The partnerships with external players, which represent a business development method based on the optimisation of the Group’s assets, are worthy of separate mention.
In this context, the Group oversees the various areas of digital services, including:
- Cognitive Computing: an important collaboration agreement has been signed with IBM, which makes the cognitive computing platform, called “IBM Watson”, available to the Group. Cognitive computing is a branch of computing that aims to equip machines with the capacity to reason and interact with humans in a natural manner. Watson is the leading technology in this sector and is currently being used in the USA in analysing imaging diagnostics, as well as in the development of automatic agents, referred to as “chatbots” that can dialogue with clients in caring contests on matters that the system has “learnt” previously. The cognitive computing systems learn by reading documents and interacting with human beings and the environment. In agreement with the Customer Care and Open Access Departments of the Group, a study is underway to establish how to make cognitive computing available to technical assistance and commercial customer care processes. The operative projects aim to develop two chatbots that guide clients towards the solution of technical problems connected with Fibre, in one case and a more suitable response to queries on mobile offers, in the other.
- e-Commerce: in a partnership with Amazon, an innovative business model has been developed, which optimises the “proximity” asset intended as the capacity to “reach” the client. In this case, the collaboration is based on a shared remuneration with the partner, reason for which this partnership is considered an important example of the Group’s entrance into the value chain of an OTT1.
- Participation in “The Next Nest” project2: the Group has designed the interactive component of the work, developing a digital abstraction of a canvas by Daniele Gallian, on display at “The Next Nest” exhibition open from April to September 2016 as part of the XXI International Exhibition of the Milan Triennale, which allows visitors to interact in a gestural manner, creating new digital versions of the work that are unique and unrepeatable, downloadable thereafter from the installation site. The way in which visitors interact with the work has a great deal of affinity with the ways in which, by means of the telecommunications services, the Group helps the people to live and share social life, home and city, making interaction as natural and simple and helping improve the quality of domestic, social and urban life.
- Big Data: along this route of Open Innovation and Evolution, learning to collect and effectively analyse the huge amounts of structured and destructured data, created by its company systems or available from external sources, has become essential to constantly improve the quality of services and/or stay ahead of demand requirements. For data management to have a positive influence and enable value to be extracted, a radical transformation is necessary that is not only technological but above all organisational, procedural, as well as cultural and of talents. In this logic, the Group has therefore started an evolutionary path based on several design “sites”. Within these sites, various initiatives were launched in 2015 and completed in 2016, with the development of the first “internal” applications (aimed at improving the Customer Experience), the launch of the first services for the Business market on anonymous data, the start-up of the TIM Competence Center that will aim to train the internal competences and scout and search for new Big Data technologies and applications, working in an open logic with the industry’s main players. Moreover, in 2016, additional initiatives were alsostarted, aimed in particular at aggregating different industry players and managers of largequantities of data to construct data partnership models with the aim of developinginnovative applications intended for both digital cities (LivingLab project with Turin municipality) and to create innovative services to support private businesses in different fields (e.g. from the insurance world to that of the connected car).
1 Acronym for Over The Top – AGCOM defines them as businesses that provide, through the Internet, services, content (above all video) and “rich media” applications (for example adverts that appear “over” a website page while it is viewed and disappear after a set time). OTTs obtain revenue, for the most part, from the sale of content and services to end users or from advertising space. As they have no own infrastructures, they act beyond the networks, hence the term “over-the-top”.