AT&T CDO: AI-driven Business Value to Double in Near-term

Andy Markus says focus on data and AI to add billions of dollars in business value to AT&T.

Deborah Yao

November 18, 2022

2 Min Read

AT&T, one of the world’s largest telecom providers, is reimagining itself as a data- and AI-driven company – and this strategic focus is expected to add billions of dollars in business value to the company.

At this week’s H2O World conference in Dallas, Texas, AT&T Chief Data Officer Andy Markus said current efforts thus far have generated an estimated $2.5 billion in business value for the company.

But he believes this is just “scratching the surface” because the efforts involve “low-hanging fruit” or the most obvious areas of improvement.

“As we double-down and democratize this great functionality and grow our ability to create AI … by 5x over the next three years, we’re going to see that value continue to increase,” Markus said. Moreover, this figure “should actually double in the not too distant future.”

Business value is generated from using data and AI to do such things as lowering customer churn – or account cancellations – improving fraud prevention, stepping up new client acquisition, unlocking deeper business insights, sharpening decision-making, among other enhancements.

Not only does this help solve business problems, “we’re able to it faster,” Markus said.

The goal is to broaden the use of data and AI across the company, so everyone from the data scientist to the business manager and the C-suite can use these tools to make improvements, further generating value.

“We heard people across the company say ‘this took me a month …, six weeks, to do. We’re (now) able to do it in a week,” or in days or hours, Markus said. “That’s a game-changer.”

Last year, AT&T partnered with H2O.ai, an AI cloud platform company, to roll out an AI feature store to help data scientists. It is a repository for sharing, collaborating, reusing and discovering ML features for AI projects.

AT&T’s vision is to make its AI “low code, no code” as key to further unlocking value, he said. But “we’re not there yet.”

“Our goal is to reimagine AT&T, where data and AI are truly embedded into the core fabric of what we do,” Markus added. “It’s not an afterthought. … It’s something our business leaders take into account as they’re executing their jobs.”

“The engine is revving and we’re not lifting our foot off the gas,” he said.

About the Authors

Deborah Yao

Editor, AI Business

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