The 10-year agreement aims to leverage both companies’ strengths to transform digital platforms for over 300 million businesses, public sector organisations, and consumers in Europe and Africa.
A key focus is supercharging Vodafone’s global managed IoT connectivity platform that already links 175 million devices and platforms worldwide. Microsoft intends to directly invest in this platform to help spin it off as a standalone IoT business by April 2024.
The goal is to rapidly enlarge the partner and customer ecosystem to drive substantial growth in IoT applications and connected devices. This will encompass more vehicles, manufacturing equipment, healthcare technology, smart city infrastructure, and other industry verticals.
Vodafone will also deeply integrate with the Azure cloud and AI platform to boost its IoT services. This includes making Vodafone’s IoT platform available through open APIs on Azure so a vast community of developers and partners can build innovative solutions.
The formidable scale of data and devices from this hugely expanded IoT footprint will feed advanced AI and machine learning algorithms running in Azure. These models will gain unique, real-time insights from trillions of sensor readings to optimise industrial processes, infrastructure efficiency, logistics and supply chains, healthcare outcomes, and more.
Cutting across sectors, the infusion of Microsoft’s generative AI into Vodafone’s apps and interfaces will deliver hyper-personalised and contextual customer experiences. This will range from Vodafone’s TOBi digital assistant available across 13 countries to omni-channel touchpoints for consumers and businesses.
The overarching goal is to firmly establish Vodafone as a leading one-stop shop for integrated IoT connectivity, cloud services, and AI-driven solutions tailored to every customer need.
“This unique strategic partnership with Microsoft will accelerate the digital transformation of our business customers, particularly small and medium-sized companies, and step up the quality of customer experience for consumers,” concludes Vodafone CEO Margherita Della Valle.
(Image Credit: Vodafone)
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