enable them access their accounts far away from the bank, as a result with the internet they have been able to do so, with the use of data and technology.
He furthered that when a customer comes to the bank to enquire about his balance, the time taken to get the information is now reduced, as a customer can now be at his workplace or home and with the use of his mobile phone, via his wallet to Bank service, access his account and do other financial transactions. He disclosed that AI has made life easier for many people, as in the developed world there are now cars that do not have drivers, but are driven by technology. One only informs the system to take him to where he wants, and with the data at the vehicles disposal, the technology takes over and the passenger is taken to the desired destination.
In banking, Dr. Gilpin went on, they now have smart system to improve access to account. There is going to be a creation of an app that one can virtually speak to and give inform to the app. Thus at any point in time one can access his account. The system will be able to discern the mood that the customer is in, etc,. This process gives access to accounts through mobile company, and is a system that will personalize the customer, as it will know the customer it is dealing with, because the customer will have his distinct identification. The system will guide the customer in managing his account, and is designed to prevent fraud.
The meeting was climaxed by a question and answer session.