Vodafone Business and Microsoft announce a new, five-year strategic relationship to support small and medium-sized businesses across Europe, on their digital transformation journeys.
Together, the technology companies, will deliver new end-to-end cloud-based services, that will leverage 5G, edge computing and IoT capabilities, to support growth and deliver innovative tools for hybrid work.
Mark Allinson, Strategy and Development Director, Vodafone Business, said: “For businesses to become truly digital, they need networks, cloud and security to work in harmony. Together with Microsoft we are providing solutions that can be rapidly deployed and easily managed to support new ways of working and constantly improve business processes. This marks another step towards Vodafone becoming a SME Champion and a platform-based business.”
The agreement builds on an existing relationship and will provide customers with seamless cloud experiences that are flexible, secure, easy to use and future ready – supporting organisations as they transition operations to run outside of legacy infrastructure with professional and managed services that bring the network, cloud and security together to secure and optimise application performance.
Combining Vodafone Business’ global footprint and strengths in emerging connectivity technologies, with Microsoft’s leading cloud platforms, Vodafone’s customers will have direct access to Microsoft 365, Teams Phone System and Microsoft Azure. Boosting productivity, these tools mean employees can stay connected when working remotely and share information in near real-time.
As part of the agreement, the companies will collaborate and co-innovate to deliver new offerings in areas such as Multi-access Edge Computing (MEC) and Internet of Things (IoT) bringing the benefits of 5G and Mobile Private Networks (MPN) to life.
The first area of collaboration is Mixed Reality. Using Vodafone Business’ dedicated edge computing services with Microsoft’s software and HoloLens 2 headset, organisations can improve operations and remote working experiences and create smoother onboarding and training processes for employees.
In a manufacturing setting, for example, this immersive technology allows engineers to complete maintenance procedures in half the time and new trainees can learn to operate machinery remotely by following step-by-step instructions, helping speed up assembly, bringing greater precision and enhancing efficiency on the factory floor.
With instant access to experts at any time, and from anywhere, the accuracy of tasks is improved and the hands-free nature of this technology means workers can follow instructions and advice while still paying full attention to their physical surroundings; supporting the increasing challenges around safety and compliance.
“More than ever before, small and medium-size businesses, across Europe and Africa, need secure and reliable solutions and services that enable real-time communication, collaboration and innovation, in order to transform their businesses and realise growth,” said Rodney Clark, Corporate Vice President, Channel Sales, Microsoft.
“We are thrilled to collaborate with Vodafone Business to bring innovative Microsoft cloud solutions, that leverage 5G and edge computing services, and support new ways of working, to market.”
These new services will be available to Vodafone Business customers across Europe from 4th November.