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January 18, 2024
Vodafone and Microsoft have announced a 10-year strategic partnership to bring generative AI, IoT solutions and cloud services to more than 300 million businesses and consumers across Europe and Africa.
Over the 10 years, Vodafone is set to invest $1.5 billion in cloud and customer-focused AI services, with Microsoft providing its generative AI capabilities and Vodafone bringing its fixed and mobile connectivity services to the deal.
In a statement, the companies said the generative AI tech will be used to provide “highly personalized and differentiated customer experience,” integrated into services such as Vodafone’s digital assistant TOBi.
Vodafone also said its employees will be able to leverage Microsoft’s AI platform Copilot to manage and streamline daily operations, as well as boost productivity and improve digital efficiency.
Under the partnership, the companies will also work to “hyperscale” Vodafone’s IoT connectivity platform, making it a stand-alone business by April and integrating it into the Azure ecosystem to expand its customer reach.
Finally, Vodafone said it will accelerate its cloud transformation by modernizing its data centers on Microsoft Azure, replacing its physical data centers across Europe with cheaper and scalable virtual ones.
Margherita Della Valle, Vodafone’s chief executive, said the deal marked 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 companies and step up the quality of customer experience for consumers,” she said.
Satya Nadella, Microsoft’s CEO, said the AI services in particular would “unlock massive new opportunities” for industries around the world.
“We are delighted that together with Vodafone we will apply the latest cloud and AI technology to enhance the customer experience of hundreds of millions of people and businesses across Africa and Europe, build new products and services, and accelerate the company’s transition to the cloud,” Nadella said.
Assistant Editor, IoT World Today
Scarlett Evans is the assistant editor for IoT World Today, with a particular focus on robotics and smart city technologies. Scarlett has previous experience in minerals and resources with Mine Australia, Mine Technology and Power Technology. She joined Informa in April 2022.
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