Ericsson is geared up to have a team of around 300 highly qualified engineers in Global Artificial Intelligence Accelerator by the end of 2019. A step closer to achieving this goal, it has acquired workforce of Niche AI for its Bengaluru-based artificial intelligence centre. In India, the Swedish telecom plans to have a team of 150 high-tech engineers.
To ensure the company gets the right skills and talent for these roles, it is looking to get talent both through organic hiring, as well as through inorganic, which is more through acquisitions and acquihires.
So far Ericsson has hired more than 75 engineers between Bangalore and Chennai and a couple of dozen more are expected to join in the coming months as they continue to recruit more.
While the details of Niche AI’s workforce acquisition was not discussed, Ericsson has shared they are acquiring talents from companies for GAIA and not their assets like patents, clients etc.
Sanjeev Tyagi, Head of Ericsson R&D Bengaluru said, “The exponential growth in IoT devices will mean that the traditional methods of managing networks are no longer going to scale and that is an area where we are going to need self-organizing, self-healing, self-governing networks using AI and ML.”
As 5G technology starts proliferating, they can be efficiently managed only through AI and ML-like technologies. With this realization, Ericsson is looking to leverage machine learning techniques to optimize the volume of signalling needed between a 5G handset and the radio base station to conserve battery life.
For maximizing the potential of technologies like AI and ML, not only Ericsson but other companies also need more skilled talent. Telecoms like Ericsson need not only domain experts but also people who are willing to experiment, innovate and are curious to discover the potential these technologies hold. Besides judging ore competence, and the capabilities of the engineering team, firms should hence evaluate companies and their workforce on parameters related to cultural fit and behavioural aspects as well.