Search

Amdocs Delivers a Telecom-Focused Autonomous Retail Store

Amdocs Delivers a Telecom-Focused Autonomous Retail Store

The News: Amdocs announced in October that it had been selected by etisalat by e&, the telecoms pillar of e& in the United Arab Emirates, to deliver an autonomous in-store retail experience for its telecommunications customers. The autonomous retail store was designed and rolled out in partnership with Trigo, a computer vision technology company that provided cameras and smart shelves, to create a seamless checkout system experience. You can read the press release detailing the design and rollout of the autonomous store on the Amdocs website.

Amdocs Delivers a Telecom-Focused Autonomous Retail Store

Analyst Take: Amdocs announced it had been selected by and delivered to etisalat by e&, the telecoms pillar of e& in the United Arab Emirates, an autonomous retail store for its customers in the Dubai. Created in partnership with Trigo, a computer vision company that provided customer tracking inside the store by supplying cameras and smart shelves, the autonomous retail store is designed to provide a frictionless shopping experience.

Customers can select their items from the shelves or a vending machine and then pay for their items anywhere inside the store using a specifically designed mobile app, kiosks, or at the exit gate. While inside the store, customers will receive real-time updates on their mobile cart as they pick up items, ensuring a personalized and seamless shopping experience.

Leveraging Amdocs’ Integration Expertise to Power Friction-Free Shopping

I spoke with Josh Koenig, Amdocs’ vice president of business services, and Alex Kishinevsky, lead solution architect with Amdocs, who discussed how Amdocs was able to use its expertise with integrating multiple third parties to handle all of the back-processes required to enable shopping autonomy.

“This is where our background really was an effective part of why we’re actually able to make this store come to life,” Koenig said. “All the things we learned in the past from delivering our own technology has allowed us to seamlessly transition to deliver ‘beyond Amdocs’ solutions. From how we manage vendors, create an integrated end to end plan, to how we integrate back to the biller, we put it all together to deliver beyond our product set and this store is kind of a culmination of all that.”

Enabling Personalization via Mobile QR Codes

Much of the automation of the in-store purchase process is made possible by the use of a mobile application equipped with mobile QR code functionality. When a customer enters the autonomous retail store, they simply need to open the mobile app and scan the mobile QR code at the entry gate. For etisalat-registered customers, there is a facial recognition feature for entering the store. This feature identifies the customer account while in the store and allows them to select items as they shop, automatically adding items to the app’s mobile shopping cart. When they decide to leave the store, customers complete the purchase check out seamlessly, and the gates will open upon completion of the transaction.

Furthermore, “there is also a POS system at the gate, which also can accept payments,” Kishinevsky said, noting that, “If you’re approaching the gate and you don’t have anything or you’ve already paid for everything, then the system will recognize that, and the gate will open automatically, allowing you to exit.”

According to Kishinevsky, the autonomous store uses cameras and app integrations to track customers with non-biometrical technology, respecting customers’ privacy.

Amdocs was able to move quickly from concept to store opening, in about 4 months, which was due to the experience and expertise of its services division with coordinating multiple partners. In addition, because the space used for the autonomous retail store was above etisalat’s office and in a standalone location, the team was able to work continuously to build and outfit the space instead of being constrained by typical retail project construction restrictions.

Support for Enhanced Capabilities in the Future

At present, the store supports a limited set of in-store customer journeys, but Koenig says that the next phase of the project is adding new capabilities now and into the future, incorporating additional capabilities on the platform. “The key was that we wanted to be ready for the launch, so we had to be very picky with which use cases we used,” Koenig said, noting that there are no limitations on future use cases. They could include the ability for a customer to check to see if an item is in stock, reserve it, and then pick up the item at the autonomous store, for example.

Additionally, the autonomous retail store likely will allow for the support of enhanced autonomous interactions. If a customer wants additional assistance with an item, they could interact with a generative AI-powered smartboard, allowing them to ask questions about an item in a natural way, Koenig says. If they require a human, they could then switch to a video connection with a real human working remotely, allowing the retailer to provide real human support with more flexibility and at a lower cost than physically staffing the store with service representatives.

All told, the launch of a telecom-focused autonomous retail store is an interesting way to test out and evaluate more vertically focused retail concepts. Because the store is linked to a user or member-focused account, it offers a greater ability to provide truly personalized journeys without requiring additional personal information or relying on intrusive biometric technology.

Disclosure: The Futurum Group is a research and advisory firm that engages or has engaged in research, analysis, and advisory services with many technology companies, including those mentioned in this article. The author does not hold any equity positions with any company mentioned in this article.

Analysis and opinions expressed herein are specific to the analyst individually and data and other information that might have been provided for validation, not those of The Futurum Group as a whole.

Other insights from The Futurum Group:

Amdocs and NVIDIA Ready to Power Telco Generative AI Use Cases

DTW23: Amdocs and OCI Provide Telcos More Cloud Agility

Amdocs Announces a Telecom-Specific Generative AI Framework

Author Information

Keith has over 25 years of experience in research, marketing, and consulting-based fields.

He has authored in-depth reports and market forecast studies covering artificial intelligence, biometrics, data analytics, robotics, high performance computing, and quantum computing, with a specific focus on the use of these technologies within large enterprise organizations and SMBs. He has also established strong working relationships with the international technology vendor community and is a frequent speaker at industry conferences and events.

In his career as a financial and technology journalist he has written for national and trade publications, including BusinessWeek, CNBC.com, Investment Dealers’ Digest, The Red Herring, The Communications of the ACM, and Mobile Computing & Communications, among others.

He is a member of the Association of Independent Information Professionals (AIIP).

Keith holds dual Bachelor of Arts degrees in Magazine Journalism and Sociology from Syracuse University.

SHARE:

Latest Insights:

Azure for Operators Unveils the General Availability of Azure Operator Nexus Aimed Primarily at Running Mobile Workloads on Azure to Deliver Breakthrough CX
The Futurum Group’s Ron Westfall examines why the general availability of Azure Operator Nexus exemplifies Azure for Operator’s strategic commitment to empowering telecom operators with security, performance, and efficiency innovation.
On this episode of The Six Five In the Booth, hosts Daniel Newman and Patrick Moorhead welcome Dan Kusel, GM and Managing Partner at IBM and Usman Zafar, Assistant Vice President, Product Management & Development at AT&T at MWC 2024 for a conversation on the influence generative AI has on transforming the telecom industry.
On this episode of The Six Five – Insider, hosts Daniel Newman and Patrick Moorhead welcome Walter Sun, Global Head of AI at SAP for a conversation on SAP’s AI strategy.
The Futurum Group’s Steven Dickens and Sam Holschuh share their insights on the transformation of the data management and analytics industry along with Snowflake’s announcement of a new CEO.