Vodafone Stands Tall as a Digital Transformation Partner

Oct 17, 2016

In the week of October 10th, Vodafone held its 2016 Industry Analyst Summit in the beautiful English countryside of Egham, UK. Surrounded by ducks and the lovely scenery of the Thames, we enjoyed two days of informative sessions and engaging conversations.

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Throughout the event, the company sent a strong message to the analyst community and, indirectly, to customers and partners about its powerful capabilities as a total communications provider and digital transformation partner.

Vodafone Performance Highlights

Vodafone asserted its vision to become the world’s leading total communications provider for enterprises and reported successes in all three areas of strategic focus: continued market share growth in its core mobile communications space; market share gains in fixed services; and profitable revenue growth in adjacent markets such as cloud, IoT, converged communications and security. Key metrics shared at the event to validate its success include:

  • Accelerated revenue growth rates over the past three years including 2.6 percent revenue growth in Q1 of FY16/17
  • IP VPN service availability in 72 countries
  • 272 points of presence globally
  • 30 IoT countries
  • 30 One Net services countries , 4.3 million One Net users (as of Q1 FY16/17, published in July 2016), and 18 percent y/y One Net revenue growth
  • 14 cloud and hosting countries
  • Increasing NPS, measured at 14 points in FY15/16 with a goal of  17 for FY16/17
  • 50 percent of pipeline attributed to fixed and converged communications

Vodafone Solutions Portfolio Strength

Well known as a leading mobile communications provider, Vodafone is top of mind for many businesses looking for enterprise mobility solutions. Vodafone has mobile operations in 26 countries and partners with mobile network providers in 52 more. Innovative mobile voice, data and SMS packaging with the Vodafone Red plan enables businesses to better manage their communications expenses. This plan allows business users to freely roam across its global network using a single plan across multiple devices. Vodafone’s mobile capabilities continue to create opportunities for the provider to deliver other services to businesses around the world.

Through visionary strategy and effective execution, Vodafone has also established itself as a leader in converged cloud communications. Frost & Sullivan has recognized Vodafone for its dominant market share and compelling value proposition in the European hosted IP telephony and UCaaS market and cloud contact center. Vodafone stands out among European providers with its global reach, strong mobility focus and fixed mobile convergence (FMC) capabilities, and a broad set of UCaaS offerings catering to diverse customer needs. Based on industry-leading technologies from Atos, BroadSoft, Cisco and Microsoft, the company’s Vodafone One Net Express, One Net Business and One Net Enterprise (VONE-C and VONE-M) services feature different functionality, packaging/pricing and deployment models to accommodate varying customer requirements by size, industry and workforce profile (e.g., mobile versus deskbound). Vodafone’s converged communications portfolio provides particularly compelling value to businesses looking for integrated cloud communications and customer-care solutions, as well as businesses looking for advanced mobility capabilities.

In addition to mobile communications and UCaaS, Vodafone has made significant progress in the areas of cloud and hosting, security and Internet of Things (IoT). IoT, in particular, promptly stood out at the Vodafone Industry Analyst Summit as a key area of focus and ongoing success. Four customers—FedEx Express, gategroup, Ekso Bionics, and Philips Lighting—showcased IoT partnerships with Vodafone in the courier, aviation catering, bionics, and utilities industries, respectively. IoT services are likely to further strengthen Vodafone’s position in all other key areas. As the technology enabler of mission-critical processes within customer organizations, Vodafone is gaining CXOs’ trust and entrenching itself in customer organizations and technical infrastructures. In the future, IoT solutions may become Vodafone’s strongest differentiator as competition intensifies in its core markets.

True Digital Transformation Partner

Technology prowess can only take a company so far. Similar to many other communications providers, Vodafone is placing considerable emphasis on customer satisfaction. Unlike many, however, it is also investing in internal technology and process improvements. Agile product development with frequent technology releases represents a key factor in Vodafone’s strategy execution. It enables the provider to continually deliver new functionality to support evolving customer needs.  Vodafone is also focusing on further enhancing the customer digital journey and minimizing friction by employing highly trained professionals and streamlined workflows. Customers expressed great satisfaction not only with the quality of Vodafone’s advanced technologies and solutions, but also with the support and quality of their relationships with the provider. With its extensive professional services resources, Vodafone is able to apply a highly consultative approach in sales and solution design.  Increasing focus on customer satisfaction and better internal coordination allow the provider to promptly address any customer challenges and concerns.

Most businesses are affected by the move to cloud solutions; the rise of IoT; growing employee mobility; the emergence of the virtual organization; and the increasing role of digital natives in decision making. These mega trends are affecting business technology requirements and increasing the pressure on companies to embrace a digital future. Digital transformation is a strong necessity, but can be disruptive without a tight alignment of technology, people and processes. Businesses must adjust their internal processes and company culture as their technology infrastructure evolves. To address new market challenges, businesses must also embrace new technology consumption models and engage with trusted technology providers.  With its broad solutions portfolio and organizational capabilities, Vodafone is asserting itself as a viable partner for organizations undertaking major transformational initiatives.

Conclusion

Vodafone is delivering an increasingly diverse portfolio in existing markets and rapidly expanding its reach into new countries. Vodafone’s presence is still strongest in Europe, however its ambitions and customer reach span multiple continents. It is looking to gain greater penetration in North America, which will create more options for both domestic and multi-national businesses looking for digital transformation partners. Vodafone’s first steps with a US Mobility offer through an MVNO with T-Mobile, an established fixed network and IoT solutions are likely to be followed by the launch of other services in the North American market including cloud/hosting and domestic and international UCaaS. This will create greater competition for domestic US providers and international providers with operations in the region.

Overall, businesses and providers around the world should keep Vodafone on their radar as they assess market threats and opportunities.  To ensure continued success, Vodafone must adjust both its strategy and solutions for each market.  It will need a highly differentiated approach, as well as strong local resources and partnerships to compete effectively in the advanced US market and some of the more tightly regulated international markets. 


Elka Popova

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