Intelligent connections

Harnessing the rise of intelligent connectivity will be a key success factor in creating future differentiation in the comms channel, according to PXC Chief Product & Marketing Officer Neil Wilson.

Opportunities for differentiation and value creation in the business connectivity arena could soon enter an unprecedented phase, brought about by a network capabilities-driven evolution that combines AI and Machine Learning, believes Wilson. “Intelligent connectivity could be the key distinguishing feature that gives one partner an edge over another,” he stated. “It’s likely to be a deciding factor in how channel partners secure more business and build their own unique selling propositions. AI and connectivity intelligence will build greater value in the connectivity market by offering channel partners a way to be more dynamic.”

Connectivity intelligence is based on technology that enables networks to become more agile, efficient and responsive to evolving demands. “The way this is applied differs from business to business, whether that’s using data analytics or AI to manage and deliver, even anticipate, what the customer needs,” added Wilson. “For our partners that means connectivity that adapts to the specific needs of their customers on a case-to-case basis.”

According to Wilson, AI will fulfil a transformative role across the connectivity spectrum and by leveraging Machine Learning the network providers can manage congestion and capacity by analysing network traffic patterns and allocating bandwidth accordingly. “It can make us a lot more dynamic,” stated Wilson. “AI can also monitor CPE to detect early warning signs of potential failure and signal proactive maintenance.

“In terms of security, AI can identify threats and enable preventive measures. Network optimisation will also benefit from AI intelligently routing traffic based on factors like load, latency and available capacity. Internally, AI can automate routine tasks and provide strategic insights, increasing operational efficiency. We are currently working on AIOps with our vendors to be more efficient in resolving issues and spotting trends.”

AI-driven optimisation can result in improved network performance, including faster speeds, lower latency, higher security and more reliability

AI also shows much promise in the context of the SD-WAN revolution, enabling optimisation of existing physical infrastructure. Wilson cited dynamic path selection as an example of this, providing intelligent traffic routing through the network based on real-time conditions such latency and congestion. “AI can power all the benefits of a dynamic network and partners can use it to create a highly bespoke service, whereas connectivity has previously been a homogenous market,” added Wilson.

While there is growing interest and discussion around intelligent connectivity, adoption is still in the early stages, particularly in smaller markets, observed Wilson. “But with advancements in AI and cloud technologies I expect we will see more businesses exploring and adopting intelligent connectivity solutions in the future,” he commented.

AI-driven optimisation
That said, AI is already used in the industry to monitor, manage and optimise networks, as well as detect and prevent cyberattacks. Intelligent connectivity also enables PXC to explore the development of self-healing and self-organising networks that can adapt to changing conditions and demands. “AI-driven optimisation can result in improved network performance, including faster speeds, lower latency, higher security and greater reliability – translating to better user experiences,” added Wilson.

Another possibility presented by AI and adaptable connectivity is the concept of high watermark or usage-based pricing, pointed out Wilson. “This means that if a customer uses a specific capacity on a line they pay for that capacity,” he said. “However, while the potential for usage-based pricing is there the technology and underlying economics still needs to catch up. AI and connectivity intelligence will likely play a role in realising this potential.”

The upshot of all this is that channel partners would be wise to think more ‘intelligently’ about their connectivity options for today and tomorrow, and build into those considerations the expanded scope for innovation unleashed by AI. “I expect the user experience will become centred around a blend of network optimisation and innovation,” said Wilson. “Network optimisation ensures seamless and efficient connectivity which directly impacts the user experience. AI can enhance this by intelligently managing network traffic, predicting and mitigating potential issues, and ensuring optimal performance.

“On the other hand, innovation driven by AI can lead to the development of new beneficial features and capabilities. These could include personalised services, predictive functionalities and advanced security features. The potential is immense. A balanced focus on both optimisation and innovation would give users a reliable, efficient and forward-thinking connectivity experience.”

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