“A lot of things need to change.”

Technology

Elisa - Operations and Process Excellence

Elisa unlocks data allowing AI to make better predictions

March 25, 2022

Elisa

Veli-Matti Mattila
CEO

Elisa

Elisa - Operations and Process Excellence

Elisa unlocks data allowing AI to make better predictions

March 28, 2022

Elisa

Veli-Matti Mattila
CEO

Leveraging AI finds lasting value hidden in data

“A lot of things need to change.”

So says Anssi Okkonen, Head of Elisa Polystar, as he thinks about how the world is struggling to come to terms with ecological issues.  

“If you look at the situation from environmental, social, or economic sustainability, you understand that we need to change.”

Fortunately, for Okkonen and his colleagues at Elisa, change is part of their culture. In a transforming world, change is inevitable and Elisa has the tools to push it in a positive direction. As Simon Holmbacka, Data Scientist at Elisa says:

“Elisa has a growing team of machine learning experts and data scientists tackling the most important questions in modern R&D.”

Kirsi Valtari, Head of Automation at Elisa Polystar says that the approach to transformation is less about the technology itself and more about how people are collaborating to drive practical solutions that work in the real world:

“We are learning by doing. Especially having our people, the software, network and machine learning guys, sharing the same room and solving these problems together, that's the best example of innovation I can think of.”

Elisa is an umbrella business; starting life as a telco, it now includes a number of businesses such as Elisa Polystar and Elisa IndustrIQ, the first one dedicated to telecom software, the latter to industrial software. Focus on the telecom software is a continuum for Elisa’s pioneering work as a telco. But how about the industrial side? Lasse Nordlund, Head of Elisa IndustrIQ, explains:

“It's not usual for a telco to become an industrial software business, but we have a great reason for it. Ten years ago, we started to develop a system to collect the data in our network from different vendors, so that we can understand what is happening real time in our networks. This enabled us to start optimizing and automating.”

Collecting data in this way has practical applications not only for telecom but for any business that is data-heavy and which could benefit from going through a digital transformation, such as large volume manufacturing.

Similarly, as Kirsi Valtari says, the telecom network environment is ideal for exploitation:

“The networks are really well defined and they are actually producing a lot of KPIs and alarms. In this kind of environment, very strong results can be achieved with automation, such as 70 percent fewer incidents with AI-based prediction. It all acts even before any issues happen.”

Simon Holmbacka says that these predictions can have a big impact on the bottom line of a business and gives an example of network automation:

“The energy consumption in mobile networks is growing increasingly, especially with 5G because the data rate is so high. An important feature in the Intelligent Energy Saver is to be able to predict the traffic and switch on and off the hardware capacity during certain time slots during the day, without affecting the user. This can be achieved by using a collection of machine learning and optimization methods to study and forecast the future. Data is telling us how the system is behaving, so with more data, we are better able to optimize.”

In other words, the data finds value when it is used to drive better quality, less waste and higher profitability for a company, while delivering a better experience to the customer, and at the same time, translating into improved sustainability. All this is very central for Elisa IndustrIQ and its overall purpose which got a tangible form in the partnership with the European 4.0 Transformation Center (E4TC). Felix Jordan, Business Development Manager at Elisa IndustrIQ, says that the partnership has brought many valuable benefits:

“E4TC is our entry point to Aachen University which brings together industry and academia to solve established and existing business problems. Data-driven approaches using advanced data analytics and data visualization to help reduce waste and become a more sustainable production system was very intriguing for us.”

Also for Anssi Okkonen, such progress gives him reasons to be optimistic about the future as businesses learn to use cutting-edge technology to achieve their business goals with greater efficiency, less waste, and more consideration of long-term sustainability:

“If you look at Elisa Polystar, we provide our customers, the operators, solutions for ensuring that the networks really work. We provide solutions for network insight and for automation.”

It is within these insights that the dream of a sustainable future is possible.

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