April 15, 2024
A.I

Vodafone and Microsoft sign 10-year strategic partnership to bring generative AI, digital services and cloud to more than 300 million businesses and consumers

  • Vodafone and Microsoft to transform customer experience using Microsoft generative AI.
  • Vodafone will expand its new standalone IoT business with Microsoft.
  • The partnership will expand M-Pesa to improve financial inclusion across Africa.
  • Vodafone will grow the enterprise business with new Microsoft services for small and medium-sized businesses (SMEs).
  • Vodafone will accelerate digital transformation and operational efficiency in virtual data center migration to Microsoft Azure.

LONDON and REDMOND, Washington – January 16, 2024 – Vodafone and Microsoft Corp. on Tuesday announced a far-reaching new 10-year strategic partnership that leverages their respective strengths to deliver scaled digital platforms to more than 300 million businesses, public sector organizations and consumers across Europe and Africa.

Through the partnership, the companies will collaborate to transform Vodafone’s customer experience using Microsoft’s generative AI, Vodafone’s leading managed IoT connectivity platform at hyperscale, develop new digital and financial services for businesses, particularly SMEs in Europe and Africa, and will review their global data center cloud strategy. .

Vodafone will invest $1.5 billion over the next 10 years in cloud-centric, customer-centric AI services developed in conjunction with Microsoft. In addition, Microsoft will use Vodafone’s fixed and mobile connectivity services.

Microsoft also intends to invest in Vodafone’s managed IoT connectivity platform, which will become a standalone business by April 2024. The new company will attract new partners and customers, drive application growth and expand the platform to connect more devices, vehicles and machines.

The digital services generated by the new partnership will use the latest generative artificial intelligence technology to deliver a highly personalized and differentiated customer experience across multiple channels. They will be based on impartial and ethical security and privacy policies under Vodafone’s established framework for responsible AI.

Margherita Della Valle, CEO of Vodafone Group, said: “Today, Vodafone has made a bold commitment to the digital future of Europe and Africa. “This unique strategic partnership with Microsoft will accelerate the digital transformation of our business customers, particularly small and medium-sized businesses, and improve the quality of the customer experience for consumers.”

“This next generation of AI will unlock enormous new opportunities for every organization and every industry around the world,” said Satya Nadella, president and CEO of Microsoft. “We are delighted that, together with Vodafone, we will apply the latest cloud and artificial intelligence technology to improve the customer experience of hundreds of millions of people and businesses in Africa and Europe, create new products and services and accelerate the company’s transition to the cloud. “

The companies have identified five key areas of collaboration:

  • Generative AI: To increase customer satisfaction, businesses will apply the power of Microsoft Azure OpenAI to deliver seamless, real-time, proactive and hyper-personalized experiences across all Vodafone customer touchpoints, including its digital assistant TOBi (available in 13 countries ). Vodafone employees will also be able to leverage Microsoft Copilot’s AI capabilities to transform working practices, boost productivity and improve digital efficiency.
  • Scaling the IoT: Microsoft intends to invest in Vodafone’s new independent global Internet of Things (IoT) managed connectivity platform, which connects 175 million devices and platforms around the world. Vodafone also plans to become part of the Azure ecosystem by making the IoT platform available to a large number of developers and third-party community using open APIs.
  • Digital acceleration in Africa: Microsoft intends to help further scale M-Pesa, already Africa’s largest fintech platform, by hosting it on Azure and enabling the launch of new cloud-native applications. The companies are also launching a purpose-driven program that seeks to enrich the lives of 100 million consumers and 1 million SMEs across the African continent. The goal is to improve digital literacy, training and youth outreach programs, as well as offer digital services to the underserved SME market. The association aims to drive innovation in financial services, creating a community of certified developers.
  • Business Growth: Vodafone will expand its commitment to the delivery of Microsoft services, including Microsoft Azure, security solutions and modern work offerings such as Microsoft Teams Phone Mobile, as part of its strategy to become the leading business platform in Europe. This enables enterprise customers to deploy Microsoft cloud-based services at a pace with low adoption and running costs, as well as support the approximately 24 million SMEs across Europe by providing a managed platform that grows with your business.
  • Cloud Transformation: Vodafone will accelerate its cloud transformation by modernizing its data centers on Microsoft Azure. This will improve your responsiveness to customers, while simplifying and reducing the operational costs of your IT estate. As a result, Vodafone will be able to replace multiple physical data centers with virtual ones across Europe, simplifying and reducing the operational costs of its IT fleet, as well as reducing energy requirements and helping to deliver on its sustainable business strategy.

About Vodafone

For more information, visit www.vodafone.com, follow us on Twitter at @VodafoneGroup or connect with us on LinkedIn at www.linkedin.com/company/vodafone.

About Microsoft

Microsoft (Nasdaq “MSFT” @microsoft) enables digital transformation for the era of an intelligent cloud and intelligent edge. Its mission is to empower every person and organization on the planet to achieve more.

For more information, press only:

Microsoft Media Relations, WE Communications for Microsoft,
(425) 638-7777,
rapidresponse@we-worldwide.com

Investor Relations
Investors.vodafone.com
ir@vodafone.es

Media relations
Vodafone.com/media/contact
GroupMedia@vodafone.com

Registered office: Vodafone House, The Connection, Newbury, Berkshire RG14 2FN, England. Registered in England no. 1833679

Note to editors: For more information, news and insights from Microsoft, visit the Microsoft News Center at http://news.microsoft.com. Web links, phone numbers and titles were correct at the time of publication, but may have changed. For additional assistance, journalists and analysts can contact the Microsoft Rapid Response Team or other appropriate contacts listed at https://news.microsoft.com/microsoft-public-relations-contacts.

Forward-looking statements

The information contained in this announcement (the “Information”) may constitute or include forward-looking statements. Forward-looking statements include, but are not limited to, statements that typically contain words such as “estimate,” “intend,” “plan,” “goal,” “target,” “will” or other words of similar meaning. By their nature, forward-looking statements involve risks and uncertainties because they relate to events and depend on circumstances that may or may not occur in the future. Vodafone cautions you that forward-looking statements are not guarantees of the occurrence of such future events or future performance and that, in particular, the development of the strategic partnership between Vodafone and Microsoft and its result or impact on Vodafone, its business, results of Operations and financial condition may differ materially from those suggested by the forward-looking statements contained in the Information. These expectations or any forward-looking statements could prove to be incorrect and Vodafone generally cannot influence the results. It should be noted that actual events or consequences may differ materially from expectations.

Vodafone expressly disclaims any obligation or undertaking to release publicly any updates or revisions to any forward-looking statements to reflect any change in Vodafone’s expectations with respect thereto or any change in events, conditions or circumstances on which any forward-looking statements are based. No representation or warranty is made that any of these forward-looking statements will occur or that any particular results will be achieved. You should not exert undue influence on or rely on any forward-looking statements.

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