Innovating in customer experience with AI

  • 20PB Data generated daily
  • 156M Minutes of data collected daily
  • 1.4M SMS messages daily

A vibrant society, thriving economy, and an ambitious nation. Saudi Arabia’s Vision 2030 paves the way for information and communication technology (ICT) digital transformation and innovation.

The Kingdom is a country in transition and transformation, diversifying its economy and driving investments in technology to support a rapidly changing population. Over the last six years, the equivalent of $25B USD has been invested in digital infrastructure and giga projects in Saudi Arabia, with ICT investment a significant contributor, according to the Communications, Space & Technology Commission (CST).

stc is an engine of digital transformation in the Middle East, offering advanced solutions and driving digitization processes to realize the Kingdom’s Vision 2030. The group provides a comprehensive suite of services, including digital infrastructure, cloud computing, cybersecurity, internet of things (IoT), artificial intelligence (AI), digital payments, digital media, and digital entertainment. The group comprises more than 14 subsidiaries across the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, the Middle East, and North Africa and Europe. 

“stc wants to be an ICT leader. The end goal is to enrich people’s lives and be more engaged with people, giving them more access to timely information and entertainment,” explains Ahmad Hussain, stc general manager of analytics and campaign management B2C.

To cater to its evolving customer base and shifting customer behavior, stc has expanded its brands to include stcTV (streaming TV service), stcPay (payments platform), and stcPlay (gaming platform). 

“We have a young nation in Saudi Arabia. 62% of our population is below the age of 30. With that segment, they are very demanding and it’s very challenging to keep up with these demands,” says Khaled Alyemni, director of big data analytics at stc.

stc’s DARE Strategy outlines a multi-year digital transformation strategy designed to create value with greater efficiencies for a better future. Its pillars are:

  • D. Digitize stc.
  • A. Accelerate performance.
  • R. Reinvent experience.
  • E. Expand scale and scope.

Digital and mobile behaviors fuel data growth

stc’s consumer offerings have led to an explosion of data generated daily. This growth presents challenges and opportunities, particularly for customer service.

“The main challenge is: We’re dealing with a huge amount of data, be it structured or unstructured. We’re looking at approximately 20 petabytes of data generated daily with more than 100 million minutes and 2 million SMS messages being generated or passed through our networks,” shares Alyemni.

Trusted data that’s harmonized and shared across the enterprise affords stc with customer experience opportunities to accelerate its strategic priorities and digitize, accelerate growth, reinvent experiences, and expand stc’s scale.

“Well-sourced, streamlined, and harmonized data make it easier for us to focus on the business problem,” says Hussain. We can be more innovative in our solutions and in our analytics. Teradata is helping stc to bring these innovations to our customers with a powerful analytics and data platform capable of basic queries up to very complex social network analysis that requires millions of rows, multiplied by millions of rows.” 


Harmonized data enables innovation in trusted AI and customer experience

Teradata Vantage™ and ClearScape Analytics™ integrate disparate data sources into a single version of truth while seamlessly managing mixed workloads to empower analysts and data scientists with consistent data and universal access. 

Using ClearScape Analytics, customer analytics and machine learning (ML) models support understanding customer behaviors, segmentation, and prediction. This allows stc to better understand the customer for:

  • Retention, sales quality, early non-payment detection, debt control, upgrades, and more
  • Customer segmentation for prepaid segments for deep-packet inspection (DPI) and SMS, usage-based segments
  • stcTV preferences
  • Social network analysis
  • Personalized campaign execution strategies with highly contextualized and personalized offers

“We take the behaviors of the customer, segment them, customize or tailor products, and then push these offers out to the touchpoints where we have the next best engagement for the customer,” Hussain continues. “That leads to the better experience, including churn prediction and churn protection.”

For example, affinity models identify the next best product the customer is likely to buy. The recommendation is pushed to touchpoints like the mySTC mobile app, call center, or retail store.

“It’s uplifting key metrics like the average revenue per user (ARPU) of the customer, churn rates, how many subscribers we’re able to save, and how effective we were in cross-selling,” explains Hussain. 

On the operations side, these insights help to inform network rollout, which is strategically important to stc’s expanding scale. Alyemni explains how Saudi Arabia’s growth creates opportunities to leverage deep learning to identify network and service growth. 

Alyemni reinforces the importance of having a platform that can activate analytics by transforming data into insights and empowering the entire organization to innovate. “We have more than 30 different systems feeding data into Vantage, like customer relationship management (CRM), billing, and the network. By having a powerful system like Teradata where data is being harmonized, it’s easier for us to focus on the business problem. We can be more innovative in our solutions and analytics.”


AI powers analytics and improves call center and chatbot experiences

stc’s latest initiatives focus on leveraging the voice of the customer for generative AI to process unstructured data and using large language models (LLMs) to enhance customer understanding and elevate experiences.

stc is using generative AI and LLMs for:

These use cases support root-cause identification, upsell and cross-sell opportunities, agent behavior monitoring and improvement, identification of new sales potential, assistance for call center agents through LLM-based chatbots, and improvements to the customer care journey.

“We just developed an AI chatbot for stcTV based on ChatGPT. A customer can interact with the chatbot and make requests like, ‘I like “Breaking Bad.” Recommend something similar.’ Or perhaps it’s a family movie night and it will recommend the right content,” explains Alyemni.

Natural language processing that enables customers to interact with stcTV is leading to increased customer engagement, ultimately driving loyalty and demand for digital content and streaming services. Whether enterprises use public LLMs like ChatGPT or build custom LLMs, ClearScape Analytics provides the flexibility to use preferred model training tools and technologies and deploy end-to-end AI/ML pipelines.

stc’s AgentLLM supports call center customer experiences and customer care journeys. “We are looking at customer interactions over the past six months and responses of our top agents to those customers. We feed this data to the LLM, and it identifies the best patterns to answer certain types of questions. The LLM is not rule-based, but it is an open communication that is learning and enhancing itself.”

AgentLLM improves call center personnel bandwidth, as the analysis enhances online and mobile app support. More customer care requests are resolved via AI chatbots, and fewer calls are routed to personnel.

As LLMs learn from and engage in direct-to-consumer interactions, stc sees Teradata as the analytics and data platform for trusted AI. 

“Since Teradata is at the center of our customer experience activities—and with the investments that Teradata is making in generative AI and other areas—I see a very bright partnership between stc and Teradata to further scale our data,” concludes Hussain.


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